Howie Mandel | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Howie Mandel

Howie Michael Mandel, comedian, actor, writer, television personality, producer (born 29 November 1955 in Toronto, ON).

Howie Michael Mandel, comedian, actor, writer, television personality, producer (born 29 November 1955 in Toronto, ON). Howie Mandel was raised in Toronto, where he worked as a carpet salesman after high school. On a trip to Los Angeles, California, in 1979, friends coaxed him into performing at the famed Comedy Store's open mic night. There he was spotted by a producer and invited to perform on the comedy game show Make Me Laugh. More standup comedy led to the role of Dr. Wayne Fiscus on the hit Emmy-winning television series St Elsewhere (1982–88), which brought Mandel to the attention of the TV-watching public. Numerous television appearances and comedy specials have made Mandel's face well known in North America.

Success on the big screen, however, has been limited for Mandel, with films like A Fine Mess (1986) and Little Monsters (1989) failing to draw crowds. His most notable big-screen contribution has been his voicing of the character Gizmo in the Gremlins films (1984, 1990).

Throughout the 1990s Mandel collected credits including appearances in the ABC series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, a Clint Black music video for the song "Summer's Coming," and a series of TV ads for the Boston Pizza restaurant chain. He was nominated for a Gemini Award in 1998 for best actor in a guest role in an episode of The Outer Limits. In the 1998–99 season Mandel's own talk show, The Howie Mandel Show, aired to mixed reviews and was cancelled after a single season.

Starting in 1990, Mandel created and acted as executive producer for the hit animated children's series Bobby's World, for which he provided numerous voices. The show ran for eight seasons and airs in syndication worldwide. Mandel also created a multi-award-winning series of interactive, animated educational CD-ROMS for children, including the titles Lil' Howie's Great Math Adventure andLil' Howie's Great Reading Adventure.

In 2005 Mandel returned to primetime with the debut of his reality/sitcom series Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance on the Bravo Network. In October of that year the American game show Deal or No Deal began filming in Los Angeles, with Mandel as its host. The show first aired in December 2005 and by the following month had become a great success. The show, including its Canadian version Deal or No Deal Canada, brought Mandel into the limelight once again. In 2010, Mandel went on to become a judge on the popular television program, America's Got Talent.

Mandel is very open about his medical conditions, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and mysophobia (fear of germs), and acts whenever possible as an advocate for children and for people with mental health issues. Co-written with Josh Young, his memoir Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me was released in 2009. Mandel is a spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk campaign for mental health.

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