Howie Mandel is a well-documented germaphobe. With the COVID-19 fear, Mandel went to extra measures, bypassing the sanitizers and wipes and going straight to a full-on suit. He showed up to his judging position at America's Got Talent in a hazmat suit, according to TMZ. He also had gloves and a face mask on.
Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise, though. The comedian hinted he would be doing this on his Instagram. On March 8, Mandel posted a photo of medical workers in hazmat suits and wrote a fitting caption.
"Me heading to work #agt," the caption read.
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No comment was provided by Mandel about the attire, but more will be learned when the reality show makes its return some time in the summer.
Mandel hasn't been shy about his cleanliness. In an interview with ABC, Mandel shared his thoughts on keeping clean.
"In my mind [my hand] is like a petri dish," he said. "Otherwise, I would spend the day, as I have in the past in my life in the men's room rubbing and scrubbing and scalding."
"The biggest fear I have is being triggered," he continued. "And if I'm triggered and I get some sort of weird thought in my head that can't go, then my day is, is stopped. My life stops."
Mandel will join a new-look judges' panel that will be replacing Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough. In their place will be Sophia Vergara of Modern Family fame and Heidi Klum making her return. An exact return date hasn't been unveiled but the show did recently share a shot on-set from the new season.
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As for Union and Hough, the two had a controversial exit. Union went to the show's executives to discuss her issues with a toxic workplace and racist remarks. She shared that she sat down with the execs for quite some time, but ultimately they were unable to meet in the middle.
"We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday," Union tweeted during the news unfolded. "I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change."