February 5, 2010

Do you like the idea of Howard Stern as the replacement for Simon Cowell on "American Idol"?

Can Stern-DeGeneres byplay make up for the loss of Simon and Paula?

Please don't clutter the comments with statements about hating "American Idol" and not getting why anyone but an idiot would waste time watching it. That opinion has been thoroughly aired here and does not meet the interestingness standard anymore. I'm looking for real discussion of Howard Stern and what he would mean for "American Idol" and how important Cowell is to its success.

77 comments:

Pogo said...

It'd be about 20 IQ points more intelligent. Stern is funny when nasty, Cowell was just nasty. I might actually watch.

Peter V. Bella said...

Ah, the show will be intelligible. Bleep, bleep, bleep, evertime Stern opens his mouth.

However, maybe it could get interesting if he has input. Who knows? The next American idol could be senior citizen strippers!

Greg Toombs said...

I think it means the lesbian stripper will win every time, if Howard has any influence at all.

wv: gropin (how perfect is that?)

Maguro said...

I don't know, it's been years since I listened to him, but doesn't Howard Stern talk about porn stars and beating off all day? Not sure his schtick would translate to censored medium like network TV.

knox said...

Brilliant idea. Stern is smart and funny and cruel. Just what Idol needs in that chair.

former law student said...

I like it. We shouldn't import sardonic bastards like Cowell when we grow our own, like Stern.

But they can't be serious about Ellen DeGeneres. That would be like putting your mom on the show, if your mom were a lesbian. They need to replace Abdul with another hot babe.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No. Howard Stern is cruel when he is making fun of people. He enjoys belittling people and is "nasty" and it makes me uncomfortable. Like small boys torturing innocent animals. Burning ants on the sidewalk for fun.

When Cowell is 'mean', it doesn't seem that he is taking joy in being hurtful. His 'mean' remarks are more straight forward and to the point. Yes, it is hurtful to hear someone say basically. "You suck". But it is at least clean in the way a surgeon handles a scalcpel instead of a chainsaw, which would be Stern's methodology.

I never liked the Gong Show just for the very reason: that it was cruel.

It would be a bad idea. However, this being the vulgar bread and circuses culture that we have become (and it is getting much worse)......it would probably be a big hit.

Gain for the ratings and a hit to our moral fibre as a culture. Anyone who watches and encourages this type of moral decadence should remember that they helped when we start seeing much much worse in enterainment and in real life.

Don't watch these clowns and then complain about what lowbrow entertainment we are getting and how our children are growing up without any moral compass.

PatHMV said...

Insane idea. Cowell, for all his brusqueness, really does have some good knowledge of the music industry and can spot talent when he sees it. Stern, as somebody suggested above, knows how to spot lesbian strippers willing to be spanked by a machine on air.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, and it might boost ratings (while changing the demographic substantially), but Simon's actually, you know, qualified to do what he does. Stern's talents (and they are considerable) are in other areas.

SteveR said...

Seems like he would get bored with the process especially if he was restricted from getting "non family" in his comments.

Jim said...

I'm just trying to figure out what Stern would bring to the table.

Stern's demographic isn't going to watch American Idol, and American Idol's demographic isn't interested in hearing the constant string of [beeps] that Stern would bring.

If the subject is the unusual sexual practices of American Idol wannabes, then Stern would have something to add. If it's actually about whether or not they're a marketable vocal talent, I fail to see how Stern adds anything to the conversation.

Like him or hate him, Cowell has a long track record of successful talent recruitment and promotion that started long before American Idol and has continued outside of it.

Ellen is already supposed to represent the "average Joe" on the panel. If you don't bring in another person with some credibility and expertise in finding talent, then there's really not much difference between American Idol and America's Got Talent where 3 clueless celebrity judges randomly adjudicate the results.

Scott said...

Howard Stern? Why not Michael Savage? If you're going to go that direction, might as well go all the way!

t-man said...

I wouldn't let my kids watch it with Stern. American Idol would become a relatively benign gateway for kids into the vile world of Howard Stern.

I wouldn't watch it either. I find him barely tolerable on radio, but I simply can't look at the man on television.

Pogo said...

Yes, DBQ, quite right about cruel humor.

I was wrong. Ack.
Whatthehell was I thinking?
I can just imagine the American Susan Boyle picked clean by Stern.

Oog.
Less posting by me today is advised.

Taco said...

It would expand the demographic that watches American Idol. I haven't listened to Stern in ages, and I don't want American Idol, but I might just check that out.

c3 said...

