Watch Howard Stern Hug a 7-Year-Old Rapper

The above clip (via EW) demonstrates why we still can’t get into America’s Got Talent, even if Howard Stern, one of our all-time favorite entertainers, is sitting on the judges’ panel in hopes he can build some buzz for the country’s leading prime-time showcase for vertigo-afflicted jugglers, sub-SYTYCD crews, and geriatric crooners. (And get some free publicity for his Sirius show.) We don’t want to see him comforting a 7-year-old rapper he’s reduced to tears with his dream-killing X button, then spin out into five minutes of anguished, theatrical hand-wringing about how he’s “not cut out” for the rigors of freak-show buzzer operating, we want to see him emotionally brutalizing Baba Booey for forgetting to set up a studio mic, utterly without fear for the psychological consequences. The only way he can truly save the AGT format is to demand that at least once per show, he gets to zip line down to the stage in his Fartman regalia and dispatch a failing act with a deafening clap of ass-thunder. Failing that, give him a laser pointer, a paintball gun, a pneumatic cannon that fires mayonnaise-slathered chunks of bologna. Or get Eric the Actor up there to recite a monologue from this week’s Grey’s Anatomy while riding a tiny rocking horse. Let Richard and Sal try to shake Howie Mandel’s hand after leaving a backstage restroom without washing up. Something. Anything. Let’s go with the bologna cannon — that sounds like fun.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have about 14 riveting, perfect hours of American Idol finale to sit through in the next two days. Good day, sirs!

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Mark Lisanti is an editor at Grantland.

Archive @ marklisanti