February 5, 2010, - 3:52 pm

On Howard Stern & “American Idol”

By Debbie Schlussel

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.

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13 Responses

A sure sign it’ll jump the shark is when an “Untergang” parody is posted about it on Youtube. Howard Stern better keep things on “American Idol” well in hand!

NormanF on February 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I agree one hundred percent. I think Howard would make a good judge. He is smart and quick-witted, but the guy traffics in filth. I don’t understand how the producers of American Idol, which is a family show in a lot of ways, think that Howard Stern would be a good fit for the show. Maybe people would just put up with it, but it would be a sad comment on the state of our society.

Daniel Middleman on February 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm


Correct me if I’m wrong–isn’t Stern the son or grandson of Holocaust survivor(s)?

Believe, me, I’m no fan of his, but I was appalled when Sean Penn suggested we trade Howard Stern for Osama bin Laden a few years back. Stern invited Penn on his show to defend his comments. Penn, no surprise, declined.

Richard on February 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Debbie I’m hurt. You referred to us as “preaching to the same old amen crowd.” I feel left left behind. I’ll get over it. 😉

No to Howard, but how about canceling the show?

CaliforniaScreaming on February 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm

You know what would be funny? Call in to Howard’s show and tell him that O&A got the Idol gig.

Douglas Q on February 6, 2010 at 12:02 am

howard as his own particular taste in music …..its sort of unusual
his favorits sond used to be “downeaster alexa” by billy joel

he hates most modern music, although he did help put bon jovi and some others on the map…..

he would be good in other ways and i think he could judge rock/roll

but as far as othe types ?? not sure ??? plus he even said” he would spend more time judging “the looks” than the songs……………

also by moving to sirius ( he got exposed to a huge amount of new fans that never heard the radio show……..but i agree, i don’t see how he could pass up american idol…………but he is happy with his lifestyle and little wifey and dogs and cats……….he may pass on the deal or use it as leverage with sirius

anyway thats where i first heard debbie………although most of the time they would be abusing her but …….

drew299 on February 6, 2010 at 1:26 am

Debbie, please come back to the Howard Stern show. I would never have found this site and read it every day if it wasn’t for your appearances. I even listened to your 1 hr. 101 special. I love Howard and you…

Phil on February 6, 2010 at 5:40 am

The only interesting part of American Idolatry to watch is the first few weeks of delusional crazies who think they have talent but actually don’t. Reminds me of when Chuck Barris said to a contestant on the Gong Show,(to paraphrase)’I really liked your act, I really did. But then again, I like dirt roads!’ or,’I really liked your act. I really did. But then again, I like pink-eye!’

T. Y. on February 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm

“filth” ? .. well, i guess some would even brand YOUR rhetoric as such !

Paul F. Levinsky on February 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm

hmmm…I’ve never listened to Howard Stern (heard about him of course)…and, I have never watched American Idol…(with the exception of CNN clips). O well. I don’t think I’m missing anything.

J.S. on February 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I don’t agree with you there Debbie. I don’t think Howard Stern is for “real adults” anyway. I don’t see how anyway who watches Stern can be converted into being a real conservative which part of which requires morality because they wouldn’t watch stuff like this in the first place. There are liberal’s who are misguiding and don’t know any better but I don’t think anyway who watches Stern and supports some conservative is a real conservative. They would be in the line of Newt Gingrich which doesn’t help the conservative cause in my opinion. Having such contempt for women and seeing sexuality in such a perverse light (I do think REAL JUDAISM and any HEALTHY SOCIETY MUST see’s sexuality for it’s higher purpose in creating new life) and seeing sexuality in a perverse light can only lead to dictatorship and death.

adam on February 7, 2010 at 12:34 am

I first heard of Debbie on Stern’s show. I am a big fan of Stern and Debbie did a great job. Towards the end, I was so angry when they over-mocked her. They were just uncomfortable because she knew so much and they didn’t and it was intimidating all around. I know they were learning too.

I love Howard Stern’s show but don’t listen anymore because I prefer conservative shows now. He is wicked filthy though, but I mostly liked everything but. Viva Howard Stern!

Skunky on February 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Stern is scum. Period.

You write: “Howard’s show is filthy and aimed at adults.”

Filthy yes–but you got me fooled there on the target–isn’t is aimed toward horny juveniles–“today, we are going to have play Lord of the anal ring toss” then we can will play “who want’s to be a butt-billionaire.”

G-d help me if I have to see this perverted menace on my daughter’s fav show. How fun that will be!

The only good thing I can say about Howard Stern is that there is a G-d and hell exists. Stern has done more than any other person in our country, to accelerate our destruction in our rush to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Debbie, this is one case where your normally clear thinking is dead wrong. Buckley was wrong in his day to let Hefner pimp him. He was g-dless in his conservatism–I expect more of you!

BB on February 8, 2010 at 12:21 am

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