‘America’s Got Talent’: Is Howie Mandel Getting Ready to Quit the Show?

One could easily argue Howie Mandel found his true showbiz calling being a judge on America’s Got Talent. While he’s had a decades-long, successful career as a comedian and actor, not everyone was a fan of his standup routines or acting ability. The places where we truly had a chance to see Mandel’s likeable personality shine was as a game show host on Deal or No Deal, followed by AGT.

It’ll be the end of ten seasons for Mandel when AGT ends its 14th season. When first coming aboard in 2010, he replaced David Hasselhoff who now seems like a blur to younger viewers who’ve been watching the show most of their lives.

Mandel is now the longest-running judge, but what happens if he decides to walk away after this year?

What is the appeal of Mandel as an ‘AGT’ judge?

Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel | Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Most people consider Howie Mandel as the “nice guy” on the judging panel as a counterpoint to the sometimes still acerbic Simon Cowell. What’s more interesting this year is Mandel hasn’t always been so nice to the performers like he has in the past. It makes us wonder if there’s a situation writer element to this to make the judging panel dynamics more heated.

Ironically, Simon Cowell has turned more into the nice guy of late, often with plenty of compliments to the most worthy performers. Mandel doesn’t seem to always get some of the acts others love, hence seeing him being more brutally honest to performers who arguably don’t deserve those comments. Even Reddit users have noticed his change in personality the last few seasons.

Is this all deliberate, or is it Mandel just starting to grow tired of the same routine every year? After a decade of doing any show, it’s easy to start feeling a bit of TV fatigue.

If Mandel did decide to leave after this year, it would take a bit of an essential comedic element away from the judging table. After all, let’s admit it is fun to see OCD-plagued Mandel be chosen often to participate in magic acts or offbeat stunts.

Then again, other comedians are probably available

You’ve probably noticed AGT brought in some guest judges this season, some of which were comedians. Jay Leno showed up one week, plus Ellie Kemper. The point of doing this seems kind of incongruous with the rest of the show, placing further speculation on whether it was a subtle audition process to possibly fill Mandel’s chair next season.

Some wouldn’t mind seeing Jay Leno sitting in Mandel’s seat next year considering they both know one another well. They’re also contemporaries in doing standup at the same time during their early days.

On the other hand, switching gears on judges again after a year might not be the most desirable outcome. No doubt Cowell will discourage this since the show added two new judges (Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough) this season. Both of them have become the more serious judges who may arguably be not quite as interesting as Heidi Klum and Mel B were.

Should Mandel leave, it could throw the entire judging panel off on the consistency of their chemistry.

Or, Mandel may want to finish his career out there

There’s plenty to speculate on when it comes to why Mandel seems more blasé about the acts this year. Could it be his attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or depression at play? He’s been a great advocate for mental health, but being in the spotlight excessively could easily worsen those conditions. Medications to control them could even bring on altered thoughts from the way he was before.

Whatever the case, America’s Got Talent itself may need some resets soon based on many derivative acts this year from what we’ve seen before. Outside of many outstanding performers anyway (including the standout, Kodi Lee), they may have to diversify the talent pool to interest long-standing judges like Mandel who’ve likely seen one too many singers, magicians, and dance troupes.