The “Deal” is done. Howie Mandel is headed to the judges’ table on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” and he told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush how his new job came about.
“I’m the new judge on ‘America’s Got Talent,’” Howie told Billy, when he visited Access Hollywood’s Burbank offices recently.
“What happened to [David] Hasselhoff?” Billy asked.
“Well, he phoned me. He said he doesn’t have time. He’s going to do his own show. Can you take my seat? And I did,” Howie explained.
In fact, Hasselhoff recently announced he was leaving “AGT” and will star in an as yet untitled reality show with daughters Hayley and Taylor Ann for A&E.
While the Hoff will be focusing on family, Howie will be focusing on the contestants, and he’ll be paid to do so. But will the well-documented germaphobe be cleaning the funds he receives from the new gig?
“Now I have heard that you wash your money?” Billy asked.
“Well, I don’t wash it,” Howie clarified. “My wife, my lovely wife, she puts the money in my pockets of my pants and then we wash my pants. And then everything in my pockets is clean. Everything is clean.”
“What happens when you get change?” Billy asked.
“I don’t,” Howie said. “‘Keep the change!’ People think I’m such a big sport. I’m not a big sport. I don’t want to touch the money.”
Money aside, Howie is ready for the new season to begin. In fact, he pointed out auditions are just about to start.
“If you have talent, go to AGTAuditions.com,” Howie revealed. “We’re starting and you’ll find out where we’re auditioning. Bring your talent. Bring what you think might be talent.”
But there is one talent Howie said he can do without.
“I don’t love mimes. Doesn’t mean if you’re a mime you shouldn’t come,” Howie laughed. “I don’t get it. It’s too quiet and I’m not good in the quiet. I sleep all night with the TV on. I need noise, so if you have a talent that’s quiet, it makes me nervous.
“I want noise. It’s got to be noisy. Bring your noisy talent,” Howie continued. “Be a noisy mime. Nobody does a mime with noise. I want somebody to scream, ‘I’m trapped in an imaginary box.’”
Howie will be the only North American on the judges’ panel (he’s from Canada), and while he’s sure things will be copacetic with his neighbor, Brit Sharon Osbourne, he’s not confident he’ll click with Piers Morgan.
“Piers, I don’t know him, but I think I will get along with him… I think he’ll hate me,” Howie smiled.
“That’s not bad for TV if he hates me,” Howie added. “I’m going to be opinionated and I’m very different and we have different energy and I think it’ll be nice.”
“America’s Got Talent’s” fifth season will premiere this summer on NBC.