NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider America's Got Talent

Howie Mandel is Almost Unrecognizable in This 35-Year-Old Pic with Denzel Washington

The Season 18 AGT Judge and movie star used to work alongside each other on an iconic '80s medical drama.

By Jessica White
Terry Crews & Howie Mandel Play Celebrity Kids Game Hosted By Howie's Daughter

You know him, you love him, and you've seen him pop up everywhere from iconic 80s drama to your TikTok for you page; America's Got Talent Judge Howie Mandel is a multi-talented man. But before the successful podcastscomedy specials, or life-changing Golden Buzzer moments, Mandel got his big break on a beloved medical series St. Elsewhere.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 19 premiere of America’s Got Talent Tuesday, May 28 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

Running for six Emmy-nominated seasons from 1982 to 1988, the NBC medical drama featured many iconic performers, including Mandel as the fun-loving comic relief, Dr. Wayne Fiscus. Other performers among the star-studded lineup include Denzel Washington, Mark Harmon, Christina Pickles, and more. Washington played Dr. Phil Chandler, one of Mandel's more stoic scene partners, and it led to many must-watch moments between the two characters. 

In honor of the series ending 35 years ago, Mandel took to Instagram to show St. Elsewhere some love. He shared a truly fantastic BTS snap of himself and Washington kicking it in costume as Chandler and Fiscus. We know what you're wondering, and yes, Mandel had hair during this iconic era, and yes, Washington doesn't look like he's aged a single day in the meantime. 

Mandel captioned the May 27 IG post, "#time this show ended 35 years ago yesterday."

After St. Elsewhere celebrated the series' 40th anniversary, Mandel spoke to PEOPLE about the honor of starring in an iconic series alongside such cherished acts. 

"I have no idea what I was doing when I was doing it," Mandel said. "But when you think back and look at it from that perspective, the kids that I was playing with, Denzel Washington, Tim Robbins — I think it was his first job. Ray Liotta and all the great writers who went on and directors who went on to direct much bigger things and amazing things. I'm a part of television history, which makes me thrilled to be a small part."

Split iamge of Howie Mandel and Denzel Washington

Fast forward to 2023, and Mandel is gearing up for the exciting Season 18 premiere of America's Got Talent alongside fellow Judges Simon CowellHeidi KlumSofia Vergara, and host Terry Crews. Mandel has been proudly bringing the laughs as an AGT Judge for 14 years, and in an April interview with NBC Insider, Mandel revealed the reason why he keeps returning to the Judges' panel. 

“What is considered talent evolves,” Mandel explained, adding that it's the same for “what will bowl you over, especially as somebody who’s been here that long. I am jaded.”

“But I’m telling you, I am continuously bowled over,” Madel revealed. “People from all walks of life, from all corners of this planet, have the ability to come and bowl us over. And that’s amazing.”