The protean actor, Howie Mandel who is equally comfortable with stand-up comedy is known worldwide as Dr. Wayne Fiscus the character he portrayed in the 1982 drama series, St. Elsewhere. He is also a voice actor who has lent his voice in several movies and television series such as Bobby’s World and Gremlins. His work as a comedian can be seen in many comedy clubs, particularly in the Comedy Store. The versatile actor is also a producer who has gone ahead to produce many award-winning films and TV shows including The Howie Mandel Show, Bobby’s World, and Deal With It.
In addition, Howie has gained immense popularity as the host of the noted game show, Deal or No Deal, USA and Canada versions, and as the judge of the top-rated reality television show, America’s Got Talent. He proved to also be a great writer when he published his best-seller autobiography, Here’s The Deal: Don’t Touch Me.
The Comedy Game Show, Make Me Laugh was a Stepping Stone to His Comedy Career
He started his career in the entertainment industry as a comedian by making an appearance at the Yuk Yuks in Toronto towards the end of the 1970s and later performed at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles while on a trip to the city of angels. This led to the comedian being hired as a regular performer.
While performing his act, luck smiled on Mandel when one of the producers responsible for the production of the syndicated comedy game show titled Make Me Laugh scouted him, and subsequently, the rising comedian was booked for several appearances in the show’s run from 1979 to 1980. During the summer of 1979, Howie Mandel was booked to open for David Letterman Shows. He was later signed on for a TV special after the head of variety programming at CBC-TV witnessed his onscreen performance in October 1979.
He Earned His Big Break with St. Elsewhere
The following year, the quick-witted comedian started his career in the movies by starring in the 1980 film, Gas as Matt Lloyd together with Donald Sutherland and Susan Anspach. Nickelodeon’s music video series Pop Clips has him as one of the series first “VeeJays. However, it was his six-year run on St. Elsewhere that brought him to public attention in the United States. The series which started airing in 1982 featured him as Dr. Wayne Fiscus alongside the likes of Norman Lloyd and Ed Flanders. The highly acclaimed NBC medical drama series came to a conclusion in 1988. The series made a super hit, earning many awards and nominations including winning 13 Emmy Awards.
Howie later appeared as Larry Pound in the comedy film, The Funny Farm. He then lent his voice to Gizmo in the comedy film, Gremlins, and its sequel and also displayed his unique talent as he voiced three different characters, Skeeter, Bunsen Honeydew, and Animal in the 1984 CBS animated TV series, Muppet Babies.
1985 saw the comedian in a cameo role in The Iceman Hummeth by Michael J. Fox, subsequently, Night with David Letterman aired the show in November 1995. The next year, he appeared alongside Ted Danson in A Fine Mess. Howie Mandel embarked on the Watusi Tour, performing his stand-up comedy act in several cities after which he launched his Watusi music video in 1987. The same year, he joined the cast of the comedy movie Walk Like a Man, starring Amy Steel.
Mandel came in 1989 movie Little Monsters as Maurice, he was part of the short-lived Fox sitcom Good Grief in 1990, as well as created and functioned as the executive producer of Bobby’s World – an Emmy-nominated children’s animated series that ran from 1990–1998; Howie also lent his voice to the title character and his father in the series.
His self Titled Comedy Show Was Birthed in 1992
It was in 1992 that the entertainer’s self-titled comedy show Howie started airing weekly with several guest stars like Little Richard, Gilbert Gottfried, and Lita Ford as the in-house band guitarist. Mandel’s character Bobby appeared regularly on the show. He was part of the game Tuneland, voicing the lead character, Little Howie. In 1995, the comedian played the lead in the sketch comedy series Howie Mandel’s Sunny Skies on Showtime and before the year ran out; he appeared in Summer’s Comin’ – a music video by Clint Black.
His other productions include The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys as the professor, as DC Comics supervillain Mister Mxyzptlk in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and his own syndicated talk show titled The Howie Mandel Show, which was canceled after a single season. Howie came in Apocalypse III: Tribulation playing Jason, he was part of 2000’s The Tangerine Bear as the voice of Jack and appeared in Hansel and Gretel as the Sand Man. Others are Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (a parody of Deal or No Deal), NBC’s Medium, Fits Like a Glove, My Name is Earl, and Monk.
His Works as a Producer, Host, And Author
In addition, Howie Mandel has done some works as a producer and his production credits include On My Way Out, Caraoke Showdown, and The Secret Life of Nani and Popi. The award-winning actor earned tremendous fame as the host of the illustrious game show, Deal or No Deal, USA, and its Canada version. Following that, he has hosted many TV shows which include Mobbed, Take It All, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards ceremony. Presently, he is the longest-serving judge of the American talent-hunt show, America’s Got Talent.
Furthermore, Mandel has penned a best-seller autobiography, Here’s The Deal: Don’t Touch Me where he enclosed the details of the Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that he has been suffering from since he was little.
Howie Mandel Battles With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
All through his life, Howie has been battling with obsessive-compulsive disorder which can come in several forms including mysophobia. In his case, the anxiety is so much that he developed an aversion to shaking hands with people; this includes excited contestants on the set of Deal or No Deal. Howie only gets to shake hands with people with his gloves on, alternatively, he offers them fist bumps, occasional hugs, or a pat on the shoulder. On one occasion, he surprisingly pecked one of the female contestants for good luck.
The famed comedian is now on medication to tackle the condition and is presently more relaxed about it that he can publicly poke fun at himself for it. While on The Howard Stern Show on the 24th of March 2006, Howie Mandel revealed that he shaved his head as a result of his battle with OCD, just to feel cleaner. His mental condition makes him so vulnerable that he gets easily irritated by minor things; the comedian built a small getaway house in his compound where he stays in isolation if a family member falls sick.
Mandel Was Born To European Jewish Parents
The actor who has dazzled in the entertainment industry for over three decades was born in Willowdale, Toronto, Canada on 29th November 1955; he spent a better part of his formative years in the city of his birth. His parents Al Mandel and Evy Mandel are originally Jewish whose ancestors migrated from Poland and Romania.
Howie is a distant cousin of Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman. His father, Al Mandel was a real estate broker who also worked in a lightings production company. Howie Mandel was infected with Myiasis by a sandfly when he was a child during a trip to Florida with his mother. The infection which was later cured was what caused him to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) from an early age.
The Entertainer Has Been Married For Over Four Decades
Mandel has been married to one woman for four decades and counting – a great feat for anyone in Hollywood considering its high rate of divorce.
Howie and Terry Soil met when they were just 12 years old at their town’s YMCA, however, they never thought of going on a date until high school. Their early dating days saw Howie driving his lady love to the movies in his mum’s Cutlass Supreme in which they once had an accident.
The veteran actor exchanged marriage vows with his longtime girlfriend Terry Soil Mandel on the 16th of March 1980. The couple’s marriage is blessed with three children. Their first child, Jackelyn who was born in 1984 is a teacher, she married Alex Shultz on 22nd July 2013 and together they share a daughter.
His second daughter, Riley Mandel was born in 1992 and has appeared as a model on one episode of Deal or No Deal, while his son, Alex Mandel, born in 1989 is an American actor and director.