"I'm looking for real discussion of Howard Stern and what he would mean for "American Idol" and how important Cowell is to its success."

You're being ironic here...
aren't you?

Henry said...

I read Howard Stern and Simon Cowell and my mind registered Howard Cosell. Monday Night Football is still looking for a replacement for him.

c3 said...

PS:
I don't watch American Idol nor listen to Mr. Stern.

Sorry for not being interesting and not really discussing

info said...

Why not? How about John Edwards...Joy Behar...any bottom dweller will do...

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

I think what Simon-- and all the original judges-- brought to the show was a knowledge about the music business and, most importantly, a deep personal generosity.

Simon has a no-bullshit attitude, but its also clear that he is a generous person and will give credit where credit is due. That makes the credit even more valuable.

Stern...??? I don't think he has that same sense about him. The show might continue to be a success-- after all, its continual freshness means that there will always be people watching. But I think it would loose some of its deeper charm. Or perhaps it already has.

former law student said...

Cowell, for all his brusqueness, really does have some good knowledge of the music industry and can spot talent when he sees it.

You would think, however, that thirty+plus years as a disc jockey would provide some exposure to the music industry, as well as refining one's ability to tell good musicians from bad.

Maybe Stern is cranking back on his shock schtik as he approaches retirement age.

miller said...

Now what/who would be interesting is Mark Steyn.

edutcher said...

Cowell, no matter how nasty he seemed, always contended his criticism was constructive and, in some cases, tough love. From what little I saw of the show, I'd tend to agree.

Stern, like most NY DJs, is way too much in love with the sound of his own voice and thinks anything he says is brilliant. The stringy, greasy, shoulder-length hair, the shades, the inevitable stupid questions about what color underwear - I just can't see it working on network TV.

I have to agree with fls, although Ben Stein is just weird enough of a choice to work; but where did anybody at the nets suddenly get the idea Ellen DeG is now America's Sweetheart? Former's right, get Bullet Girl from CSI:Miami or somebody.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Stern is a filthy mouth bore aimed at the low IQ crowd.

Not a chance. just chatter.

ricpic said...

Stern would make Idol new again. But could he self-censor or would it be, as Bella says, bleep bleep, bleep?

Also the Stern/DeGeneres chemistry, or should I say anti-chemistry, would lead to fun fireworks.

Lawrence said...

Ack! Now, I don't watch American Idol because it seems so silly, and because I know that if I did, I'd probably become hooked. The few clips I've seen, Cowell is the one thing that seemed really appealing.
You couldn't pay me to watch it with Stern.

pinkmonkeybird said...

Ah yes, Rome burns and the people are too busy watching American Idle to care. Yes, let's invest great amounts of concern over who will host this show while the country slides into ruin and despotism.

But then, you voted for Obama, didn't you, Althouse?

Yes indeed. Nice fiddle ya got there.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ah yes, Rome burns and the people are too busy watching American Idle to care.

Gracchus:I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate, it's the sand of the coliseum. He'll bring them death - and they will love him for it.

Gladiator 2000

ricpic said...

DBQ and Pogo are delicate flowers! Whoda thunkit? ;^)

Paddy O. said...

Echoing some others here, I think this is probably a decent choice when it comes to ratings grab after so many seasons, but it really does lessen the quality of the show.

Simon had a biting wit, but it came out of his seriousness. There's a big difference to wanting to impress the professional, hard to please, judge. But, who cares about impressing the intentionally unserious guy? Impressing Simon was the challenge. It means something.

Also, I think Simon was personally invested in finding the highest quality. He wasn't primarily about more self-exposure.

Now, AI might become more about celebration of the farcical than anything approaching real.

And... do teenage girls really like Howard Stern? Stern really has his niche--and his niche was not television--alienating the established demographics of AI.

AI has been successful because even though there was manipulative production values involved, at the core there was a serious audition with people who knew the business and personally valued discovery of real talent. That's all changing.

Now it's becoming Hollywood Squares.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually DBQ, I loved the Gong Show because it wasn't under any pretense that it was actually looking for serious talent. Anyone who was going on that show knew it too. Then you have American Idol which plays both sides; looking for real singing talent while also looking for rubes to make fools of themselves to satisfy the baser instincts of those individuals who can only feel good about themselves when they're laughing at someone else.

Cowell is an asshole but he at least recognizes talent. What is Stern other than a shock-jock? I don't think his ability to glean musical talent is any better than mine.

