Editorial note: Opinions expressed here are solely those of the blogger
Since I started listening to podcasts regularly a year or so ago, I’ve heard interviews with practically every public figure imaginable. From the well-known to the relatively obscure, I’ve learned about the personal and professional lives of actors, writers, musicians and others. Some I forgot about practically minutes after I heard them; others lingered. But I can’t recall enjoying one more than Marc Maron’s recent interview with comedian and actor Howie Mandel.
Prior to hearing the interview I knew the basics about Howie Mandel. The shtick with the latex glove over his head. All kinds of emotional issues. Deal or No Deal Host. But I realize now that Howie Mandel is way more multi-dimensional and talented than his public persona indicates. I’ve come to respect and appreciate him quite a bit and believe many of us can learn from his perhaps unintentional rules for success. Such as:
Howie Mandel has been married to the same woman since 1980 – an eternity by show businesses standards. His attorney to this day is a best friend from high school. Mandel clearly surrounds himself with those he knows and trusts. And he sticks with them through thick and thin.
Embrace Your Vulnerabilities
During the Marc Maron discussion, Mandel describes how he came upon his signature bit where he places a latex glove over his head. Mandel had a latex glove with him while at a comedy club’s open mic night because he didn’t (and still doesn’t) shake people’s’ hands. Once the spotlight was on him, Mandel froze because he didn’t have anything prepared. He went with the first thing that came to him, leveraging a readily available prop.
Howie Mandel today is very open about his struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder and, while he currently gets the help and support he needs, demonstrates how to manage challenges without letting them overtake him.
Realizing he’d been viewed largely as an 80’s-era celebrity, Mandel considered quitting the businesses in the early 2000’s and was then approached with an offer to host Deal or No Deal. He declined, realizing that throughout his entire career he’d said yes to basically everything. Finally, to hear Mandel tell the story, an executive from the show approached him at a Los Angeles-area deli, where he was having a bowl of soup by himself, and made an in-person pitch. Mandel acquiesced and the show turned his career around and established him as a go-to host and judge. As of this writing, our children, aged 14 and 11, enjoy watching Mandel on America’s Got Talent (“AGT,” as they call it). He’s culturally as relevant to them as the cast of Riverdale, and that’s saying something.
Enjoy What You Do
Reading between the lines during Mandel’s hour-plus conversation with Marc Maron, it’s clear that he has achieved financial independence and is likely long past the point of needing to work. But it truly seems as though Mandel thoroughly enjoys his work; pretty much feels as though he’s getting paid to do what he’d otherwise do for free.
We should all, as they say, be so lucky.