Howard (aka Howie) Michael Mandel is a Canadian TV personality, actor, and producer.  His journey to fame started with stand-up comedy, just like so many other personalities we know and love.

According to Wikipedia, Mandel had a week-long booking as a featured act doing stand up at Yuk Yuks in Toronto in 1978. His repertoire included placing a latex glove over his head and inflating it by blowing through his nose, the fingers of the glove extending above his head. The crowd went wild! It DOES sound hilarious. As the audience responded to his wild and crazy antics, his trademark response was to extend his arms palms up, look incredulous, and say, "It's you."

You may know Howie as the beloved host of the game show Deal or No Deal. Looking back, that show was somewhat problematic. The responsibility of a "case girl" was literally to stand around and look pretty, but I'll admit, they were good at it. Did you know one of them was a young Meghan Markle? The Actress turned British Royalty turned aspiring regular person got her start on that show. I enjoyed Deal or No Deal, and it was mostly due to the witty banter that Howie had with each contestant. He would openly judge them for their impulsive and foolish decisions, and it always cracked me up.

More recently, you may have spotted Howie as a judge on America's Got Talent.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Howie lives with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and has a reputation for being a huge germaphobe and refusing to shake hands with anyone. He speaks very openly about this in his comedy, and it makes for very vulnerable and honest on-stage material. As you can imagine, his anxieties were at all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic. People who never cared about germs before started caring about them, so you can imagine what that did to the psyche of a man who has been terrified of them for decades.

Howie is going back to his roots and hitting the road with a comedy tour! He's coming to the historic Portsmouth Music Hall on Wednesday, October 18. This show was originally supposed to be on May 14, but got rescheduled.

I am curious to see what material Howie is bringing with him on the road. I'm sure we will hear all about what life in his 60's is like, the ins and outs of his over four decade-long marriage, and how he coped during the global pandemic as a germaphobe. Get ready for a night of big belly laughs and grab your tickets here!

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