PatCA said...

At least Simon and Paula were music industry experts. It's not as interesting without Paula, admit it! As "adorable" as Ellen is, or Stern, they would be on the panel just for the shock value. Simon is mean but knowledgeable about music. This would just be sport, mean sport.

I am crying out, ala Stanley Kowalski, "PAULA...."!

Ralph L said...

It would be funny if it turned out the Stern persona is all an act.
Then it would get boring.

I second Mark Steyn, but he probably hates 90% of the music & singing on Idol. Which could make good TV.

TRO said...

"You would think, however, that thirty+plus years as a disc jockey would provide some exposure to the music industry, as well as refining one's ability to tell good musicians from bad."

Stern plays music? Maybe when he first started but not since then. He's a shock-jock, not a disk jockey.

Dutch said...

Simon is cute even if he is not-so-kind to the contestants. This long hair man really looks ... uhhhmmm... what's the word.. "scary" ... no offense meant. Oh well, I shouldn't judge him this early. So sorry. Anyways, good luck to the wannabees. eprocurement

David Walser said...

Simon's critiques were never about Simon; they were always about the artist and the artist's performance. Simon's remarks may have seemed cruel at times, but no one ever thought they were said they weren't honest. Simon's comments were shocking only because we live in a world that places a higher value on not hurting someone's feelings than we place on honesty. Paula always tried to give an ego boost. Simon just told you what he thought of the performance without any bromide to buffer the message. Part of the appeal of Idol was the contrast between Paula's sugary, airy, nonsense and Simon's straight to the bone assessment.

Stern's shtick has always been about Stern. Everything he says is designed to draw attention to Stern -- "Can you believe he just said that?" Listening to Stern one almost always wonders what he really believes. His goal is to shock, not to illuminate.

Perhaps Stern could adopt a different persona. If so, maybe the show wouldn't lose much by losing Simon. But, if Stern needs to adopt a different persona to be successful, why do they want Stern?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Simon's comments were shocking only because we live in a world that places a higher value on not hurting someone's feelings than we place on honesty.

Or you can say that we live in a society that values politeness too.

bagoh20 said...

This post does not meet my be interested standard.

traditionalguy said...

I nominate Crack Emcee to tell it like it is, and to be good hearted too. He would be the perfect replacement for Simon. Stern is insane. Who needs that thrown in their face every Tuesday night?

Roost on the Moon said...

That opinion has been thoroughly aired here and does not meet the interestingness standard anymore.

This is right up there with "I'm not interested in politics."

michaele said...

I'm probably the rare poster here since I'm a regular AI viewer and I even vote with regularity. It amuses me to let myself care. I think I would hate Howard Stern. He is crude and distasteful and he would dirty the proceedings. I can't stand the thought of it. And I like that the snippy honest blunt judge has the Britsh accent. It just makes the comments sound so much more authoritative. Yes, I know I'm being manipulated but so what.

Joe said...

I'm sick of this idiotic lie that "you can do anything" and therefore bluntly criticizing someone is some sort of horrible sin.

When people demand "constructive criticism", what they really want is "ambiguous criticism." They want a way to dismiss the criticism and persist in their delusions.

The worse, however, is specific criticism since the receiver now has no out.

One lesson I've learned from life is that when someone asks you to be honest, they are almost always lying.

(When I was majoring in photography, we had a girl in our class who had no talent. I'm a very blunt guy and had no problem criticizing other classmates, but she presented a dilemma. Her work sucked beyond belief, but we couldn't crush her life dreams, could we? Unfortunately, she was a very sweet girl, not a bitch, so we all just pretended that her work was adequate.)

Jason (the commenter) said...

While I enjoy listening to Stern, and loved his movie, I don't know if he'll translate well to television. Even when he was on E, he wasn't must watch TV.

And why not someone with musical chops? Are they throwing Idol to the rubish bin (like Family Guy) and moving the professionalism over to X-factor?

David Walser said...

Or you can say that we live in a society that values politeness too.

Much better than the original.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Her work sucked beyond belief, but we couldn't crush her life dreams, could we? Unfortunately, she was a very sweet girl, not a bitch, so we all just pretended that her work was adequate

And then she went on for years and years fruitlessly pursuing her dream until one day she met someone with the brass balls or the plain honesty to tell her that she really really wasn't all that great....that she really really wasn't going to achieve her dream....that she would always be just adequate in photography.

