Deal or No Deal
Canadian TV host, comedian and actor Howie Mandel achieved national prominence in the U.S. with his portrayal of Dr. Wayne Fiscus in the Emmy nominated medical drama “St. Elsewhere” (NBC, 1982-1988). He continued to earn success as the star and creator of the children's cartoon “Bobby's World” (Fox, 1990-1998). He said, “When I went into ‘Bobby's World,’ I had no idea it would be a success. I had been doing the Bobby voice as part of my nightclub adult act for years.”
Mandel is recognized as host of the NBC game show “Deal or No Deal” (2005-2009), from which he netted an Emmy nomination for his work. He also hosted the show's daytime version (2008-2010, earned a 2009 Daytime Emmy nomination) and the Canadian (2007) version of the show. His movie credits include “Gas” (1981), “Gremlins” (1984) and its sequel “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” (1990), “Walk Like a Man” (1987), “Little Monsters” (1989), “Tribulation” (2000) and “Hansel & Gretel” (2002). One of Comedy Central's “100 Greatest Standups of All Time,” Mandel began his career as a standup comedian in Canada in 1978 and was spotted at The Comedy Store while visiting Los Angeles. He has also appeared in several television specials.
On September 4, 2008, Mandel was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A year later, on September 19, 2009, he received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, making him the third game show host to earn the honor after Monty Hall in 2002 and Alex Trebek in 2006.
Mandel is married and has three children. He is friends with Jay Leno. He suffers from OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and Mysophobia (fear of germs) so does not shake hands. He also has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a fact revealed on the “Live with Regis and Kelly” show in 2008.
Childhood and Family:
The son of a lighting manufacturer and realtor, Howie Mandel was born Howie Michael Mandel II on November 29, 1955, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Growing up, he became a class clown and was kicked out of Northview Secondary School after impersonating a member of the school board and signing up a construction company to add an addition to his school. Howie then took a job as a carpet salesman before eventually finding success as a standup comedian at a comedy club in Toronto.
On March 16, 1980, Howie married Terry Soil, whom he met in high school. His first child, daughter Jackie Mandel, was born in 1984. His second child, son Alex Mandel and third child, daughter Riley Paige Mandel, were born in 1989 and 1992, respectively.
Following a stint as a carpet salesman, Howie Mandel began performing standup in Toronto. While traveling to Los Angeles in 1979, Howie performed on amateur night at The Comedy Store and caught the attention of a producer of the game show “Make Me Laugh,” on which he would demonstrate his comic talent during the show's run in 1979. He also became a regular performer at The Comedy Store and performed in various comedy clubs throughout the U.S. He also served as an opening act for popular musicians, such as Diana Ross. In 1981, he made his feature film acting debut as Matt Lloyd in the Canadian comedy “Gas.” The cast also included Susan Anspach, Donald Sutherland, Helen Shaver and Alf Humphreys.
After a gig on the short lived sketch comedy series “Laugh Trax” (1982), Mandel landed a regular role on the medical drama “St. Elsewhere” (NBC), opposite Ed Flanders, William Daniels, David Birney, Ed Begley, Jr., Denzel Washington, Bonnie Bartlett, Christina Pickles, Mark Harmon, David Morse, Cynthia Sikes and Norman Lloyd. He played Dr. Wayne Fiscus from the show's premiere on October 26, 1982, to its finale on May 25, 1988. While on “St. Elsewhere,” Mandel performed on comedy tours and pursued his film career. He costarred as Larry Pound in the Canadian independent drama “The Funny Farm” (1983), voiced Gimzo in the Joe Dante hit “Gremlins” (1984), was paired with Ted Danson in Blake Edwards' “A Fine Mess” (1986) and starred as Bobo Shand in the slapstick comedy “Walk Like a Man” (1989). From 1984 to 1986, he provided the voice of Animal/Bunsen/Skeeter on the CBS animated series “Jim Henson's ‘Muppet Babies.’” Mandel also starred in the TV special “The First Howie Mandel Special” (1983), which he produced, as well as in “Howie Mandel: Live from Carnegie Mall” (1985), “On Location: Howie Mandel” (HBO, 1986) and “HBO Comedy Hour: Howie From Maui - Live” (1987). In 1987, he toured the U.S. with his comedy show “Velcro of Love.”
