Hollywood’s most famous germaphobe, Howie Mandel, is doing OK — considering the world is in the middle of a pandemic.
The longtime judge on “America’s Got Talent,” which returns Tuesday night, is currently taking extra measures to cope with his OCD — which includes mysphobia, a pathological fear of germs and contamination.
Mandel told Page Six: “I’m on medication. I’m moving my therapist into a whole new tax bracket on the phone. Some people call it a pandemic, I call it ‘told ya!’
“I felt responsible in the beginning for the shortage of PPE because I’d been hoarding gloves and masks and hazmat suits for the last 50 years but I’ve given them all away. I can’t wait for this to be over.”
In mid-March, Mandel — who has been open for years about his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder — was photographed wearing a hazmat suit, gas mask and orange rubber gloves to a taping of “America’s Got Talent.”
“I live freaked out,” he said. “This is what is in my head each and every day, every hour of my 64 years on earth. This is it. This is my nightmare, this is how I live and now the world has joined me in my nightmare. I hope we wake up and it’s just mine and not everyone’s. I take no solace in the fact that I was ahead of the curve.”
The Canadian-born comic said the variety show was lucky because they had filmed 95% of the auditions before the pandemic and the rest were conducted online with the judges — including newbie Sofia Vergara — watching while wannabe contestants performed in their kitchens or backyards.
“I just think this is a great fun escape that isn’t about the crisis,” Mandel said about the show, “and this is needed more than ever. This is the panacea for this crisis.”
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