You may know Howie Mandel from his 13 years on "America's Got Talent" or the NBC game show "Deal or No Deal" or maybe even "Bullsh*t The Game Show." He's also the voice of "Bobby." But long before that, Howie Mandel started as a standup comic and as someone who has seen him perform back in the '80s, a very funny standup comic.

Howie will be bringing his standup to the Mayo Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 12 but this time it will be different as he explained when he called me on New Jersey 101.5.

"I was doing 200 live dates a year up until 2020. And I was neurotic and crazy before COVID kicked my ass. And I was locked in. So in three in the last three years, this show that I'm doing in Morristown is probably less than my 20th show in three years."

"So I'm scared to death. But that makes it good. That's when I'm nervous and scared and thrilled, not knowing what's going to happen. It seems to be that's like getting on a roller coaster. So I'm looking forward to a roller coaster."

Howie the comedian is different from the Howie you see on AGT

"I do a lot of stand-up, but I haven't done a lot of stand-up on TV. You know, in those days (the '80s) I did. Maybe 10 or 15 cable specials, but I don't care about doing stand-up on TV."

"I love stand-up. I love being in clubs, and I love being in theaters so I continue to do that. But I haven't been on TV so most people now know me from America's Got Talent or Deal or No Deal. So I want to make a point: Don't bring the kids."

Each show is like a party

"Each show for me I just think of it is like a giant party. And I'm just trying my hardest to be the center of attention. So come and join the party. Because if they don't come and join the party, then I'm alone. And then it's a surprise party for one which is awkward."

Howie popularized the fistbump and helped bring OCD into the open.

"I talked about it. So maybe there's less of a stigma. I think there are a lot of people I was suffering with it."

"Just like when I accidentally talked about it and now I realized that was actually a good thing because I realized somebody else could relate and I wasn't alone because mental health makes you feel alone and that's why people should come out and see the show because it's just a good escape. And it's a distraction from whatever's going on in the world. And for me, mostly in my own head."

Howie popularized the fistbump

"I did popularize it? Maybe I don't know. I haven't touched anything with my fingers in about 20 years."

He will definitely tough your funnybone if you see him on May 12th at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. To get tickets, click here

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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