February 5, 2010, - 3:52 pm
Since I used to regularly be on “The Howard Stern Show” when he was on terrestrial radio, a number of readers and others are asking me what I think of reports that “American Idol” producers want Stern to replace the soon-departing Simon Cowell on the show. For the record, I don’t agree with the filth Howard puts forth on the show, and I said so. No, I never answered his lascivious questions or took my clothes off–I was there to spread a conservative message, especially on Islamic terrorism, and I did convert quite a few people. It was a forum for me that served its purpose at the time. I viewed it as William F. Buckley’s columns in Playboy–reaching out to the unconverted, rather than preaching to the same old amen crowd.
I have mixed thoughts on Stern hosting Idol, but mostly I’m against it, even though I think he’d be a great judge. Howard’s show is filthy and aimed at adults. “American Idol” is aimed at kids and families, and I don’t see how you mix family viewing with Howard as a judge, and keep a straight face. Like, I said, he’d be a sharp judge, and that, unfortunately, would entice kids to want to hear his strictly-adult radio show. Howard is smart, quick-witted, and an acute observer. He might be even better than Simon Cowell, and he wouldn’t be his risque self as on his radio show. But is it really appropriate for him to be a judge on that show, while he’s putting forth the most vile material and hanging out with strippers and porn stars in the morning? Well, “Idol”‘s network, FOX, did give Paris Hilton a show after she became famous for making porn tapes. So, it’s not like this is out of the ordinary for FOX. Still, I don’t think it’s suitable. We’re fighting a cultural war here in America, and this is how to continue losing it. On, the other hand, if Stern quit his radio gig, it might be different.
If offered the gig for certain, Howard would certainly take it. While he has mega-millions from his Sirius satellite deal, he lost the one thing he covets more than any amount of money: influence and attention. When he had his terrestrial radio show, Howard had both in large doses. But once he went to satellite, many millions of his listeners didn’t follow, and you stopped hearing about him on the news and in the papers. It was like he disappeared to all except a couple million loyal followers, whereas before he had upwards of 20 million listeners.
If Howard takes the gig, it will be interesting to see the dynamic between him and Ellen Degeneres, whom he repeatedly referred to as “Vaginefeld” on his radio show. Don’t look for him to do that on “Idol.” And remember, no matter who hosts that show, it’s long past its shelf life already. Jumped the shark long ago. I don’t watch, though lots of people might tune in, at least at first, to see Stern in action. Bottom line, though, it violates the whole “wholesome family viewing” branding “Idol” created.
Tags: American Idol, Ellen DeGeneres, Howard Stern, Simon Cowell, Vaginefeld