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Voices of Polonia; Howie Mandel- Man of Many Talents

By Ted Rajchel

Howie Mandel —A Man of Many Talents


Howard Mandel is a Canadian comedian, television personality, screenwriter, actor, producer, director, entrepreneur, and game show host. He hosted the CNB (originally NBC) game show Deal or No Deal. In 1987 Mandel starred alongside Amy Steel in the comedy film Walk Like a Man. From 1982-1988 Mandel played rowdy ER intern, Dr. Wayne Fiscus, on the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere.  He also created, voiced, and starred in Fox’s children cartoon Bobby’s World, and is a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Early Life

Mandel was born and raised in the Willowdale area of North Toronto, Ontario, Canada, born on November 29, 1955.  He is Jewish and his ancestors emigrated from Poland and Romania.  He is also a distant cousin of Israeli violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Mandel’s father was a lighting manufacturer and a real estate agent. Growing up, Howie Mandel was a class clown.  He was especially fond of staging pranks on friends and family. His antics got him expelled from three high schools.   He was expelled from William Lyon MacKenzie High School for impersonating a school official and hiring a construction company to add an addition to the school.  He earned a high school equivalency diploma. Afterward, Mandel worked as a door to door carpet salesman.  He was good at his work and grew the business, turning it into a successful retail operation with two stores. On a business trip to Los Angeles in 1979, his life changed forever.  Mandel decided to put his comic talents to the test at the comedy store’s amateur night.  He did well enough to impress a television producer, who hired him to appear on the comedy game show Make Me Laugh and booked Mandel for several appearances during his show’s run in 1979 and 1980. He was booked to open for David Letterman at shows in the summer of 1979. CRC-TV’s head of variety programming saw his performance in October 1979 and immediately signed him for a TV special.  In 1980 he won the lead role in the Canadian movie, Gas, co-starring Susan Anspach, and Donald Sutherland.

Mandel and Film Career

Mandel came to national attention in the United States during a six-year run on St. Elsewhere, starting in 1982 and playing the role of Dr. Wayne Fiscus, opposite Ed Flanders and Norman Lloyd. While working as Dr. Fiscus and continuing to work as a comedian, Mandel also did movies, including providing the voice of Gizmo in the 1984 hit Gremlins and its 1990 sequel Gremlins 2:The New Batch. In 1985 Mandel made a cameo in the Michael J. Fox directed short: The Iceman Hummeth”, which was subsequently broadcast on Late Night with David Letterman in November 1985.  In 1986 he starred in a Fine Mess alongside Ted Danson. He performed his stand-up comedy act in several cities (The Watusi Tour), which was followed by his Watusi music video in 1987.  For the first two seasons of Muppet Babies, he voiced Bunsen Honeydew, Animal, and Skeeter.  He starred alongside Amy Steel in the 1987 comedy film Walk Like a Man.  He was also “Maurice” in the 1989 movie Little Monsters. In 1990 he starred in the short-lived sitcom Good Grief on Fox.   He was also the creator and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated children’s animated series Bobby’s World (1980-1988) to which he supplied the voices of the title character and his father.  Bobby’s World ran for eight seasons on Fox and was later syndicated. 1992 saw the weekly airing of his self-titled comedy show, Howie, with multiple guest stars, such as Gil ert Gottfried, Little Richard, and Lita Ford as the in house band guitarist. His character, Bobby, made a regular appearance on the show. He played the lead role of the professor in the short-lived series The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, and guest-starred on a 1996 episode of the ABC-TV series Lois and Clark. Mandel’s signature stunt as a stand-up comedian was stretching a latex glove over his head and inflating it with his nostrils filling it until it suddenly propelled itself off his head. This trick also lent itself to the title and cover photo of his comedy album, Fits Like a Glove (1986). He eventually gave up the routine under doctor’s orders after being diagnosed with a perforated sinus.  However, in a cameo role as himself on My Name is Earl, he did the routine. He guest-starred in two episodes of Monk (“Mr. Monk Joins a Cult” and “Mr. Monk’s 100th Case”).

