Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan Talk 'America's Got Talent'

The two judges on the NBC show talk about the upcoming fifth season.
  • By TVweb  |  May 28, 2010
  • 0

Howie Mandel is the new judge of America's Got Talent
Howie Mandel is the new judge of America's Got Talent
The fifth season of the popular NBC reality series America's Got Talent debuts with a two-hour season premiere on Tuesday, June 1 at 8 PM ET, followed by a Wednesday, June 2 episode at 9 PM ET. Howie Mandel joins the series as a new judge and he joined fellow judge Piers Morgan on a conference call to discuss the new season of the show. Here's what they had to say.

Well, how has this experience been for you so far, Howie?

Howie Mandel: Oh, this is like a dream come true for me. You have no idea. First of all, I've been watching it since Season 1, and I've been doing this job in my underpants from my couch without getting paid. So, be - to be invited to the party is great. I love nothing better than you know this business. I've been in this business for over 30 years. I love taking part in it. I love talking about it. I love you know creating it. I have my television on 24/7. I can't sleep without it. I love everything from phenomenal entertainment to the worst possible entertainment. I'm fascinated by why somebody thought that that might be good, or even broadcastable. So, to sit there and to be able to you know watch and be entertained, and maybe even be you know, positively critical and help somebody on a journey toward their dreams is like a - you know, a dream come true.

How do you handle some of the "bad" auditioners, like the ones who come up saying they can breathe fire; they end up setting themselves on fire. You know, those sort of things.

Howie Mandel: Well, there has been - you know, this season - and you know, I haven't been there for the past seasons and seen everything that didn't air on TV, but there has been a inordinate -- as far as I'm concerned in all the shows that I've been -- amount of bloodletting, and danger, and craziness. And you know, first and foremost as an entertainer I have empathy, because I'm on that stage. So, it's really hard for me. No. I think the best solution for me is just to be honest with somebody. That being said, I kind of embrace the craziness of it all. I think that we're lacking that today, and hopefully this year you'll see a couple of marked - you know, those moments of this in the show. You know throughout the years, there has been - and I've been a fan of people like you know, Andy Kaufman. And you know it's still questionable whether he was in total control of what he was doing. Or Tiny Tim, or Professor Irwin Corey. These kind of characters. You know, Tiny Tim was not necessarily the best musician or had the best voice, but there certainly was a place for him in - you know, in the entertainment world. And there are a lot of characters that come up, and you know the first question I have for these people is, "Are you serious? I mean - and you know, I'm not - I won't make fund of you, but you are a funny character, and you have to embrace that. And, if you embrace that and you own it, then it does have entertainment value."

Piers, I mean, you've been on this show, and Britain's Got Talent. I mean, is there anything that still surprises you with this show? Do you think we have any more Internet sensations like we saw with Susan or (Kevin)?

Piers Morgan: Well, yes. I mean just when I think we've seen everything, then out pop these acts where you just sit there. It's typically amusing for me with Howie at the other end, who's never done the show before. And there was a moment I think when a guy came on and blew up his underpants with gun powder. And I just turned to Howie and went, "Yep. This is the show, Howie." I know that my favorite act was probably a very, very attractive lady who came out in a leather cat suit and began to paint like Picasso. Now, you don't see that every day. So, I think for this year...

Howie Mandel: No. We're talking about what was recorded for the show Piers, not what happened in your room.

Piers Morgan: No. But, it's constantly surprising, as I think Howie has discovered.

I was hoping you could tell me how you feel about working with one another?

Howie Mandel: I'll start. I believe that it is a true honor for Piers to be spending time with me and working with me. I don't know him that well, but you can just tell by the gleam in his eye that you know, he feels like the luckiest man in the world. You know what, it's an incredible amount of fun, because you know, we spend - I do. I spend every waking moment that we're not critiquing and judging and entertaining in trying to annoy. And, I think he also has the same goal. So you know, and he'd prefer to be...

Piers Morgan: Yes. And, may I say I didn't think anyone could be more annoying than David Hasselhoff, but Howie Mandel is.

Howie Mandel: He was the Hoff. I'm the Man.

And, is there anything in particular that has drawn you both to be so involved with reality television?

Piers Morgan: In Howie's case, I mean he was just a massive fan of the show, weren't you?

Howie Mandel: Say that again. I was what?

Piers Morgan: You were a big fan of the show, weren't you? Watching at home.

