How ‘AGT’s Howie Mandel Changed My Life
One of the most popular judges in the history of talent shows has got to be America’s Got Talent‘s Howie Mandel. The affable comedian with the fear of germs is one of the sweetest guys on TV. It’s a nice counterpoint to Simon Cowell’s prickliness. He’s definitely my favorite…because he changed the course of my life.
When I was a kid growing up in a suburb of Houston, TX I was painfully shy. This was partly because I had only learned to speak English at the age of five and also because, since my interests tended towards nerdy things like Star Wars and books, I was picked on a lot. Then, sometime in the second or third grade, I realized that if I said the things I thought out loud people would laugh. If they laughed they didn’t beat me up. It was literally a defense mechanism.
I started to develop my comedy by listening and watching the great comedians of the past like Steve Martin and Robin Williams. My mom was a doctor and she really liked the show St. Elsewhere. Who starred in that show? Howie Mandel. I was a fan of him on the show and then I found out he was a comedian. So, I bought one of his comedy albums on tape and saw one of his HBO specials. At the end of his act he would take a rubber glove and pulled it over his head and inflated it with his nostrils. I thought this was amazing and, seeing as my mother had an unlimited supply of gloves at her office, I decided to try it.
So, the next day I went to school armed with a rubber glove in my pocket. I did my usual class clown buffoonery and the teacher was getting increasingly annoyed. Then, when she told me to stop it, I pulled the rubber glove over my head and inflated it. The kids in the room went crazy and fell out of their desks with laughter. I was quickly sent to the principal’s office. My mom had to come and she was more mad that I took a rubber glove than anything else.
The sound of laughter, as any comedy person will tell you, is addictive. I’ve dedicated my life to comedy and entertainment which eventually led to me working at Talent Recap. It’s sort of fitting that now I cover Howie Mandel on AGT because he inspired me to go into comedy. Thanks, Howie.