Howard Stern Joins ‘America’s Got Talent’

Celebrity Q&A
on July 10, 2012

Is it true that Howard Stern was considering becoming a judge on American Idol before getting the job on America’s Got Talent?

—Craig Arnold, Porter Ranch, Calif.


According to Stern, 58, he never had any talks of substance with American Idol. The shock jock says the rumor started when he had a meeting with another network, which wanted to develop a show that he would judge, but which didn’t work out.


Somehow, word got out and people assumed it was for American Idol.


“I don’t think I would want to be on American Idol, quite frankly,” Stern says. “I like America’s Got Talent because of the variety aspect. American Idol, to me, is just singers, and I don’t know that that’s for me. I don’t know if that’s the right fit. I’d rather sort of be all over the place with different kinds of acts.”


Another consideration was that both American Idol and America’s Got Talent were shooting in Los Angeles, and Stern is New York-based, so it wasn’t until NBC decided that it was worth moving the show to New York for him that negotiations could go forward.


“I was very honored when they did that,” he says. “That was really a compliment that they would move the whole show. I don’t know if the staff is thrilled with me, but I’m thrilled that they’re coming to beautiful Newark [N.J.], by the way.”


Stern says he basically decided to become an AGT judge because he thought it would be fun. “When I look at my career, I always think things through,” he says. “I’m calculated to a degree. But this was actually a pretty easy decision.”

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