Howie Mandel: A huge fan. A huge fan of the show. And, it was wonderful for us, because we really do have very different taste and very different - you're really getting the - it's such a dichotomy between - I mean, we do agree at times, but especially on the acts that I was talking about when Piers got on the phone. Like sometimes, the silliness of somebody being silly, I will embrace that character, where -- and he's not wrong -- where he doesn't see - you know, maybe this person is just insane and maybe it's just stupid. But the truth about it is that - you know, how do you describe somebody like Tiny Tim? You know, what - is he insane or was he a bad singer? I loved that kind of entertainment, and we've gotten pretty heated on that kind of in those moments.

Piers Morgan: Well, I think it's fair to say that Howie tends to be very supportive of acts that I think we should be crossing continents to avoid. That's how I would phrase it.

Howie since you're new to the show, what type of acts are you most excited about?

Howie Mandel: You know - and I think you'll get the same answer from Piers. It's the act that wows you. Acts that you never saw before. And I promise you, this year there are things that I can't even describe. Yes, we have phenomenal singers, and I think that we're going to launch new stars. And yes, we have phenomenal dancers. And then, there's this category which I can't even describe. And whether it's dangerous, or whether it's just insane, but it's definitely unique. And, having been in the business for over 30 years and you know, Piers will tell you having done this show on both continents for over five years, you know those are few and far between, but we do see them. And, you will see them this year on America's Got Talent. And, I can't tell you how many times in the course of this season and traveling the country we looked at each other and go, "Oh, my God!" Like, what is it? And that could be in the vein of insanity, in the vein of incredible danger, or just unique. And, how did they come up with this? And that's (unintelligible).

Piers Morgan: And, I can say it that as a fact from my nine seasons of doing the British and American shows, in my view the pool of talent on this year's season of America's Got Talent is the best that I've known on any of the shows, whether it's Brittan or American. So, I think it's a very exciting season.

Howie, what will be your judging criteria? Like if there's a really good dancer and really unique act, how do you decide?

Howie Mandel: Well, here's how I decide. You know, I am an entertainer myself you know, and I'm always - and I'm cognizant of the fact that you know entertaining is subjective. But - and I don't think you have to be the best dancer. I don't think you have to have the best voice. I don't think you have to have you know -- and this is probably the wrong term -- the most talent to be a star. But, there is an indiscernible factor or wow factor. So, if you can't take your eyes off of somebody, if it's just so - I'm walking - I'm in a Dentist's office, if you can tell. Anyhow, I'm trying to get by this guy with a jackhammer. There's just a guy walking beside me with a jackhammer. He's not actually doing anything. What I'm saying - it's just that wow factor. It's just like you know, I don't know what you did. I have never seen anything like that before, and it's just amazing. And, there's a charisma and there's an energy, and there's just a fascination. You can't take your eyes off of somebody. That kind of tells you that this is worth you know, seeing at least again. And then ultimately you know, America will vote and decide how much they want to see that person.

Piers, you mentioned you've been on many of these shows. How is this season going to be different?

Piers Morgan: I think that the - as I said, the amount of talent that we've got and the amount of variety. I mean we I think like 50% or 60% more people applying this year. I mean something extraordinary. So it went off the dial. I think part of that is the Susan Boyle phenomenon, when - you know, when you have a lady like that come from nowhere at that stage of her life and become a global star, then lots of other people out there go, "Hey, I can do that. Or at least I can try." And so, I think we had a real kick back from Susan. I think she encouraged tens of thousands more people to come and audition both in Brittan and America. And, the result is that we had got just an incredible array of talent. I mean the best I've seen. I think the singers are incredible this year. The dancers are very current and feel very different to previous seasons. We've got some great magic acts, which we haven't had for a long time. I think we've got some really unusual variety acts. We've got the acts that Howie put through, which are I guess - let's just say it's just as well he's a standup comedian, because he's going to need every ounce of his sense of humor when it gets made public who he's chosen.

Howie Mandel: Hey, listen. You know, I believe that everybody - you know, it's all subjective. And you know - I mean listen, Andy Kaufman did really well in his career, and Tiny Tim - I mean, those aren't the only people that I like, but I do embrace the insanity I think more than the other judges. I just - I love that. I love the uniqueness. I love when...

Piers Morgan: I think it helps that Howie is slightly insane himself, to be honest.