His Frequent Appearances

Mandel is known for his frequent appearances as a comedian and his hidden camera segments on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has appeared in many television commercials for Boston Pizza as their hired spokesperson. In April 2004, he was selected as Number 82 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time.  In October of 2005, he was named to be the host of the U.S. version of Deal or No Deal, which debuted on December 19, 2000, on NBC and became a popular program in early 2006. Mandel also hosted Deal or No Deal Canada from Toronto. Mandel joins Alex Trebek, Jim Perry,  and  Goeff Edwards on the list of game show hosts who emceed one game show simultaneously in Canada and The United States. In 2007 Mandel made an appearance in an episode of Sesame Street’s 39’h season. That same year, he was on the show as Howie Eatswell, the Muppet host of Sesame’s game show segment, “Meal or No Meal”. Mandel had a cameo appearance as himself on the NBC show My  Name is Earl, in the episode where Earl’s roommates robbed an Indian casino at which Mandel was performing,  While stealing money, they also kidnapped Mandel.  In the episode, Mandel performed his old routine of inflating a rubber glove over his head with his nostrils. On March 31, 2011, he premiered a flash-mob show on Fox called Mobbed. Originally a presentation pilot, the ratings after American Idol, prompted Fox to pick up the show for eight to ten episodes. On November 30, 2012, he hosted the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony.  On December 10, 2018, his six-night special game show Take It All premiered.

Deal or No Deal

In 2003 while Mandel was deciding whether or not to quit show business, the executive producers at NBC asked him to host the show, but he declined many times.  They then mailed him a tape of the overseas version and he finally accepted. In 2007 he hosted a five-episode run of the Canadian-English version Deal or No Deal Canada.  The show then went to daytime with Mandel remaining at host, although Arsenio Hall was originally intended to host the show.  In a January 2009 interview on any time with Bob Kushell, Mandel expressed mild, jovial frustration over how some of his contestants hold out during the game show despite the fact the grand prize in many times was what they would make in a year.

America’s Got Talent

In January 2010 it was announced that Mandel would replace David Hasselhoff as one of the judges on NBC’s America’s Got Talent after Hasselhoff announced that he was leaving to work on a new television series. Out of all the judges on the show, Mandel currently has the longest tenure than any other judge or host, spanning eleven consecutive seasons. “America’s Got Talent” has gone through many different facelifts at the judging panel, but one person has stayed put for the past 11 seasons—Howie Mandel. This Canadian comedian originally joined up with NBC’s reality TV show in season 5, where he had big shoes to fill as a David Hasselhoff’s replacement. Over the past decade, Howie has made a name for himself as the funniest and wildest panelist, but also someone with a keen eye for talent. Four reasons why Howie Mandel is simply the best judge: Reason One: He is very loyal as a judge. Reason Two: He knows talent and has an eye for it. Reason Three: He brings out all the funny things on the show. He is the biggest champion for stand-up comedy. Howie got big laughs when he burped at Kelvin Dukes as a way to make the 14-year-old singer feel better about his prior embarrassing moment. “I can’t believe you just did that”, Simon Cowel scolded.  “Oh, Simon, don’t take yourself so seriously all the timer, replied Howie. Reason Four: Simon and Howie have developed a special bond that really stands out on camera. “Oh, my God, I miss you so much!”, Howie said in the premiere when he saw Simon for the first time this season. “A lot of sparks are flying” between the two buddies at the judges’ table”.

His Career Became Great

Since he marked his success on early television shows, he got national attention.  Howie has been nominated for and has won various awards. Some of them include a Primetime Emmy Award, Gemini Award, Golden Apple Award, and others. He still continues his career and is appearing in new projects. Let’s hope that he will be able to work like this for a long time In addition to his awards for specific performances, in 2008 Mandel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and then in 2009, a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.

Howie’s Personal Life

He married Terry Soil in    1980.  They have three children.  Despite the fame and success that he has, Howie also suffers from some health problems, including attention deficiency syndrome, which fortunately does not appear to affect his career. He is always able to look happy and make other people content. Howie Mandel is one of the most hardworking and interesting of personalities. His fans are waiting for him to appear in other shows and movies, so let’s hope that this will happen soon. Howie’s net worth is $80 million, most of this huge sum of money having been gained during his long career as an actor. Howie is respected among other actors and if often wanted by different producers.

By Ted Rajchel


References: I. Howie Mandel—Wikipedia 2. Howie Mandel is Simply the Best”America’s Got Talent” 3.Howie Mandel—Wife, Kids, & Age Biography 4. Howie Mandel—New Worth Biography, Wife, Family, Salary 5. Howie Mandel Net Worth 2008: Wiki, Married, Family. Wedding


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