Howie Mandel Recalls Talking to Gilbert Gottfried on His Way to the Hospital (Exclusive)
Howie Mandel is recalling his final conversation with Gilbert Gottfried. While speaking with ET’s Kevin Frazier, the 66-year-old TV personality revealed the last time he spoke with the late comedian, who died from Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II earlier this month at age 67.
“I think I was the last person to talk to him,” Mandel told ET. “I talked to him as he was going into the ambulance, going into the hospital the last time. I miss him.”
As for the kind of person Gottfried was, Mandel described him as “just the sweetest, most wonderful human being.”
“He was an amazing father, an amazing brother, an amazing husband,” Mandel said. “You don’t think of him [like that] because he is very acerbic — he was the king of too soon — but he also defined what comedy is. Comedy, which we are losing, is that ability to find humor in the darkest moment. Nobody could do that better than Gilbert.”
Gottfried wasn’t the first pal Mandel lost this year. Prior to the Problem Child actor’s death, Mandel also mourned the passing of Bob Saget and Louie Anderson. The former died in January at age 65, and the latter died the same month at age 68. It’s made for a “crazy hard” few months, Mandel said.
“When we moved out here in the ’70s, in the comedy boom, we were all friends. I’m talking about Bob Saget, Gilbert Gottfried, Louis Anderson. We were the kids,” Mandel recalled. “… To imagine that these guys are no longer here, and it’s not that I am no longer calling them today, [it’s that] I can no longer call them again. The laughter has silenced.”
“I laugh harder hanging with people like that than any other place in life,” he added. “Just being with comics, being with people who are saying things that could never be said onstage, could never be said on television or in front of an audience, it’s just gone.”
Despite his personal tragedies, Mandel is determined to keep audiences laughing, this time with his new Netflix series, Bulls**t The Game Show.
“Not since Deal or No Deal have I ever been this excited about a game,” Mandel said of the series. “… A lot of people come to me for game shows. This was trivia and I said, ‘I hate trivia.’ But they go, ‘You can be an idiot.’ Then I go, ‘I’m an idiot. I’m on board.””
The show focuses on a contestant’s ability to lie in order to win money.
“You can answer questions and win up to a million dollars. You don’t have to get the answer right… you just have to convince one other person that you know the answer,” Mandel explained. “If you believe that I know the answer, even if it’s wrong, I win the money.”
As for the series’ premise, Mandel equipped, “It is all about lying, which I think is the fuel to success. I never as a parent told my kids don’t lie. Everything I’ve ever gotten good in life is ‘ cause I lied.”
Tune in to Wednesday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET’s interview with Mandel. Bulls**t The Game Show is now streaming on Netflix.
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