Howie Mandel: The thing is - you know, talk about whether you're a singer or whether you're a dancer, you know the key -- and we do - we say this many times over and over as a judge -- you know, if you own it, if you believe in it and you totally you know, are ensconced in whatever you're doing; regardless of technically how good it is, there's something to be said for that and you could sell it. And, that works in comedy. That works in music. It works in everything. And then if you are certifiably you know insane or just - you know, you ultimately just own it. There's something to be said for that, too. And, I'm not talking about making fun of them, but if you embrace that and it's unique, then yes I'm putting through people that Piers would not put through. But ultimately -- as I say again -- you know, America will choose. But, I'm just being honest. And, I'm responding to what I respond to. What I love about this show over - you know, there are many shows on the air right now that are you know reality competition/talent shows. But, no show has the array that we have, from any age - from 5 year olds to 85 year olds. From you know men, women, kids, dancers, singers, jugglers, variety; there isn't one show that embraces the variety and the - it's just the - I don't know what it is. You know, there's a range that this show has. And, I was a fan of Ed Sullivan, and I was a fan of Variety, and this - to be part of - this is the Ed Sullivan Show of today in America. This is the only place where you can come and see Variety television.

Howie, I just wanted to ask you if you see yourself as being a more positive judge or more critical judge so far?

Howie Mandel: To be totally honest with you, I'm not cognizant of that. I mean, I am just totally honest. And you know, the first time I got booed by the audience - you know, we go from place to place to audition. You know, from city to city. And obviously, in each individual city they embrace their own. So as soon as you say something that can be perceived as negative, the audience turns against you. And it's really easy to want to be positive, because the audience will cheer for you because you're putting their person through. But, I don't think that I do myself justice or the show justice by just trying to be you know, liked by everyone. So, you know I'm really honest. You know, and I try - I have empathy because I'm also an entertainer and I know how they feel. And at many of these stages where the people are auditioning, I've played myself, so I put myself in that position. But, I don't know that I'm - I just think I'm honest, and I think I'm myself. I don't know - maybe Piers can answer better. I don't know if I'm too nice, or...

Piers Morgan: Honestly, I don't - to be fair to Howie, I think once he worked out how to use his buzzer, because he had a few early teething problems where he kept buzzing at the wrong moment, and that was all...

Howie Mandel: I flail. I flail with hands.

Piers Morgan: He did it a bit. But once he got the hang of that - actually, I would say that he was surprisingly critical when you wouldn't expect him to be. And surprisingly supportive when you wouldn't. So there's a real element of unpredictability, which I think is really good for the show. Because you know as a viewer, to have no real idea of which way a judge is going to go is very good, because it adds to the suspense and the drama, and it means you are going to get acts getting through the final stages that perhaps wouldn't get there otherwise who are you know, variety and different. And as Howie says, entertaining in maybe an unusual way that isn't too stereotypical.

And Howie, did you see yourself being compared to David Hasselhoff a lot?

Piers Morgan: I love that question. You can come and do this every week. Are you the new Hoff, Howie?

Howie Mandel: Do I see myself being compared? Well, you'd have to ask Piers that. Do you compare me? Am I like Hoff in any way?

Piers Morgan: I find the mere fact you've been asked that question as being one of the great moments in my day so far.

Howie Mandel: You know, I was sitting last night eating burgers and drinking vodka with the kids, and I was thinking, is there any way - no, I take that back. Wow. (I even cricket). I don't know. No. I guess you guys will compare me once the show airs.

Piers Morgan: Don't worry. I'm going to make damn sure they do now.

Piers, has the dynamic changed between the panelists with David gone?

Piers Morgan: I think the chemistry was immediately very good with Howie. To put the jokes to one side for a moment, he's a very, very funny guy. He was very generous I felt, to Sharon and I, from the moment he came on the show, and remained that way throughout the auditions. And, he's a guy who clearly loves the show. His energy and enthusiasm are completely infectious, and every time I'd be moaning about having to work too hard or work too late, Howie would be bouncing off the walls with excitement and that was very, very good for the show. And, I think that he brings a very fresh and different feel to it.

Howie Mandel: I did say that to Piers. Piers would saying - like I'll be honest with you. We have to sometimes look at you know, over 100 acts in a day and it'd be 2:00 in the morning some places. Piers would go, "Oh, my God! It's like 2:00 in the morning." And, I go, "But, look at our job. We are - in another hour we have to go back down to the stage and a guy is going to load gunpowder into his underpants and blow his genitals up, and it's our job. Just enjoy it you know." And, it really is. If you come outside of it, I mean what a job. What an amazing job. It's ridiculous that we get paid for this.

