Howard spoke live via telephone to his predecessor Piers Morgan on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight Thursday to assuage the fears of those who don't believe he is well suited for the position. "Whatever you think of me, I'm honest. I give an honest opinion," said Stern. "I'm looking to be a very good judge. I take it seriously."
Despite his often X-rated reputation , he reassures America that contrary to public opinion, he is not "some sort of weird pervert who's going to convert Americans into zombie sex fiends." An admitted fan of the show, Stern says his ambition is not to make waves in the competition; he simply wants to "find real talent."
Stern joins returning judges Sharon Osborne and Howie Mandel. The show begins shooting new episodes in February.