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Howie Mandel Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (27)  | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (3)

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth NameHowie Michael Mandel II
Height 5' 9¾" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The story goes that huggable, highly affable stand-up comedian Howie Mandel began his show biz career by chance while catching amateur night at the Comedy Store on the L.A. Sunset Strip during a vacation. Goaded on by friends to try out, a producer spotted him, hired him for an appearance on a comedy game show and the rest is history. Talk about luck! Howie would move from this to TV celebrity, screenwriter, actor, producer, director, entrepreneur, and popular game show panelist/host.

Curly-haired Jewish-Canadian Howard Michael Mandel II was born in Toronto, Ontario on November 29 1955, and raised there. Of Romanian and Polish descent, and a distant cousin of Israeli violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, he proved to be a highly controversial class clown in high school and was expelled for some costly antics. He soon found work as a carpet salesman while hitting the stage at night as a cut-up at Toronto's Yuk Yuk's comedy club. His routine, which included extremely bizarre sight gags, which were favorably received. And then in 1978, he traveled to the States, visited the L.A. Comedy Store, and stayed.

While a regular performer at the popular Sunset Strip club, a producer for the syndicated comedy game show Make Me Laugh (1979) caught his act and booked Howie for a series of appearances during its short-lived 1979-1980 series. This led to a big step as an opening act for David Letterman, a CBS comedy special in 1980, several late-night appearances on "The Alan Thicke Show," and a lead role in the wacky but poorly-received Canadian film comedy Gas (1981) also starring Susan Anspach. He also showed up as one of the original "VeeJays" on Nickelodeon's music video series.

A pleasing, agreeable comedian who quickly graduated to TV talk shows and Vegas gigs, Howie earned household attention when cast in the critically-acclaimed medical TV drama St. Elsewhere (1982). Providing comic relief as bushy-headed Dr. Wayne Fiscus, he continuing to work as a comedian and take a shot at 80's comedy film stardom. He played a young comic in the film The Funny Farm (1983); provided the voice of Gizmo in the box-office hit Gremlins (1984) and its sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990); co-starred with Ted Danson in Blake Edwards' comedy caper A Fine Mess (1986); co-starred with Christopher Lloyd as a wolf boy returning to civilization in Walk Like a Man (1987); and co-starred with young Fred Savage as a blue humanoid who introduces him to the world of weird creatures in Little Monsters (1989). These co-starring vehicles, however, failed to generate major box-office or stardom.

On TV, Howie provided the voice of Skeeter in the animated cartoon series Muppet Babies (1984). Having a strong affinity for children, he ventured into his own kid series with the Emmy-nominated Bobby's World (1990) serving as creator, executive producer and title star vocals as Bobby Generic. In the 1990's, Howie starred in a short-lived "dark comedy" series Good Grief (1990) in which he fell into the funeral business. This was followed by his own failed talk show The Howie Mandel Show (1998) during the 1998-1999 season. Throughout the decade, which included guest appearances on "Lois & Clark," "Carol & Company," "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Bless This House," "The Nanny," "The Outer Limits" and "Sunset Beach," managed a near-full time schedule of concerts, tours, cartoon voiceovers and TV comedy specials, the last-mentioned keeping him current with viewers The First Howie Mandel Special (1983) and Howie Mandel: Live from Carnegie Mall (1985).

In 2006, Howie his pay dirt as the (now) bald-domed host of the game show Deal or No Deal (2005). The show ran for four seasons, but returned for a season a decade later. Over time Howie appeared in scores of TV commercials for Boston Pizza as their hired spokesperson. In April 2004, he was selected as #82 on Comedy Central's list of the "100 Greatest Stand Up Comedians of All Time." On September 4, 2008, Mandel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Comedy Central listed him as #82 on their list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time. That same year he revealed that he has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was involved in raising adult ADHD awareness.

In 2009, Howie served as star and executive producer of his own "Candid Camera"-like practical joke reality show Howie Do It (2008). It lasted one season. Two years later, he premiered a flash-mob reality show called Mobbed (2011), which did even less well. For the past decade, he has enjoyed stability as a judge on the reality show America's Got Talent (2006).

Married to Terry (Soil) Mandel since 1980 with three children, Howie received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto in 2009. Mandel has written and published an in-depth OCD, ADHD-themed autobiography Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (2)

Spouse Terry Mandel (16 March 1980 - present)  (3 children)
Children Riley Mandell
Alex Mandel
Jackelyn Shultz

Trade Mark (4)

Clean-Shaven Head
Does double "fist pound" with contestants on Deal or No Deal (2005)
"Dust bunny" beard
Pulling a surgical glove over his head to just past his nose, then blowing it up with his nose from inside.

