Fears over the coronavirus hit a high point this week as almost all sports, events, and forms of entertainment ground to a halt in an effort to avoid spreading the illness. While a bulk of television shows and films have stopped production, others have opted for no audience. America's Got Talent sits at the top of that list and judge Howie Mandel is trying to lighten the situation as much as possible with some jokes on social media.
Mandel dropped a short video on Instagram earlier on Saturday making a few jokes about the widespread shortage of toilet paper. Many folks have raided their local stores for items they could need during quarantine and the America's Got Talent personality joked that his wife sent him out to join the crowd.
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"Just came back from the store where my wife sent me out to buy toilet paper. They were out of toilet paper," Mandel says in the clip. "But thank God I found this on the sidewalk just outside the store." Mandel shows off a crumpled piece of tissue in the clip and also added the caption, "Omg lucky me."
Fans of the comedian responded with joy over the joke, including references to Mandel's obsessive-compulsive disorder and fear of germs.
"[Laugh out loud]. We know you too well, no way you'd pick one up," one fan wrote. "Silly Billy."
"I know you didn't pick it up. I wouldn't have..so you really wouldn't have," another added.
"Make sure everyone gets a piece!!" a third wrote.
The humor comes at a strange time for the reality contest series. While it is still possible the show could shut down its production, they've opted to film without a live audience at this point.0comments
"Due to the ongoing global situation around Covid-19, we have been working closely with our production teams and network partners to take measures to help minimize the risk of exposure to our cast, crew and live audiences," Fremantle Media said in a statement. "Effective immediately, we will refrain from filming in front of live audiences for our current productions America's Got Talent and Family Feud. As live audiences are integral to the format of The Price Is Right, we will be suspending production for the short term. For similar reasons, we will be postponing the start of production for season 2 of Card Sharks. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and determine the appropriate time to resume normal course of business."
The decision came shortly after it was revealed that fellow judge Heidi Klum had come down with an illness and left the show. She shared on social media that she was feeling symptoms similar to the coronavirus and was trying to get tested.