By never being told the truth that she sucked as a photographer, she never pursued her real talent in a career that would have been fulfilling and lucrative as a professional cake decorator and pastry chef.

Realizing that she had wasted years, maybe even decades of her life, and that she had been lied to by her friends and even family, she became incredibly depressed. She made a Death by Chocolate cake, ate the entire thing and died. The cake was very attractive.

The End.

MadisonMan said...

Stern is too old.

If Idol is going for the 45-64 demographic and trying to lose ad dollars, well maybe Stern is a good choice. A better choice would be someone not afraid to tell the truth -- Stern would, I'm sure -- but who is not an ancient decrepit old man.

Trooper York said...

You hit the nail on the head Jason. The X-Factor will have both Simon and Paula and will have groups and not just individual.

American Idol already made a horrible error picking Ellen when they saw how they could be revitalized with someone like Katie Perry who loves the show and knows music and is not afraid to say what she thinks.

If they bring Howard Stern on it will be like the last seasons of Bonanza where it is just holding on with ranch hands named Candy and orphan kids trying to fill the shoes of the missing Cartwight brothers.

I guess that makes Randy as the last one standing the "Little Joe" of American Idol. Afterall he does have one big thing in common with Michael Landon.

He still wets the bed.

MadisonMan said...

Stern is 56 or so to Simon's 51. (In contrast, I'm a still young in my 40s type of guy)

It's not the age, though, it's the mileage.

But still -- why replace an old man with an older one if you are trying to find a young singer for today?

2yellowdogs said...

Um, no. He may be funny and biting, but he's also raunchy and a dirt bag. On top of it all, HE HAS NO MUCICAL BACKGROUND, which is my problem with the choice of DeGeneres.

Not sure about Cowell's replacement, but Katy Perry was fantastic as a guest judge during the try-outs this year. Funny, smart, sharp and she stood up to Cowell and that simp Kara.

Pastafarian said...

Who decided that this Simon Cowell ever knew anything about music? If I recall, he kept women on the show merely because he thought they were attractive. That means others lost merely because they were unattractive.

This is the sort of genius in the music industry that gives us dozens of pretty, untalented people like Shakira and Katy Perry and all the other clones cluttering the airwaves with their leaden voices so heavily synthesized and dubbed that it might as well be me singing.

And I don't mean to clutter the comments with uninteresting irrelevancies, but it doesn't matter who they put in their as judges, this show is just awful.

Trooper York said...

You all know the expression "that show has jumped the shark." That refers to Happy Days and the episode where Fonzie jumped a motorcycle over a shark tank as Ron Howard had left the show and it was winding down. It happens to every show. Eventually the stars get tired or arrogant or they die or something. They try and keep the franchise alive by bringing in replacements. But once you subtract the "breakout" character it is very hard for the show to continue. It might limp on for a few years diminishing in popularity every year. When you start at the top and are as dominant as Idol, you can continue for a long time with an inferior product. That's how shows like Gunsmoke and Bonanza and Saturday Night Live linger on year after year when they are no longer revalent or cool.

If they bring in Howard they are not just jumping the shark, they are going right into the water and getting their balls chewed off. Just sayn'

Scott M said...

Speaking as a former "shock jock", I respect what Stern has been able to do with his career. The problem, though, is that as the wannabe's and imitators became more successful on his coattails, he never changed, never evolved.

He's a very, very talented person in an extremely small niche. I question whether or not he's going to be able to curtail his decades-honed instincts into a family-friendly prime time show.

If he manages it, it would just be further proof that the guy is in fact truly talented and horribly self-limiting. His acting in Private Parts wasn't half-bad at all. If he can pull this off it means we've been denied a truly broad-spectrum Stern by Stern himself.

Trooper York said...

Katie Perry is just a pop star with one novelty song who will have a nice little career milking it. No different than Nancy Sinatra or Annette Funicello or Mary Wells for that matter. She clawed her way into a career which is what so many of these kids want.
The exposure is key.

Did you watch the Grammy's. They picked a bunch of people to sing a tribute to Michael Jackson. A music legend in Smokey Robinson. A multi-million dollar act in Camel Toe Celine Dion. A young R&B star in Usher. And two former American Idol contestants.

So you those of you who hate American Idol....suck it.

Leland said...

Do I like the idea? I guess I don't care, in that Simon was the reason I enjoyed AI. I think the better comparison would be Stern to Tommy Motola. In that case, I think Stern would bring the instant ratings, but would he or the ratings last much more than a year? Better question, how many years does AI have left anyway?

