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American actor, comedian and television personality Howie Mandel is best known for creating the cartoon series Bobby's World and hosting Deal or No Deal.
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Born in Canada on November 29, 1955, Howie Mandel is a popular actor, comedian and television personality. Mandel caught his big acting break in the early 1980s, when he landed a role on the drama series St. Elsewhere. He went on to create the hit children's cartoon series Bobby's World, later hosting the popular show Deal or No Deal. Mandel is a dedicated and successful stage comedian, performing nearly 200 gigs annually in the United States and Canada.
Popular comedian and television host Howie Mandel was born Howard Michael Mandel on November 29, 1955, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The son of a lighting manufacturer and a realtor, Mandel was a class clown growing up. He was especially fond of staging pranks on friends and family.
His antics got him expelled from three high schools. After earning a high school equivalency diploma, Mandel started out as a door-to-door carpet salesman. He was good at his work and grew the business, turning it into a successful retail operation with two stores. On a business trip to Los Angeles in 1979, however, his life changed forever. Mandel decided to put his comic talents to the test at the Comedy Store’s amateur night. He did well enough to impress a television producer, who hired him to appear on the comedy game show Make Me Laugh.
More offers for the rising comedic star soon followed. He served as the opening act for singer and performer Diana Ross's Las Vegas show, and eventually landed a role on the critically acclaimed drama St. Elsewhere. Debuting in 1982, the series was set at St. Eligius, a rundown urban hospital. It was one of the first shows to portray medical cases and techniques in a realistic, gritty manner. Mandel played offbeat emergency room doctor Wayne Fiscus on the series, which also featured William Daniels, Ed Begley Jr., Denzel Washington and David Morse.
In addition to working on St. Elsewhere, Mandel continued to do stand-up comedy as well as voiceover work. He was the voice behind the creature Gizmo in the hit film Gremlins (1984) and its sequel Gremlins II: The New Batch (1990). Mandel also voiced several characters in the animated children show Muppet Babies.
Not long after St. Elsewhere ended in 1988, Mandel tried his hand at sitcoms. His first comedic role was as a con man who ran a funeral home in the show, Good Grief! The series only lasted a season before its cancellation in 1991. Around the same time, Mandel found greater success in the world of children’s television. He created the popular animated series Bobby’s World, which ran on the Fox television network from 1990 to 1998. In addition to serving as the writer and executive producer for the show, Mandel voiced several characters including Bobby, an imaginative and inventive four-year-old who has all sorts of adventures. The show lives on in syndication, currently airing in 65 countries.
Taking on a new challenge, Mandel became a television talk show host in 1997. The Howie Mandel Show received mixed reviews from critics, but stayed on the air for two seasons before its cancellation in 1999. He featured his love of pranks in his next television project, Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance, which aired on the Bravo cable network.
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