Trivia (27)

Has three children: daughters Jackie (b. 1984) and Riley Mandell (b. 1992) and son Alex Mandel (b. 1989).
An alumnus of Beth David B'nai Israel Beth Am's Hebrew School where he celebrated his bar mitzvah.
Once an opening act for Diana Ross in Las Vegas.
He was expelled from his high school in Toronto after pretending to be from the school board and convincing a local construction company to start construction of an addition onto the high school.
Suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and mysophobia (fear of germs). As a result, he will not shake hands with people.
Instead of shaking hands, a tap fist became a sort of his signature.
Friend of Jay Leno.
Has a bikini wax named after him, for his clean-shaven head.
Was once food poisoned by eating contaminated chicken.
His daughter, Jackelyn Shultz, is a teacher.
Received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto on September 19, 2009. He is the third game show host to be inducted (the first was Monty Hall in 2002 and the second was Alex Trebek in 2006).
His road manager is Rich Thurber.
Best known by the public for his role as Dr. Wayne Fiscus on St. Elsewhere (1982).
His idol was Julie London.
His acting mentor was William Daniels.
Release of his book, "Here's the Deal, Don't Touch Me" by Howie with Josh Young. [December 2009]
Hospitalized for irregular heartbeat in Toronto, Canada. [January 2009]
Mandel suffers from ADHD.
Revealed that he had a wonderful chemistry with William Daniels on St. Elsewhere (1982).
Along with William Daniels, Ed Begley Jr., Stephen Furst and David Morse, Mandel attended the 100th Birthday of his acting mentor Norman Lloyd on 9 November 2014.
Has highly praised William Daniels for his stardom in doing stand up comedy, in addition to acting and producing.
Stage actor William Daniels took Mandel, under his wing, when he was 26.
As an actor, he was highly influenced by William Daniels.
Credits William Daniels as his favorite acting mentor/best friend.
Is colorblind.
Four of his close friends and fellow comedians Norm MacDonald, Bob Saget, Louie Anderson and Gilbert Gottfried all passed away in a 7-month window from September 2021 to April 2022 (all of them in their 60s). Mandel stated it was one of the biggest 'blows' he's had in losing friends/fellow comedians.
First shaved his head during a particularly bad bout of his mysophobia. Has been clean shaven ever since.

Personal Quotes (8)

I'm from Canada, so Thanksgiving to me is just Thursday with more food. And I'm thankful for that.
[Who was leery about Deal or No Deal (2005)'s structure, until Rob first explained to him]: I thought it was a joke. Rob had this project board that looked like it had been made by an eight-year-old doing a school arts and crafts project. It made what I now know to be 'the board.' There were all these numbers and amounts on the board, and he cut out these little cards, which were the cases...I was looking at my buddy who I was sitting with, and I was going, 'This is a joke. I'm waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come around any minute.' Then [Rob] started playing the game with me, and I started getting into the game.
[If he joked a lot when he was attending school]: Yes, but nobody thought I was that funny. I was kind of a misfit, actually. When you're young, you want to be like everybody else, and I was like nobody else. I couldn't sit still. I was impulsive. I still am. What is now called a 'talent' did not serve me well as a child. I didn't have friends. I was really an outcast.
I thought that was funny, but nobody else did. I was mostly entertaining myself, though. My parents both had a great sense of humor, and always laughed a lot. One night, when they were watching Candid Camera, I finally understood what comedy was all about. I heard the laughter on television, I turned around and saw my parents laughing, and that's when I thought: 'This is great. This is what I can do. I'm gonna prank somebody.'
[Who always gave a damn, about adoring Norman Lloyd, who starred in St. Elsewhere (1982)]: I love Norman Lloyd. He is a legend. I have spent hours like a little kid while he regaled us with stories of Hitchcock. He teaches, he entertains. He is a legend!
[on his on- and off-screen chemistry with Norman Lloyd, who played Dr. Daniel Auschlander]: He was very inspirational between scenes, always cheering up everybody, and always smiles when Norman Lloyd passed through!
[Of Norman Lloyd]: Norman Lloyd is a great actor and is still around and certainly he was like a really good friend. He could regale us as stores -- He was in 'Spellbound' - Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945). He had great old Hollywood stories and connections that none of us 'youngins' had the experience. It was just fun to sit around and talk to him and hear the stories, I don't know if he was like a grandfather, he never lend me money or anything like that. He was certainly great to work with him, whenever I bump into him still, it's always a thrill.
I don't believe anybody's actually reading this magazine online. If they're online, they're looking at porn. [laughter] ABILITY is what they click to when their wife comes into the room: What are you doing? Reading that article from ABILITY, honey.

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