Howard tames his main ‘Talent’ of hogging spotlight
- Last Updated: 5:37 PM, May 15, 2012
- Posted: 11:45 PM, May 14, 2012
America’s got talent, and now “America’s Got Talent” has got Howard Stern. A whole lot of Stern.
While the King of all Media may turn out to be good for the immensely popular show, it still remains to be seen (and heard) whether or not this much Howard will be too much Howard.
And if you watched the first hour, it certainly seemed that way. He was there to judge the talent, not to be the talent, but at first, it was all about Howard all the time.
So could he shut up long enough to let the other judges have a word? By the second half, he seemed to have learned to stop overwhelming everyone else. And that’s got to be a tough thing for a guy who’s been monologing or playing off his personal sidekicks for 35 years.
Clearly, the producers were so enamored of him initially that it seemed like “The Howard Stern Show,” even though he’d said on the radio that they’d had to re-edit last night’s premiere eight times because the early edits were focused too much on him and not enough on the other judges. Huh?
But hey — if Howard were a regular Joe with a small ego, he’d be just another shmucky Long Island guy trying out for “America’s Got Talent” instead of judging it.
Happily, by the 9 o’clock hour, the producers had figured out that no show can take that much of one guy, and that’s when “AGT” really started to take off.
Finally, it was about the acts and not about the judges (or one judge anyway).
And what acts they were! Yes, there were the spectacular dance crews (who actually goes to see such a thing in real life, though?), the disgusting piercing people, and kiddie singers, sure, but then there were also acts like the bizarre businessman free-styler, the musician who made a harp from the whole theater, the lady who sang while covered in birds, the man who puts scorpions in his mouth, and the ventriloquist whose dummy was — yes — his dog. And, of course, there were more criers than at a wake. And then there were the ones who made us cry.
Howie Mandel is still laugh-out-loud hilarious, and Nick Cannon is TV’s greatest gift disguised as a host.
Yes, Stern certainly is different from what came before, and I like him. But will replacing the mean, snobby Morgan with loud, brash, excitable Stern (the anti-Morgan) be as successful as replacing Springer with Cannon, and the Huff with the Howie?
Too soon to know, since a carefully edited debut episode will not be the same as a live show. Will Howard remember that it’s not all about him? Even Howard isn’t big enough to outshine people who set themselves on fire for a living.