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EntertainmentColumnistsVerne Gay

Stern is perfect for 'America's Got Talent'

Howard Stern speaks to the media about his

Howard Stern speaks to the media about his new role as a judge on "America's Got Talent" at the Friars Club on May 10, 2012 in Manhattan. Credit: AP

The circus has begun. "America's Got Talent" -- new season, new hype, new judge -- got back to business Monday night, but all that matters for the moment is that judge.

Howard? Stern? Oy.

Per my suspicion, he's mostly perfect for this silly show, which isn't necessarily a compliment or perhaps even remotely one. What's perfect in the context of "AGT" means being louder than the audience (check). It means reveling in the foolishness (check). It even means initially liking magicians who are really male strippers with nipple rings. (Check check check!) In fact, Stern voted the guy off, and anybody would, but the point is this: He fits in effortlessly with the sort of low-rent schlock that "AGT" shovels to the masses.

Plus, he's funny, and bonus points for that.

Entering to Metallica's "Enter Sandman," Stern took over the show immediately. In fact, it took him about 20 minutes to tell Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne that "you can leave, it's my show."

He was vastly sharper with the bad acts -- "I spent a lot of time watching the nudniks" -- though much less sure of himself with the more obviously calculated talent, like the cute and well-coached girl and her guitar-strumming dad. "This has been the most touching moment on the show for me so far and by all means I vote for you to go to Vegas."

Did Howard Stern use the words "the most touching moment for me?" Oy. There's work to be done, but he's still the right man for this job.


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