Howard Stern may be the resident shock jock of the "America's Got Talent" judges, but it is comedian Howie Mandel who is in hot water after a comment he made on a Season 10 episode of the NBC reality show Tuesday. Mandel has apologized after making a joke about bulimia following the performance of professional regurgitator Stevie Starr.
The former "Deal or No Deal" host got himself in trouble during Tuesday's live broadcast when following the performance of Stevie Starr, a professional regurgitator who swallows and then reproduced swords and other random objects, Mandel made an ill-advised comparison between Starr's routine and bulimia.
"This will probably come out wrong, but you, sir, make bulimia entertaining," quipped Mandel.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) August 26, 2015
"America's Got Talent" soon went to a commercial break and when the show returned Mandel immediately apologized for making light of the eating disorder and mental health issue.
“I just want to take a second to apologize,” said the comedian. “I made a comment earlier, it’s live television, I wasn’t thinking. I made light of bulimia, which is a very serious eating disorder and mental health issue. I deal with mental health all the time, and I did something stupid. I should never make light of it. I apologize to anybody that was offended. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes.”
Mandel later reiterated his apology via Twitter.
I am NOT perfect. I make mistakes. I sincerely apologize to everyone who was offended.
— Howie Mandel (@howiemandel) August 26, 2015
Though Mandel was quick to make amends for the comment, some of the comedian's fans on Twitter have defended the joke, claiming any outrage is a case of viewers being overly politically correct and sensitive.
Howie Mendell made a joke about Bulimia on America's Got Talent, and he's already getting flack for it. People are too sensitive #AGT
— StarWarsBatmanShow (@starwarsbatshow) August 26, 2015
Howie Mandel has to make a live apology for making a bulimia joke? Comedians can't make jokes now? #FakeOutrage2015
— Curt Goodwin (@CurtOU) August 26, 2015
— Felix Kay (@TheFelixKay) August 26, 2015
As for those who were offended, hopefully Mandel's apology will be sufficient enough to smooth things over. "America's Got Talent" airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.
Watch Stevie Starr's "America's Got Talent" performance below: