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Everything to Know About America's Got Talent Judge Howie Mandel

The comedian-turned-talent-spotter has been gracing our screens for more than four decades.

By Megan Lasher
Terry Crews & Howie Mandel Play Celebrity Kids Game Hosted By Howie's Daughter

Judges Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara (alongside host Terry Crews) are ready for the latest season of America's Got Talent. Season 18 marks Mandel's 13th time behind the buzzer — but before that, he made a name for himself with his own stand-up comedy success and following television roles. 

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

Revisit Mandel's rise to fame that made him a beloved judge and well-known television personality. 

Where is Howie Mandel from? 

Mandel was born and raised in Canada. He was voted class clown in his high school — but his comedy actually got him expelled, according to his IMDb biography. He went on to begin his stand-up career at the famous Toronto comedy club, Yuk Yuk.

After arriving in Los Angeles, Mandel performed at the Comedy Store, and was ultimately scouted to appear on the game show Make Me Laugh and eventually was invited to be the opening act on a David Letterman tour, leading him to a string of new television opportunities. 

He later appeared in multiple episodes of The Alan Thicke Show and became a "VeeJay" on Nickelodeon for a short while. 

Howie Mandel

What were Howie Mandel's breakthrough television roles?

In 1982, the show St. Elsewhere premiered to much critical acclaim. Mandel played one of the mains characters, Dr. Wayne Fiscus, in a comedic role that lightened the tone of the medical drama. He was on the show for nearly a decade as it became one of his bigger breaks in the entertainment industry. 

As St. Elsewhere solidified his place in Hollywood, Mandel took on new endeavors, like roles in children's television shows (he voiced Skeeter in Muppet Babies) and creating, producing ,and starring in the show Bobby's World (1990). Bobby's World went on to be nominated for four Emmy Awards and further increased Mandel's fame. 

Cast of St. Elsewhere in 1982.

Howie Mandel's Movie Roles

Outside of his prolific television career, Mandel also performed voice acting roles, including voicing Gizmo in the Gremlins movie (1984) and its sequel, as well in Pinocchio 3000 (2003).

His box office fame also included co-starring with Ted Danson in A Fine Mess (1986) and starring in the 2000 film Tribulation. 

Howie Mandel's Comedy Specials

Howie Mandel looking at a camera.

When he's not acting or producing, Mandel  has always been fine-tuning his live performance skills. His comedy specials, The First Howie Mandel Special (1983) and Howie Mandel: Live from Carnegie Mall (1985) kept him in the spotlight  and led to his career as a beloved TV host.

He was ultimately given his own show, The Howie Mandel Show, which ran for two seasons. His last solo television special called Howie Mandel Presents: Howie Mandel at the Howie Mandel Comedy Club, premiered in 2019.

Howie Mandel's Game Shows

Howie Mandel on America's Got Talent.

In 2005, Mandel began hosting the show Deal or No Deal on NBC. Three years after the show's premiere, when Mandel was practically a household name, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his success in television.

In 2009, Mandel began his tenure as a judge on America's Got Talent; 2023 marks his 13th season on the show. 

He also hosted the streaming show Bullshit: The Game Show for one season.

In 2023, it was announced that he would be the executive producer of Deal or No Deal Island, hosted by Joe Manganiello.

Howie Mandel's Books

Mandel used his role as a public figure to bring awareness to Obsessive-Compulsive Disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, two diagnoses he'd been living with privately. He wrote the memoir Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me, which dove into these topics and his own life experiences. 

Howie Mandel's Podcast

Mandel also hosts a podcast, called Howie Mandel Does Stuff, with his daughter. The show is described as "quick-witted and inappropriate" and allows listeners to listen in as the two co-hosts "make prank calls, discuss pop culture, interview interesting people, say weird things, chat with listeners, [and] get deep."

Originally published Jun 7, 2023.