After “St. Elsewhere” came to an end, Mandel was cast with Fred Savage in Richard Greenberg's comedy film “Little Monster” (1989) and became a series regular on the Fox short lived sitcom “Good Grief” (1990-1990). 1990 also saw him reprise his voice role of Gizmo in the sequel “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” play Humpty Dumpty on the TV film “Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme” and headline a one man show called “Howie Mandel: Hooray for Howiewould” (Showtime). Mandel, however, did not enjoy another important victory until he created and produced the children's animated series “Bobby's World” for Fox, which he also starred in as the voice of Bobby. About the every day life of Bobby Generic and his hyperactive imagination, the show ran from September 8, 1990, to February 23, 1998, and was nominated for Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition (1994) and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Special Class (1998).
In 1992, Mandel starred as The Professor on CBS' “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys,” a live action series that ran for 11 episodes before cancellation, and headlined the TV series “Howie,” from which he earned Gemini nominations in the categories of Best Performance in a Variety Program or Series and Best Variety Program. He next worked on a string of TV films, such as “Charles Dickens' 'David Copperfield'” (1993, as the voiced of Mealy), “Shake, Rattle and Rock” (1994, opposite Renée Zellweger), “In Search of Dr. Seuss” (1994, the voice of Sam-I-Am) and “Kurt Vonnegut's 'Harrison Bergeron'” (1995). He then portrayed the supporting role of Moe in Stephen Furst's movie installment “Magic Kid II” (1994) and led the series “Howie Mandel's Sunny Skies” (Showtime, 1995) and the comedy special “Howie Mandel on Ice” (HBO, 1997), which he also wrote and executive produced. From 1995 to 1999, Mandel offered memorable guest appearances on such TV shows as “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “The Outer Limits” and “Sunset Beach.” He was nominated for a Gemini for Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series for his performance in “The Outer Limits.”
In 1998, Mandel landed his own syndicated talk show, “The Howie Mandel Show,” but the show was canceled because of low ratings. Also that year, he was handed a Golden Apple for Male Discovery of the Year.
Back to features, Mandel played the supporting role of Cody in the Scott Marshall directed comedy “Spin Cycle” (2000), opposite Sarah Chalke, Esai Morales, Lochlyn Munro and Channon Roe, costarred with Gary Busey in “Tribulation” (2000) and voiced Jack in the direct to video “The Tangerine Bear: Home in Time for Christmas” (2000). After a stint with Kathie Lee Gifford in the made for TV film “Spinning Out of Control” (2001), he was cast in the fantasy film “Hansel & Gretel” (2001), alongside Taylor Momsen, Jacob Smith and Delta Burke and provided the voice of Spencer in the animated film “Pinocchio 3000” (2004).
In 2005, Mandel executive produced and appeared in the comic dud “Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance,” which focused on his career with the help of a fictitious wife (played by Julie Warner) and manager, while Mandel played hidden camera pranks on people. Airing on Bravo, the show was axed after one season.
Later that same year, Mandel gained a career boost in the U.S. when he was hired to host the American version of “Deal or No Deal,” which was based on the Dutch game show of the same name. Debuting on NBC on December 19, 2005, the show became a hit and ran until May 18, 2009. Mandel was nominated for a 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for his work on the show. A daily syndicated half hour version of the show premiered on September 8, 2008, with Mandel hosting the show. It would run for two seasons until May 28, 2010. For his performance, Mandel received a 2009 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host. Mandel also hosted “Deal or No Deal Canada,” which ran on Global from February to March 2007 and provided the voice of Pupa in the 2006 TV film “The Great Polar Bear Adventure.” He next played Joe Burns in the 2007 short film “Room Service,” which was directed by Kevin Castro and scripted by Janus Cercone and based on a novel by Beverly Brandt. In 2008, he co-hosted “The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards” and played the recurring role of Ralph Roberts in the TV series “Monk.” In early 2009, Mandel executive produced and starred in the reality show “Howie Do It” on NBC/Global. The reception to the show was mixed and it was canceled after 16 of the 20 produced episodes aired. Mandel also became a new judge on the British owned American reality series “America's Got Talent” (NBC, 2006-2010), which was co-created by Simon Cowell, and voiced Inwar in the animated film “Noah's Ark: The New Beginning” (2010), which starred the voice of Michael Keaton as Noah.
Golden Apple: Male Discovery of the Year, 1998