Piers Morgan: We had a real blast this season, and a lot of that's down to Howie. He was great fun to work with, but he was also incredibly irritating.

Howie Mandel: Yes.

Piers Morgan: And so you know, he saw it as his daily mission to wind me up, and I'm afraid it gets quite heated.

Howie Mandel: It does get really heated. And so much so, that -- you know this Piers -- like in the truck they were scared at one point they were going to shut it down. We got into a couple of near fisticuffs. You'll watch.

Piers Morgan: Yes.

Howie Mandel: And you know what? It isn't over. We're going to start - in July we start the live tapings and that's going to be my mission. I want to get slapped by the end of the season.

Would you tell me which cities you think stood out, and how did Orlando rank?

Howie Mandel: No, Orlando was pretty exciting. Orlando had a lot of great talent. You know, just when you think you're (unintelligible) talent, you know I'm not going to - there was great talent in every city we went to. But, it was pretty interesting because - and I think Piers will attest to this. You know, New York was somewhat a little bit disappointing. Though we did find some talent there, but not the amount you'd think. You know, we went through like a real dry spell in New York. And then Orlando had some amazing, amazing talent.

Piers Morgan: Yes.

Howie Mandel: So, we were always surprised by the places we went. Where you - Portland has great talent, and weird and different kind of things that we had never seen before. Piers, you speak to it.

Piers Morgan: Yes. I'd agree with Howie. And I think - I thought that L.A. was a bit better than previous years. New York was a bit disappointing, although there were one or two acts there that could do really well. I think that every time we go to a new city like Portland or Orlando, funny enough it feels really fresh and we tend to a whole new batch of talent, because we haven't been there before. I think where we've been to places before, then you know we've already maybe had a good crack of the whip in terms of the talent. So, it's a bit different.

Howie, will we see you perform on the show at all?

Howie Mandel: Oh, like David? If I do a number, do you want me to do a song at the end?

Any standup?

Howie Mandel: I don't think so. You know...

Piers Morgan: I would love that. Let me have a buzzer at it.

Howie Mandel: Yes. No, I - to be honest with you no. I'm very happy you know, sitting back and - I think it's about the talent, and it's about finding new talent. And, I have no aspirations to be on that stage. I get plenty of time to myself to perform, and the - you know as corny as this may sound, to be in a position to maybe be a very small part of maybe you know, being present when somebody that could be the next Susan Boyle will be catapulted out of our show is so exciting to me. I have no interest in you know, doing my own show. But, I do have interest in watching somebody just take off and go, "Hey. You know, they were on our show." I can't imagine what it feels like for people like Simon and Piers, and Sharon to say - you know, like Terry Fator who's got a $100 million contract. He's got $100 million contract and they were part of it. They voted him through. That's got to be a great feeling for them, and I just want (unintelligible) been looking forward to most.

Well, it seems like - from what little bit I've seen, it seems like you all are having a really nice time together. That you all have been together all along. You know, that - and I almost see in a couple of them where I think, "Well, who was there before? Have they always done this?" You know, and so it's really, really nice to see that. I'm sure it's good to feel that too.

Howie Mandel: That's right. That's right. I'm the new Brandy.

Piers Morgan: He certainly drinks enough of it.

Howie Mandel: You know what's very unsettling? I'll tell you this. I'll tell you this while I'm on the - you know, when we hit the buzzer we have those giant Xs with our names that hang above stage, well those are shipped all over the world in these giant crates. And, when I came the first day to work, I came and I saw the giant crates in the back. You know, they'd already set up the stage and you see Piers Morgan - before I saw Piers' I saw this giant crate with his name on it and it said Piers Morgan. And then, I had to walk further down the hall and I saw the next giant crate and I saw you know, Sharon Osbourne. And then I came - I saw the third crate and like, "Oh, my God! This has got," and I looked at the crate and outside it says Randy, and it's crossed off, and then it says David, and it's crossed off, and then handwritten in a sharpie it said Howie.

Piers Morgan: Yes.

Howie Mandel: It just kind of said it all.

What has been the most surprising part of doing this, Howie? What has surprised you the most of doing this show out of all the other kind of shows you've done?

