When Page Six lubed up the rumor mill with a story on how American Idol wants Howard Stern to replace Simon Cowell (and that Stern would agree), I couldn’t help but smell the bullshit.
New York Magazine reported this week that Idol insiders never made Stern such an offer. Even so, I felt it necessary to round up a virtual panel of Heeby Stern superfans for official responses. Here’s Heeb 100 alum Robert McKee, Lowbrow Reader publisher Jay Ruttenberg, fetishist phone operator Jappy Princess Melissa and 95-year-old comedian Professor Irwin Corey on whether Stern would ever join Idol, and if he could keep it clean.
If American Idol actually offered Howard Cowell’s spot, would he take it?
McKee: I don’t think he’d go through with it. The former role of Simon involved traveling to numerous middle-American towns and sitting in a chair for ten hours at a time listening to hapless kids trying to sing horrible BeyoncÃ© songs. That alone seems beneath Howard, especially considering he hates flying, and he also hates L.A., where the meat of the show takes place.
Melissa: As a huge Howard fan, I could only dream that Howard would take over for Simon and verbally slaughter those nerdy little lambs with big dreams. But let’s get real: It’s never going to happen. There is always the possibility of a celebrity guest spot, but can you really see him there on a weekly basis in front of all those people and all those germs floating around in the room? Like I tell all the goy boys who want a piece of my gravity-defying ass: Not. Go. Na. Ha. Pen.
Ruttenberg: I believe this is purely contract-year posturing and pay his threats no heed. What I think people tend to forget is that this man is essentially an aesthete. His claim that he would take an easier, high-paying job doesn’t hold water. From a creative standpoint, he has always traveled the harder road. Every time his contract comes up for negotiation, Stern suddenly becomes dissatisfied with radio, and I think the dirty secret is that he’s kind of a college-radio nerd at heart. He would probably do his show for free.
Corey: I was once asked to be on Stern’s show, but I didn’t have the time to do it.
If Stern did assume the role as an Idol judge, could he keep it clean?
McKee: That’s tricky because the FCC requires he keeps it clean to an extent. Barring that, I’d expect him to use fun loopholes and air-acceptable words that really mean ‘fuck, shit and pussy’ like he used on terrestrial radio, but, if he’s not ‘dirty’ then what is the point of picking him? He’s known for being edgy, and it would be nonsensical for him to be on the show and G-rate himself.
Melissa: I think Howard would just tell the porkers to drop the weight and walk the line of controversy. He can control his F-bombs at this point in his career.
Ruttenberg: Of course he’ll keep things clean. He’s a professional broadcaster. I don’t think he even likes the stripper nonsense anymore, so much as he feels wed to it.
Corey: American Idol? Is that a television show? I haven’t seen it.