After months of speculation, SiriusXM satellite radio host Howard Stern confirmed on Thursday (December 15) that he will join the judging panel of one of his favorite reality TV shows, NBC's "America's Got Talent."
"I'm going to be Piers [Morgan] on steroids," Stern promised, in reference to the former lead judge. "It's going to be a no-nonsense judge ... I'm going to go there as a serious judge ... It's gonna be something else ... I am very excited."
On his satellite show on Thursday, Stern was joined by his long-time agent, Don Buchwald, who made a rare on-air appearance to present the show's host with the official contracts for his new gig. Stern took great pleasure in joking about how he was going to be back with NBC, the company that famously fired him in 1985 for his lewd on-air behavior on his WNBC radio show.
"I am very happy for you because I know how much you love this show," said longtime sidekick Robin Quivers. "I will find the next superstar," Stern promised.
Stern said Buchwald got a call several months ago from the producers of the show asking if the radio icon would be interested in joining the program's judging panel, which also includes his good pals Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel.
"I get a lot of offers, so when Don called me he said, 'I don't know why I'm even telling you this ... I know you watch the show.'" But to Buchwald's surprise, Stern said he was very interested in joining the cast of the show that he has obsessed over and dissected many a morning on his satellite broadcast, often bragging that he would be a superior judge on the series.
"This nonsense of Howie and Sharon putting through less-than-talented people has got to stop," Stern thundered. "Under my administration there will be no Frank Sinatra impersonators winning for the year. If people think I'm the crazy man, I am not. I am the voice of reason," he said, railing against some of the acts that have gotten through in the past that he would not abide by. "Goofy acts are not going through."
One of the biggest questions was how Stern -- who famously does not like to travel or fly -- would handle taping the Los Angeles-based show and still host his New York-based radio program. "I think the show's going to be even more exciting from New York," said Stern, confirming that the production would move across the country to accommodate his desire to stay on the East Coast. "It will not interfere with here," he promised, saying that he would fly around the country for auditions, but would not be interrupting his morning routine on SiriusXM on a regular basis.
He said he will start taping the first audition episodes in February. A spokesperson for NBCU could not be reached for comment at press time.