Howie Mandel: Why He’s ‘Less Strict’ Judging ‘AGT’ Comedians: ‘People Don’t Realize What Goes Into It’

Howie Mandel reveals to HL why he isn’t as hard on his fellow stand-up stars when judging them on ‘AGT!’

Last night on America’s Got Talent, host Terry Crews choked up while delivering his Golden Buzzer to the Detroit Youth Choir after their ground-shaking performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ “Can’t Hold Us.” Now, while we’re recovering from that emotional moment, judge Howie Mandel reveals why he tends to go easy on the performances that make us laugh! On AGT, there have been several comedians vying for the judges’ support, and Howie revealed that, as a comedian himself, he actually is “less strict” when judging them. “I don’t think people realize what goes into being a standup. These people show up, they write their own material, they create their own character. They need to elicit from an audience more than anybody else does,” he explained in an EXCLUSIVE interview with “For a comedian, if we don’t hear laughter every 15 seconds, regardless of how funny it is, it seems as if the person did not succeed, even though maybe it was just a rough audience, maybe it was late at night, maybe the person preceding them took the wind out of the room.”

He continued, “I want people to understand what goes into that. I think they have to work harder and bring more to the table than people realize.” Howie actually recorded his first stand-up special in 20 years, which is now available to download! It’s from a set he performed as his own club in Atlantic City at the Hard Rock, and he calls the experience “serendipitous,” saying, “That’s what I do. That’s my warm spot. My comfy place is just standup.”

The AGT judge also warned us to prepare for even more incredible performances this season! “This season has the most jaw dropping moments,” Howie revealed. “Kodi Lee, the blind and autistic artist, had to be one of those. It was totally unexpected, totally inspiring, aspirational, inspiration, and just a wonderful heartwarming, mushy, beautiful moment.”

This season, with the addition of judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, the judges table is filled with impeccable talent and Howie’s loving every minute of it! “Obviously, they’re both smart and beautiful and funny and witty and have a lot of decades of show business acumen to impart when they’re critiquing,” he said. “From dancing and acting and producing, both of them together just bring a real sense of authenticity and experience to the table.”

Be sure to tune into AGT on Tuesday nights at 8 PM ET, and stream Howie Mandel’s standup special on the Comedy Dynamics Network via iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Dish, DirecTV, Comcast and more!

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