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Howie Mandel Talks About Embracing His Iconic Look: "I Love Turtles"

Whether he’s got dark curly locks, playing around with wigs, or just plain bald, Howie Mandel always owns his look.

By Grace Jidoun

Howie Mandel’s career has evolved over the past 40 years from his part as a handsome doctor on St. Elsewhere to his current role as a funny and incisive Judge on America’s Got Talent. His career isn’t the only thing that’s changed for this beloved Canadian comic; his style has, too.

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

Who can forget his voluminous hair, purple suit, and op-art bolo tie from the ‘80s? We detected a grunge undertone in stand-up routines from the ‘90s — especially when he rocked a goatee as the trickster Mr. Mxyzptlk in a guest appearance on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

In 2005, Howie shot into the spotlight again on his NBC game show, Deal or No Deal, which is coming back this December with Mandel as executive producer. He brought an entirely new look — sans hair. Whether sporting a single hoop earring or fashionable glasses, Howie always dressed to impress with a dark blazer and a smooth head.

Many longtime fans didn’t recognize him as the look didn’t scream “Howie,” but the mischievous smile sure did. After all, this is the man who managed to skid over ice and pop a side wheelie in his car on the first date with his wife, Terry.

Howie Mandel on Embracing His Look

Howie Mandel11

Flashback photos of the comedian’s curly locks never fail to attract attention, and his penchant for playing around with various hats and wigs always charms his fans. When NBC Insider caught up to Howie on the AGT red carpet last week, we asked the burning question on everyone’s mind: Why is everyone so fascinated with his hair?

RELATED: Singing Kids, Spoken Word Poets — Every One of Howie Mandel's Golden Buzzers on AGT

“Because most of my hair right now is in my ears and my nose, so when I can display it outside of those orifices, it’s just special,” he said.

His family seems to be helping with his latest style. The America's Got Talent Judge shared a snapshot on Instagram of him and his 38-year-old daughter, Jackelyn Shultz, posing together in matching neon floral overalls. And recently, his adorable granddaughter, Abbey, gave him a glow-up fashioning “hair” out of tissue paper held together by spoons that she placed on his head.

In the red carpet interview, NBC Insider pressed the Howie Mandel Does Stuff podcaster for insight on how he has learned to embrace his current look. He responded, “Do I have a choice? How do you know I’m embracing it? I love turtles, and I think I look like a turtle.” 

Who doesn't?

The AGT Season 18 competition continues live on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

--- Original reporting by Grace Jidoun