Howie Mandel, who brings his comic stylings to Northern Quest Resort & Casino on Sunday, has always worn a lot of hats. He’s appeared frequently in film and on television, he’s lent his voice to cartoons and video games and he’s had nearly four decades of experience in the comedy scene.
In anticipation of the entertainer’s upcoming appearance in Airway Heights, we’re looking back through his long career with 7 roles he’s best known for.
Stand-up comedian. Mandel got his start as a comic while working as a carpet salesman in his hometown of Toronto. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he became a regular at the famed Comedy Store and served as an oper for David Letterman. Mandel’s most famous antic involved putting a latex glove over his head and blowing it up with his nose. He still performs regularly.
TV actor. Most audiences first got a glimpse of Mandel as a series regular on the comedy-drama “St. Elsewhere,” where he played the unpredictable Dr. Fiscus. He later starred in a short-lived television vehicle titled “Good Grief,” about a group of eccentrics running a funeral home, and has made guest appearances on “The Big Bang Theory,” “Monk,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman,” “The Nanny” and the ’90s revival of “The Outer Limits.”
Film star. Mandel never had as much success on the big screen as he did on the small screen. His film debut was a little-seen Canadian satire called “Gas” (1981), which co-starred Sterling Hayden and Donald Sutherland and has yet to be released on DVD. Throughout the ’80s, he starred in Blake Edwards’ “A Fine Mess,” the comedy “Walk Like a Man,” in which he played a guy who was raised by wolves, and the morbid children’s film “Little Monsters.” All of them flopped.
Voice talent. A man of many voices, Mandel has performed behind the mic since early in his career. Perhaps most famously, he provided the voice of the cute little creature Gizmo in the “Gremlins” movies. He also voiced various characters (including the maniacal drummer Animal) on the cartoon “Muppet Babies,” and he created and voiced the title character of the popular animated series “Bobby’s World.”
Prankster. Mandel appeared in a regular hidden camera segment on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” where he would, often in disguise, pull comic stunts on unsuspecting people. He also starred in a series, awkwardly titled “Howie Do It,” that featured similar bits and ran for 16 episodes on NBC.
Game show host. The NBC game show “Deal or No Deal” introduced Mandel, who hosted the series, to a new generation of TV viewers. The high tension game involved contestants randomly selecting numbered briefcases that contained various amounts of prize money, all while haggling with an off-screen banker who wanted to buy the cases. The show was a huge success, airing twice a week on NBC and inspiring a line of offshoot merchandise.
Talent show judge. Mandel’s current gig is serving as a judge on the talent competition show “America’s Got Talent,” a position he’s held since the series’ fifth season. Alongside former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, Mel B of the Spice Girls and supermodel and “Project Runway” host Heidi Klum, Mandel determines which performers advance through to the finals. The show continues to draw high ratings as it moves into its 12th season, which is scheduled to premiere in the summer.