I think Stern and DeGeneres, combined with last years horrible decision of Kara Dioguardi, will just speed the end of AI. I enjoyed AI, because it showed the talent that exists outside New York and Hollywood. As Cowell says, it finds the people that just needed an opportunity. I think the new formula of judges, if including Stern, would just find what we already know is out there and rejected.

Franco said...

Stern is a crude narcissist. He will turn off way more than Cowell ever did. As for Ellen Degeneres, she's Bob Newhart in a pants suit.

Jana said...

I second whomever said they should hire Mark Steyn. I'd never miss an episode.

As for Stern, as an Idol watcher, I think I would probably scale back my viewing. Idol is considered family viewing by many, and I don't feel uncomfortable letting my kids watch. They would not be allowed to watch a Stern-helmed Idol. I suspect this would be the case for many parents.

damikesc said...

Stern basically lacks Cowell's charm, which makes his negativity far less tolerable. It is why, say, Jon Stewart could likely read Olbermann's scripts verbatim and have viewers. Likeability is huge and Stern lacks that.

Also, Stern seems incapable of finding talent. His "cast" little more than suck ups.

rcocean said...

Did you know Stern had plastic surgery a couple times? Gad, I wonder his before picture looked like.

As for him on Idol, one look at Stern & the 12 year-old girls would run screaming. If you're looking for completely unrealistic choices why not Bill Maher?,

Brent said...

Howard Stern - No. Howard Cosell - Yes.

Pogo said...

Howard Cosell - Yes."

He might be a bit dusty.

Trooper York said...

I think they should go for stunt casting each week with a different group to take the place of Randy, Paula and Simon.

How about Al Sharpton, Sarah Palin and John McCain?

Trooper York said...

Samuel L. Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Hugh Laurie.

Trooper York said...

Bill Cosby, Kathy Griffin and Russell Brand.

Trooper York said...

Oliver Willis, Professor Althouse and Charles Johnson.

LordSomber said...

Bring on Howard Stern. AND a gong.

Better yet: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

Trooper York said...

How about the chick that Edwards was banging, the South American chick that Sanford was banging and the whore that Spitzer was banging.

LordSomber said...

Christopher Hitchens, Professor Althouse, and Tony Sirico.

Trooper York said...

Kayne West, Taylor Swift and Ozzie.

Joe said...

Actually, DBQ, from what I heard she ended up taking pictures at a baby picture mill (Kiddie Kandids or something) and probably got married and churned out kids. Her picture album is now full of adequate pictures. (Then again, I majored in photography and film and when I take snapshots, I don't bother trying. I just snap away and throw away the true crap. Nobody really wants to see all those pictures anyway, they just pretend to.)

Shanna said...

I started losing interest in this show when it became more about the judges than the contestants. It used to be a more equal mix and somewhere along the way that shifted. I don’t think this would be a step in the right direction on that score, but since I quit the show already I guess it wouldn’t be a big deal to me. I just think Howard Stern is obnoxious and would be gross talking to 16 year old girls. Blech. (I haven't watched with Ellen but I hated her as a guest judge on SYTYCD).

I enjoyed LLCool J as a guest judge one year.

knox said...

Cowell is an asshole but he at least recognizes talent. What is Stern other than a shock-jock? I don't think his ability to glean musical talent is any better than mine.

I think Stern is lightyears ahead of the usual "shock jock."

But, yes, whether he'd be a good judge of talent is the big question.

knox said...

I've actually read "Private Parts" and there were sections where I laughed so hard I cried. His riffs on Oprah and Larry King are priceless.

Lonetown said...

I look forward to the return of the kielbasa girl!

Cheryl said...

Eeew. Stern has no charm, Cowell does. And a lot of kids watch Idol. My kid would never be allowed to watch it again if Stern was on. I'd never watch it, either. The man makes my skin crawl.

MadisonMan said...

They should hire Cousin Oliver.

Ben said...

Seems like a terrible idea, but then the only name floated I can imagine NOT leading to the immediate demise of Idol is Tommy Mottola.

kynefski said...

These are two very different characters. In the Ryan Seacrest empire, Simon Cowell is sold as a jerk, but he judges as if it's his money on the line.

Howard Stern really is a jerk, albeit a brilliant one.

I don't think it would work.

Methadras said...

Would Stern throw bits of ham on the contestants as they sang. I'd watch it if that happened.