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'Mobbed' host Howie Mandel talks about his 'annoying' feud with Piers Morgan

Howiemandel You know Howie Mandel from "America's Got Talent," but now the comic and host is bringing his love of the spontaneous to "Mobbed," a one-hour special airing Thursday night on Fox after "American Idol." The program, based on the "flash-mob" phenomenon in which large groups of people gather in public spaces to put on impromptu choreographed shows, follows a couple whose rocky romance culminates in a flash-mob takeover of the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale.

Show Tracker recently caught up with Mandel to ask about the new show and his crazy feud with Piers Morgan. Excerpts:

Show Tracker: Howie! Why a show about flash mobs?

Mandel: Flash mobs have been around for years now. For years, they've been pitched to the networks. Because of all these viral videos, people thought, well, they should garner an audience. But ultimately a flash mob is just two minutes of singing and dancing. We get that on "Glee" and we get in musicals. We can watch it online. Why is it a TV show? I think "Mobbed" is a TV show because what TV is is a story. And everybody's got a story. Now focus it all on one person, for one purpose. It's television without a net.

Show Tracker: Having a thousand dancers show up when your boyfriend proposes is kind of like a dream. Or maybe a nightmare?

Mandel: That's what we wanted to do! We wanted bigger than anything you've ever seen. We wanted to not be real. We wanna bowl people over.

Show Tracker: No retakes here.

Mandel: No. The reason I love doing stand-up comedy is because it's in the moment. If something doesn't work, there's some entertainment value in that. It becomes a fun moment. I wanted to bring that to this show.

Show Tracker: How much money did you blow on all this?

Mandel: A lot. I don't want to talk money, but we spent a lot.

Show Tracker: This is being broadcast as a special. Will there be more?

Mandel: I don't know. I would hope. I guess we'll see how it does.

Show Tracker: It's for Fox. Aren't you a wholly owned subsidiary of NBC?

Mandel: Not wholly owned. I have a production company and we work for a lot of different networks.

Show Tracker: How's "America's Got Talent"?

Mandel: It's one of the cushiest jobs I've ever had in my life. I love it.

Show Tracker: What about fellow judge and new CNN host Piers Morgan, who has called you "always annoying"?

Mandel: For no reason at all! So I said, "You call me these names and belittle me, so I'm going to give you a reason for that." So I've made it a mission backstage to be the most annoying person. If you're going to give me that title, I might as well earn it. You think it's funny to call me irritating? I came there, I showed up, I did my job, I was my professional. What is irritating? You want to see irritating, I will show you irritating.

Show Tracker: We'd love to see you pull pranks on Piers! 

Mandel: I've been driving him up a wall. I'm sure a lot of it they can't show. He's really angry. He was interviewing [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel, then flew to London and did something for CNN, and then flew to New York and did a show, then he flew to L.A. to do us. He was so jet-lagged. He made it clear that he's been doing all this breaking news, he's a world traveler and he needs his rest. In between each little short session he will be in his trailer, getting his needed sleep. I spent the entire day -- I'm talking about 11 hours -- outside his dressing room with a bullhorn screaming at everybody to stay away, Piers is trying to sleep. I didn't let up. He didn't get one second of sleep. One day, I had the PAs and me push a Coke machine in front of his dressing room so he couldn't get to the stage.

He is certainly more angry at me than he has ever been.

ALSO ON SHOW TRACKER:

NBC picks up Betty White hidden-camera prank show

"American Idol" Top 11 recap

Carrie Ann Inaba of "Dancing With the Stars" gets engaged on TV

-- Scott Collins

(twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Howie Mandel on the set of "Mobbed." Credit: Eric Vlassic / Fox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Comments () | Archives (3)

HELLO HOWIE I LOVE YOUR SHOW I WISH I COULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT I BEEN WITH MY BOY FRIEND 27 YEARS I HAD CANCER SO I CANT HAVE KIDS SO I WOULD NEVER GET MARRY. NOW I HAVE TO GET KNEE REPLACEMENTIN BOTH KNEES BUT I LOVED THE SHOW IT MOVED ME SO MUCH.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ON THE SHOW GODBLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Piers Morgan is exceedlingly annoying with that fake accent! I can't stand watching insincerity on TV and he has the biggest helping of it since that jerk who left the show (Nowell, is that his name?) So, big whoopie do that he works for CNN now, that must've made him unable to wear a hat (none big enough to fit!). Howie makes people laugh, relax, take a smile break; and THAT is what we need these days to counter-act all the bad news people like Piers lob at us everyday.

Dear Howie,
My name is Carol from Dearborn Michigan. I'd really like to surprise my husband on his 30th Birthday on the 30th of April. He is an out going person,he is so addicted to old Western movies...He wants to be a cowboy actor, taking him to the Diamond back Saloon in Belleve Michigan, so he can where his cowboy hat. That's all I can come up with but if he can be Mobbed it would be perfect.
He is so excited to turn 30...I saw your show and I don't know if its too late but it's worth a try. please contact me if possible. Thank you for your time.

Carol


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