It’s not surprising that Howard Stern took aim at Simon Cowell — the man did come for his AGT job after all. And nothing provides greater entertainment than Stern on a tear. In response to Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough’s firing from America’s Got Talent, Stern rightfully proclaimed:
“He sets it up that the men stay. No matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are. What he manages to do on all his shows is he constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks. Howie’s [Mandel] doing a fine, serviceable job — why don’t they change him? And why don’t they change Simon? … This is the ultimate example of a boys’ club.”
I’ve certainly noticed the revolving door of hot chicks on all the Simon Cowell-produced shows, especially when it’s set up against the long-term reign of his male judges. In short, it’s a gross double standard. Furthermore, if there was any level of diversity in upper management at all, the tone-deaf comments Union alleges were made about her appearance likely would not happen (and let’s not forget what happened to Nick Cannon). Louis Walsh stayed on his X Factor panel long after he groped Mel B. and according to Stern — Mel B. was later fired from AGT while Walsh kept his job.
It is also of note that Stern defended his longtime nemesis Jay Leno over a joke Leno made, which is also the subject of a bitter brawl between NBC and Gabrielle Union. Union allegedly complained to the higher-ups about Leno joking that a painting of Simon Cowell with his dogs looked like it belonged “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.” As Stern rightfully points out, “one million dogs are still eaten annually in South Korea, and if Gabrielle Union wants to effect positive change, maybe focus on the horrors of Korean dog farms and let the old irrelevant comic live in peace.”
Stern fans know that the Leno/Stern beef dates back to Leno “stealing” Stuttering John out from under Stern, in addition to some accusations of joke thievery, including a chicken. Stern recently proclaimed that one particular comedian would not accept his personal apology for his savage attacks, and I’m guessing the comedian in question is Leno.
In response to the allegations that Gabrielle Union’s firing from America’s Got Talent was a retaliatory strike following her complaints about inappropriate, racist jokes, ill-directed critiques about her hair, and general, behind-the-scenes culture issues, Simon Cowell’s company, Syco Entertainment said, “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture.” They furthered that they “are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”
In what can only be described as confusing, Heidi Klum has joined America’s Got Talent as its fourth judge. The fourth judge format is completely lost on me. When America’s biggest talent show began with a three-judge format (see American Idol), you’d think every other talent show would duplicate the choice. In fact, even American Idol has violated its original vision.
As soon as the fourth judge is added, the show becomes more about the panel than the talent. Time gets taken, bickering begins, and the contestants fade away into an unmemorable existence. The only explanation for this perpetual failing has to be that the creative teams are insecure about their judge selections, and they hope to assuage a backlash by providing the audience with additional options. If there’s any other reason, I’d like someone to explain it. As for Heidi Klum — though I like her on Project Runway, I’m shocked that she’s not bound to an exclusive deal. Doing this show waters down her brand. Perhaps Lifetime consented because they think exposing Klum to a larger audience will boost their own. Who knows.
The business is brutal, and Sharon Osbourne learned that the hard way when NBC allegedly axed her son, Jack Osbourne, from their new show after learning of his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. She called the move “discrimination,” but NBC insists that since Jack Osbourne didn’t sign on the dotted line, the deal never existed in the first place. So what’s the truth? Well — it’s likely somewhere in the middle. Everyone knows that the entertainment business is predicated on “hand-shake” deals that stay in place until the contract is signed. Sure those deals aren’t legally sound, but it’s a gentleman’s agreement until the contract can be properly executed. My guess is that NBC didn’t want the liability of employing someone with a physically demanding disease on a physically active show, and that’s more about being scared of a lawsuit than it is about “discrimation.” Furthermore, if NBC wants Sharon Osbourne back, she doesn’t have a choice. It’s the network’s option to employ her next year — not hers. She’s under contract — and she did sign on the dotted line.
If you know The Dishmaster, then you know I’m an insane Howard Stern fan, and since I’ve been good this year, it only makes sense that I’ve been gifted with even more Howard Stern than I already get. Watch below to see the very adorable Alexa Narvaez and Howard Stern have a post-performance conversation about his father. She sure is cute.
Howard Stern always produces his best content when he’s angry. And today he topped himself. In response to his fans’ annoyance with his ‘America’s Got Talent’ talk, Stern told them to f*ck off, saying, “The whole [radio] show for the last 35 years has been about what I do. I am finally doing something interesting besides sitting in my apartment waiting for the next show. And I know everybody wants to hear about it. But then as soon as I do it, everybody is like ‘Hey man, Fuck off.’” Listen to his hilarious rant below, which was sparked by Robin’s inquiry about his week in Vegas filming ‘America’s Got Talent.’
“it just shows you that maybe the Jews and the Palestinians can get along.” Howard Stern on his return to NBC for America’s Got Talent, the same network that fired him at the beginning of his radio career.
Howard Stern fans everywhere have something to celebrate today. We finally will see more of him — and this time he’ll be on mainstream television. NBC confirmed today that he’s officially signed on to judge America’s Got Talent, and they are even moving production to New York to accommodate him (everyone knows Stern hates to fly). Stern has famously complained for years that he wants to judge a talent show, calling the format “easy money,” and saying that he’d lecture the contestants on the ability to make money off their craft. In fact, he recently told Sharon Osbourne that last year’s America’s Got Talent winner was a mistake, as “no one needs a Frank Sinatra impersonator.” Since Stern and Simon Cowell (the show’s creator) are friends, it only makes sense that he’d be courted. I must admit I’m shocked he took the job. He doesn’t need the money, and at this stage in his career I figured he’d want less work — not more. But the man always surprises me.
Howard Stern’s insane success and career longevity is largely due to knowing his limitations. So when I heard that he’s in talks to replace Piers Morgan on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ I became immediately bothered. Sure it’s a good gig that pays a lot, and he’d likely be great at it. But he has an identifiable brand to uphold, and if he starts to take jobs outside of his coveted radio show, he risks ruining that brand. Plus, the Stern fans are an underground community of devoted followers and I don’t want a cookie-cutter audience getting a piece of my man. Hands off, NBC.