15 May 2012 8:51 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Howard Stern is a rare pop cultural phenomenon: He's both thrilling and boring. I love that he's around, and I love that he continues to revolutionize radio by seizing the format's immediacy and whipping around vulgar candor. To some, he's better than caffeine. But when all is said and done, Howard Stern's point of view is pretty damn palatable and un-astounding, right? If I remember correctly, he's a fart joke connoisseur and a conscientious loudmouth. Would it break your heart to suggest that farts are finitely funny? And that TV, comedy, and the internet are full of conscientious loudmouths now? While Howard Stern will always be the King of All Media, his mighty fiefdom has many bankable heirs.

That brings us to America's Got Talent, the utterly ridiculous NBC talent competition that Howard Stern is suddenly co-judging. With Piers Morgan out of the picture, Stern is left -- with »

- virtel

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