Howie Mandel: What has surprised me the most? When you are there, and this is something that I can't put my finger on, but when you are there the -- I'm trying to use the right terms -- but how - and this is also a hard thing, it's a fun thing, and also a very hard thing for me. These are real people. You're not just watching TV - like the people at home. These are real people with real hopes and real dreams. And, they put everything on the line. I mean - so you know, I didn't realize how real and how - I kind of did as a performer, but until you're standing eye to eye looking at somebody and watching them put forward everything they have - as terrible as it could be or as wonderful as it could be, and what it means. And you know, you see people and you give them criticism or you say something and they break down. I mean, they break down and there's tears and there's blood, and it's just real and means so much to these people. And, it's just that you don't get from sitting on your couch watching.

And, what did Piers and Sharon tell you how to deal with that kind of thing? I mean, because I'm sure it has to be heartbreaking for you to see that and judge somebody and they're just crying their eyes out. What was the best advice they gave you?

Howie Mandel: I haven't gotten any yet. Have they given me advice on that? No.

What is the best advice to deal with that, because it's got to get to you as a person.

Piers Morgan: You know what. I think you just have to be honest as a judge, and if people are going to come on to a stage in front of millions of Americans and audition, then you can't get too emotionally engaged with them if it goes badly. Because, it's their decision. No one's holding a gun to their head. So, I think that some of them - you know, let's be honest here. Some of them will use tears as a form of leverage to try and get through to the next round. Some of them come up with the most ridiculous sob stories and expect us to fall for it. I'm only interested in one thing, and that is have they got a talent, and are they someone or some act that we think could be on a live show and potentially win $1 million? That's it.

Howie Mandel: So, Piers is saying he's got a heart of ice.

Piers Morgan: Yes.

Howie Mandel: But the point is, that I think that even some of these people are surprised by what it means. You know, when I started out in show business and continue in show business, you know all I want is to be accepted and to be - and to have a platform to go on. And, I think that this show and these kind of shows didn't really exist when I started out. And, I think that they really show up you know chasing their dreams. And, I don't think they expect how you know, public criticism you know, in front of millions of people is going to affect them, just like I don't expect that kind of reaction when I'm just being honest with somebody. So, I think it surprises them sometimes as much as it surprises me. And to be honest with you, there are moments where it's incredibly heart breaking and really, really difficult. But you know, I think my job is to just be honest and then you know, run back stage, and apologize.

Piers, the only other judge besides -- Season 1 -- besides yourself of course was the Hoff. You know, his absence - you know, what's it going to be like without him? And you know, does it change the show's feel around a lot? I mean of course, Howie's going to do a great job, but just subtraction of Hasselhoff, what does it do to the show?

Piers Morgan: Oh, I think that - listen, we all miss David. He's a fantastic character. He's a complete one off. I've never met anyone like him, and I consider him to be a good friend of mine. And you know, he wanted to leave the show to go and do his own show, which he's now doing, which I very exciting for him. And you know, we miss him. I miss the noise. I miss the craziness. I miss the shouting. I miss the occasional threats of physical violence to my personage. And you know, I miss the whole circus that comes with David Hasselhoff, and I mean that in a good way. He's like a circus. He's endless entertaining. I called him Breaking News Hoff, because every day I'd see him, he would be the subject of breaking news on Access Hollywood. So you know, we're going to miss all the fun of the fair, but the reality is that we've lost - you know, in Season 1 Regis Philbin moved on. Brandy moved on. Jerry Springer came and went. David's come and gone. The show is bigger than any one judge or host. And, I think that each year that we've switched things around, and it's always worked very well. The ratings got bigger every year. The format means to me that the most important thing is the contestants. And so although I miss David on a personal level, I think that Howie's come straight into the show. He was a massively big fan of the show anyway, and I think he's fitted in very quickly. He made a point of doing that. I think he's incredibly entertaining on the show in a very different way to David. You know, you've got remember Howie's one of the best standup comedians in the country, and so you're going to get a lot of laughs. And, it's a very different kind of entertainment to the one that David would provide, because David wasn't a standup comedian, although the level of comedy could occasionally be extremely high.

I'm just wondering if a former carpet salesman came up on stage and put a latex glove on his head and blew it up, would you take that as an act or an homage?

Howie Mandel: Well you know, that's the most sincerest form of flattery is - either. I don't understand the question, but yes. Would I take it as an act? I would be honored, but would he make it through? I don't know. I doubt he would make it through because he's not unique and he doesn't have that wow factor. But, I would enjoy it on a personal level. Would America think it's worthy of $1 million and headline show in Vegas? Not so much.

