Howard Stern — the best of all the judges on America’s Got Talent — knows talent simply because he’s seen so much of it. Watching Stern dispense his hard-won insight and wisdom on AGT is like watching billionaire Mark Cuban work on Shark Tank. The reason is the same: the sheer amount of deal flow Cuban sees means he’s got an edge. It’s just like the sheer amount of talent Stern sees. Stern is to budding entertainers what Cuban is to budding entrepreneurs. (Interestingly, both emphasize hard work — knowing what it takes to make it beyond just an idea and inspiration.)
For decades entertainers of every sort have guested on Stern’s radio show — a sort of entertainment deal flow like what a venture capitalist might see in tech. The self-styled King of All Media has become so powerful — with his huge and loyal audience — that nearly every entertainer pushing a new project has to pitch it on Stern’s show. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rumer Willis, Jon Stewart, Ed Sheeran, Robert Downey, Jr., Ronda Rousey and Sofia Vergara? That’s a typical Stern lineup. Everybody drops by. Howard Stern is surrounded by talent the way a fish is surrounded by water — or a shark is. Howard Stern and Mark Cuban see things the others don’t see.