His language was clean, but America’s Got Talent‘s newest judge Howard Stern came out swinging today — especially against his new primetime rivals and critics. “American Idol is tired,” said Stern during a New York news conference ahead of his debut on the show’s Season 7 premiere May 14. “Ryan Seacrest wants to be the next Dick Clark; I got news for him, Dick Clark isn’t here anymore.” The Sirius XM DJ also mocked Idol’s Jennifer Lopez as lacking any bite as a judge. He also lampooned Britney Spears’ becoming a judge on The X Factor with Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid. “Britney still thinks the earth is flat,” laughed Stern. “We are going to tune in to see if she can function through the thing.” Stern also dismissed recent criticism by the Parents Television Council that he would be too explicit for NBC primetime. “This is a family show, it’s a different type of entertainment; I know the rules,” he said.
Stern denied today there were ever substantive talks about him joining American Idol as a judge. The radio host admitted, however, that he had been in conversations with ABC last year about creating a judging-type show around him. Without providing details, he said the discussions never really went anywhere. Calling himself a media “elder statesmen,” Stern promised to bring real criticism and a sense of commercial viability to his newest gig. “If America likes me, it’s the best hire NBC ever made,” a suddenly serious Stern said. “I take it as a huge responsibility, I always want to do well for the people who hire me.” The man who once called himself the King of All Media also joked that his judging duties were an audition of a different type for him too. “I’m using this as a stepping stone to my next job on the Supreme Court,” he said.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.