Howie Mandel Shows up to 'America's Got Talent' in Full Hazmat Suit Amid Coronavirus Fears

It looks like Howie Mandel isn't taking any chances with the coronavirus. The notoriously germ-conscious comedian showed up to his hosting gig at America's Got Talent on Tuesday. While that wouldn't be news normally, according to TMZ, Mandel showed up sporting full hazmat suit, gloves and, of course, a gas mask.

Mandel offered no comment as to his choice of wardrobe, but you can check out a photo here.

The comedian had previously opened up to 20/20 about his fear of germs back in 2009 when he was the host of Deal or No Deal. He explained that his fear stems from his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

"I'm always on the verge of death in my head," Mandel said at the time, via ABC.

"In my mind [my hand] is like a petri dish. 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."

While his condition can be debilitating, he does credit his germ-centric anxiety as the reason he keeps his head clean-shaven, saying it "feels so streamlined and so clean."

Mandel's new attire also comes just days after the show released its first photo of Season 15, which includes a returning Heidi Klum and the addition of Modern Family star Sofia Vergara. Both Klum and Vergara are replacing Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union, who were both fired from the show after one season, which has become a controversy in its own light.

Hough and Union each had multi-year deals with NBC, and after they weren't asked back in December, Union became vocal about the show's toxic, and often racist, work environment that she was subjected to. The network was receptive to Union's claims and met with the actress for several hours to discuss the matter.


"We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday," Union tweeted at the time. "I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change."

America's Got Talent is expected to return to NBC sometime this summer.