Howard Michael "Howie" Mandel (born November 29, 1955) is a Canadian stand-up comedian, television host, and actor. He is well known as host of the NBC game show Deal or No Deal, as well as the show's daytime and Canadian-English counterparts. Before his career as a game show host, Mandel was best known for his role on the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere. He is also well-known for being the creator and star of the children's cartoon Bobby's World. On June 6, 2009, he hosted the 2009 Game Show Awards on GSN. Mandel became a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent, replacing David Hasselhoff, in the fifth season of the reality talent contest. He was a supporting character in the 2000 film Tribulation, from Cloud Ten Pictures.
Mandel was born and raised in the Willowdale, Toronto area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His family is of Jewish ancestry and he is a distant cousin to Itzhak Perlman. His father was a realtor. After getting expelled from his high school for impersonating a member of the school board and signing a construction company to make an addition to his school, Mandel became a carpet salesman who would later open a carpet sales business of his own. He was a stand-up comedian at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto and by September 1978 had a week-long booking as featured act, billed as "a wild and crazy borderline psychotic." 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 like a cockscomb. When the audience reacted uproariously to that and similar antics, his trademark response was to extend his arms palms up, look incredulous, and ask, "What? What?" On a trip to Los Angeles, Mandel performed a set at The Comedy Store, which resulted in him becoming a regular performer there. A producer for the comedic game show Make Me Laugh saw him and booked Mandel for several appearances during the show's run in 1979. He was booked to open for David Letterman at shows in the summer of 1979. CBC-TV's head of variety programming saw a Mandel performance in October 1979 and immediately signed him for a TV special. In 1980, he won the lead role in the Canadian movie Gas, co-starring Susan Anspach and Donald Sutherland.
Mandel was one of the first "VeeJays" to appear on Nickelodeon's music video series, Pop Clips.