Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Family: Married to wife Terry, three children
Trademarks: Bald head, voice of "Bobby" in animated series and stand-up routines
How He Got His Start:
Howie Mandel didn't start off on the path to fame and fortune in the entertainment world. After high school, he actually started his career as a carpet salesman in Toronto.
While in L.A. with some friends in 1979, Mandel took a dare to get up on stage during an amateur comedy night at The Comedy Store. It was a great night to accept a dare, as there was a producer sitting in the audience who saw something in Mandel. This producer had Mandel placed on the game show Make Me Laugh, and soon he was hitting the talk show circuit as a featured comedian. He also opened for singer Diana Ross on one of her tours.
Making his Mark:
In 1982, a golden opportunity came along for Mandel. He took on the role of Dr. Wayne Fiscus in the hit medical drama St. Elsewhere, and became a household name. Two years later, he was the voice of Gizmo in the blockbuster movie Gremlins.
During this time, Mandel was also touring North America and performing his stand-up comedy routines. One of his comedy bits was the character "Bobby," who was four years old and had audiences in stitches over his view of world around him. Bobby became one of Mandel's trademarks, and evolved into an animated television show and series of DVDs called Bobby's World, in which Mandel provided the voices of Bobby Generic and his father.
'Deal or No Deal':
After doing his own sketch comedy show on Showtime called Howie Mandel's Sunny Skies, as well as an attempt at a syndicated talk show, Mandel was approached to become the host of NBC's new game show Deal or No Deal in 2005. He was hesitant at first, but eventually warmed up to the idea.
Deal or No Deal has taken off and become a smash hit with viewers, in no small part due to the warmth and humor Mandel brings to the show. In September 2008, Deal or No Deal becomes both a prime time game as well as a daily syndicated installment, and Mandel will be hosting both shows. He'll also be the host and producer of an "unscripted comedy show" called Howie Do It.
Awards and Recognition:
- 1998 -- Golden Apple Award for "Male Discovery of the Year"
- 1998 -- Gemini Award Nominee for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series" for The Outer Limits
- 2008 -- Emmy Award Nominee for "Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program" for Deal or No Deal
- Mandel is a germaphobe, and prefers to "fist-bump" with contestants on Deal or No Deal rather than shake hands. This is also one of the reasons he shaved his head.
- He provided several of the voices for the Muppet Babies series.
- Mandel currently does over 200 live comedy shows a year in addition to his hosting duties on Deal or No Deal.
- He's made cameo appearances on many sitcoms and dramas including Medium, where he played himself in Allison's dream as she was disqualified from Deal or No Deal for using her abilities to choose cases.
"That’s the hardest part of the show for me. I cannot say to them – as a parent and as a husband and, first and foremost, as a human being – [what to do]. When you say you’re in debt and you don’t know where your future is, how do you turn down a quarter of a million dollars?" – In an interview with The Trades
"I didn't think this would go through the roof, but I thought, at least I won't be as embarrassed because I could say, 'Well, Regis tried it.' So I taped the show and had a lot of fun doing it." – In an interview with Bank Rate