On the second day of New York City auditions for Season 7 of "America's Got Talent," it was a night for laughs, as two comedians stood out, and judge Howard Stern's antics cracked up his fellow judges and the audience.In a clear set-up, Howard called his own father up to talk truth to a deluded contestant, Ronald Charles, who believed he had singing and dancing skills, despite evidence to the contrary. The elder Stern, who was sitting in the audience but was already miked, joined Howard onstage to tell the hapless 23-year-old in bright-blue jeggings and blue fingerless gloves, "Don't be stupid, you moron. Now, you have to sit down and think this over carefully. First of all, you have to make a living." When Howard asked his dad what sort of profession the young guy should pursue instead, he mused and said, "That's hard to say at this point."
In an even more entertaining bit, Howard danced with the male revue The Savage Men, who were actually quite tame. The tall, skinny star had more confidence than all four of the buff male dancers combined. Howard's strutting, posing and pointing brought the house down. If he had been a permanent part of the act, they would have made it to Vegas.
Two comedians impressed the judges. The first was John Pizza, a comedian/ventriloquist who had developed animated avatars of all three judges which he could project on a large screen and control. As he delivered his material, which was silly and on point, he controlled not only the mouths but also eye movements and other facial expressions. It was clear that this was all done live, because he was capable of improvising during a post-performance interview with the judges.
The second comedian, Tom Cotter, was more of a traditional stand-up act, drawing his humor from self-deprecating jokes about an exaggerated personal life. For example, he started by saying, "I was the youngest in my family. I was always getting beat up by the oldest, Mom and Dad." Sharon Osbourne loved his timing, and Howie Mandel gave him a standing ovation, declaring himself a big fan. Both comedians made it to Vegas by unanimous vote.
Other highlights of the evening included:
- Crazeehorse (as they're labeled on the official site; a.k.a. Donovan and Rebecca, according to the graphics), an acrobalance and aerial act whose gravity-defying moves demonstrated both balance and strength. One signature move, where Donovan anchored his head in Rebecca's crotch and extended his body parallel to the floor, will surely be snarked on "The Soup."
- All-Beef Patty, a plus-sized drag queen whose rendition of Lady Gaga's "You and I" was more melodic than many of this season's would-be singers. She made it to Vegas with three yeses.
- Tyrese Green, a.k.a. Stepz, a dance instructor whose innovative pop-and-lock dancing divided the judges. Howard told the dancer he was talented but that it wan't "the type of act people will pay for." He voted no. Howie thought the moves were unique and that there was an audience for it, so he voted yes. While Sharon also questioned his ability to fill stadiums, she thought Stepz was talented enough to proceed to the Vegas round. With two votes, he's moving on.
- A mish-mash of amusingly bad acts, ranging from a group of mimes whose entire act consisted of looking distressed; a Roy Orbison lookalike in an oversized yellow-and-black jacket who asked the judges to give rock 'n' roll a chance, causing Howie to quip, "The best thing we can do for rock 'n' roll is to say no to you"; a snorting woman; and a roller-skating couple who could be easily out-danced by Howard's elderly parents.