I wanted to touch on something Piers said earlier about the importance of the judges versus the importance of the contestants. Percentage wise - the mix of judges obviously is important, but what percentage do you think they'll bring to the show as far as people tuning in to see the judges and to see how they react with one another?

Piers Morgan: Well, that's - I think that the interaction with the judges is very important, and people do tune in to see what we have to say and hear our critiques. And, our job is to be opinionated and entertaining, and to create a show where we end up with a great winner. Having said that, I really do believe that if you don't have the acts, it doesn't matter how good a judge you are, if the talent's not there it's not there. And, I've had some seasons when the talent was brilliant, and other seasons when it's not been so good. And it's a lot harder as a judge when the talent's not as good. Because when you've got a Terry Fator who becomes the biggest star on the Vegas Strip and makes a $100 million contract, you feel very warm inside that you've done an amazing thing as a judge. If you don't get that kind of result, then you feel you slightly failed.

Howie Mandel: So I think what he's trying to say is 83%. 83% is watching the act, and then...

Piers Morgan: Is that 84-1/2%.

Howie Mandel: Okay. And the 16-1/2% or 15-1/2% are - I think the judge repartee is such a small part of it. I think on America's Got Talent, people are tuning in to see the talent and to see a star. And you know, we're a great - you know, what we say is like a little slice you know, but it's not really what the show's about. It doesn't hurt, and it could only help, but you know ultimately - you know, they're coming to see the next star. They're coming to see somebody's dreams come true. Great - it's just great television. It's just great relatable, wonderful television. I don't think there's anybody alive watching that wouldn't want to show up and at least try their wares, even if they don't think they have hidden talent. So, I think ultimately it's mostly about the talent.

Since you were a fan of the show, did you lobby for this position when it became open? Or, have you been trying to get on this show in previous years?

Howie Mandel: No. I had no idea there was even a place for me on the show, and I didn't know that David was going off to do his own show. I got a call out of the blue and I thought it was a - you know, "Would you be interested in judging?" And I went, "Are you kidding me? Yes! I'll be there in a second." I didn't even contemplate you know. "I would love to." And it's so - such a different venue for me. You know, to not have the weight of you know, trying to carry a show or host a show on my shoulders, and not have any lines to memorize or marks to hit, or you know, commercials to throw to. I am just like a viewer that gets to see it in even better than HD, and comment. I'm not doing anything different than the people at home are doing.

So, we've already seen a little of the dynamic between you two. I'm kind of wondering you know, what Sharon's position is? Are you guys fighting for her to go on your side, or is she still in like her own world passing through dog acts or something you know?

Piers Morgan: Sharon is a rose between two thorns, as we would say in Brittan. And, she's - I think Sharon's the one who provides probably the most empathy and heart to the contestants when Howie and I perhaps start ripping them too much. And Howie in a comedic way, perhaps me in a slightly more - well, I'll say brutal way in the sense of being quite realistic about their chances of progressing. But, I think Sharon's there as a kind of - well, we see her as the mother hen figure you know. Rather like she is with her own family. Very protective. Very much the mother hen wanting the best out of people. But occasionally, you do see Sharon just completely go crazy. And that's what I love about her. She will suddenly go mad and start cursing someone or screaming, or falling on the floor. You're never quite sure where you are with Sharon, and that's why I love her. She's completely unpredictable.

Howie, you had mentioned - you know, you wished there would've been something like this when you were first starting out. If you were going to be a contestant...

Howie Mandel: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. I didn't say that. I said there wasn't anything like this, and I'm thrilled that there wasn't, because I had it much easier when I had it. Because when I had it, I showed up at the Comedy Store and everybody in the business who had anything to do, whether you have a pilot or you were Network Executive, you showed up at the Comedy Store. And, I got seen and I got jobs, and I ended up on Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas, and all them. I don't know that if - you know, and these people have 90 seconds. They have a minute and a half. I don't know if the one place where I had 90 seconds to shine and then be critiqued publicly would be the best venue for me. So, this is a lot harder than when I started out.

Okay. Yes. Because I was going to ask you what kind of act you would've done on this show, had you had a chance as a contestant.

Howie Mandel: Well, I would've done my (unintelligible), but I don't know that - you know, I don't know how I would've fared in 90 seconds. And you know, it's hard. But those - that being said, we do have a lot of comic acts that really work or at least are deserving of another shot and have moved on - will move on in the competition.

You can watch Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan judge the brand new fifth season of America's Got Talent when it debuts on Wednesday, June 2 at 9 PM ET on NBC.

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