Howie Mandel actually has a nuanced take on Duchess Meghan’s ‘bimbo’ comments

I’ve never really been a Howie Mandel fan or cared one way or the other about him, but it’s absolutely bonkers to see Mandel have the most nuanced and thoughtful take on the Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes podcast. Her podcast last week was an analysis of the “bimbo” trope, and Meghan told her story about working on Deal or No Deal, which was hosted by Howie Mandel at the time. Meghan acknowledged that the job got her a SAG card, health insurance and enough money to pay all of her bills. But she spoke about feeling unfulfilled and like there was too much of an emphasis on her looks and not her intellect. So she left the show and moved on. People were incredibly mad that Meghan… felt that way, and tons of people were insistent on putting words in her mouth or pretending like Meghan had trashed everyone involved in the show. I think Howie Mandel actually listened to the Archetypes podcast and he was like “you guys are really overreacting, Meghan didn’t say anything bad.”

Not a big deal. Howie Mandel doesn’t understand the big fuss being made around Meghan Markle’s comments about her experience on Deal or No Deal.

“I get it because — I’ve never said this before — but they had this pyramid of 26 beautiful, intelligent women standing there just staring at me like I was a piece of meat,” the game show host, 66, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, October 27, while promoting his partnership with the ISSA. “I was in the center, just dressed up in a suit and I felt like I am more than this. And they would just look at me and I had to do nothing… I get it. I felt like nothing. And that’s why I’ve moved on and become a judge on America’s Got Talent. I just needed more than to be a Deal or No Deal host.”

However, Mandel said the game show set “was a great workplace environment,” and defended the Suits alum, pointing out that she didn’t say it was a bad place to work. The way he viewed it, the Archewell cofounder was only talking about “what was going on in her mind.”

“I don’t think she’s maligning Deal or No Deal,” the St. Elsewhere actor shared. “I don’t think there weren’t ever [any] complaints from any of the women. And unlike most shows up until that point, the ladies had more to do. They weren’t just pointing out gifts and opening [cases], a lot of times they were mic’d and they had their input.”

Mandel went on to argue that several of the Deal or No Deal models were “a lot more intelligent and accomplished” than he was, sharing that one of the women graduated law school and became a lawyer at the time of the show’s filming. He also noted the success of former briefcase girls Claudia Jordan and Chrissy Teigen.

“I’ve never really heard anybody complain and I don’t think Meghan is complaining,” the Gremlins voice actor said. “I think Meghan just said she wanted to do more. It wasn’t fulfilling for her.”

The former Howie Mandel Show host added: “So I don’t know why there is a big hoopla, except I have to say that me standing there with 26 women staring at me made me feel like a bimbo.”

[From Us Weekly]

“I don’t think Meghan is complaining. I think Meghan just said she wanted to do more. It wasn’t fulfilling for her.” That’s it. That’s all it was – Meghan telling her story, years later, about the time she had a job which overemphasized her looks and didn’t stimulate her intellectually. I like that Mandel says that even he didn’t feel particularly stimulated by the show either. This whole mess made me appreciate Vanna White, actually. Like, Vanna just throws on her wig and a sparkly gown every day and walks back and forth on the Wheel of Fortune set and she’s been doing that for decades. She’s fulfilled by that, she’s made a lot of money doing it and that’s fine. That’s her choice, and Meghan’s choice was to do something different.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, FayesVision / Wenn / Avalon and Jeffrey Mayer / Avalon.

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49 Responses to “Howie Mandel actually has a nuanced take on Duchess Meghan’s ‘bimbo’ comments”

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  1. Eyeroll says:

    Wow. Imagine an actual person who understood what she was saying instead of the rabid ones who went after Meghan over a headline and understood nothing. I’m still shocked this is still a thing over a week later.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Howie Mandel is great. He’s one of the reasons I got got into the show in the first place. I’m so glad he said this. I’m

      • Kittenmom says:

        I think he is very funny & I’m so glad he had such a smart take on the “controversy.” 🙄

  2. Ray says:

    I am glad he didn’t cowered or manipulated in vilifying Meghan. Speak truth to power!!

  3. Watson says:

    Yup. Her comments should have been a non issue, but as we all know, that woman blinks and everyone is up in arms. Good for Howie for being calm and logical!

  4. Scorpion says:

    Well, well, well….

    Meghan didn’t say anything wrong. Anyone with sense understood what she meant because we have all been there.

    • CheChe says:

      I guess a male viewpoint was needed to calm the female complaints.

      • Feeshalori says:

        It’s too bad that it needed that, that a female’s perspective wasn’t good enough. I’m glad Howie waded into the fray though.

  5. equality says:

    Makes me think more highly of Howie. I wonder if he will get tons of backlash now. Betting not.

  6. Amy Bee says:

    Good for Howie, he could’ve stayed quiet about this but didn’t. It’s interesting that he also didn’t feel fulfilled by the job and he was fully clothed.

    • AppleCart says:

      He was just saying it from Meghan’s POV so people can understand her position.

      And he has said in interviews Deal or No Deal saved his career. It got him off the road as a comic. I don’t think he cared about fufillfment. He wanted the paycheck.

      • Noxy says:

        You can care about both. You can appreciate the opportunity and income while still feeling unfulfilled by the work.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    When even Howie gets it? It’s official. The masses have effectively and thoroughly been dumbed down beyond belief.

  8. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Mandel is a comedian. He was joking when he said the show wasn’t fulfilling and made him feel like a bimbo. But he was speaking in earnest when he defended Meghan and said for her, she felt unfulfilled.

    He’s also a germaphobe and doesn’t like people touching him or having to touch others. He was probably happy everyone was spaced away from him. To each his or her own. And that’s the whole friggin’ point.

  9. Brassy Rebel says:

    Yeah, that’s a much better take, but he’s really throwing shade or being sarcastic talking about 26 intelligent women staring at him made HIM feel “like a piece of meat”. Weak attempt at humor I guess.
    It’s sad that Howie Mandel, of all people, understood her when so many women jumped all over her.

  10. JCallas says:

    The backlash was mostly manufactured by Rupert Murdoch and a few Z listers who wanted to use Meghan’s name for clout. If any other suitcase girl said what Meghan said, there would be zero controversy.

  11. vertes says:

    Not everyone can have a “fulfilling” job. Do what you need to do to provide necessities for yourself + dependents & seek fulfillment in other areas. This is such a non-topic.

  12. Maxine Branch says:

    Mandel spoke his truth and Meghan spoke her’s. Pretty sure from what I have been observing of the Sussexes, Meghan never looked back once the Bimbo episode of her Podcast was done. She was on to the next episode. The haters are going to hate and the drama queens are going to be dramatic. This was always a none issue except as I referenced above for the drama kings and queens. Meghan is in a different league then those who are petty and dramatic and who look to create noise. This will not be the 1st or last time folks will expend their energy in this manner. While Meghan and her husband are building playgrounds for murdered children or building food band for marginalized country’s some folks waste energy on a trope like Bimbo which most women have heard slung around about women. Proud of this lady and her husband. May they continue to move from strength to strength.

    • Kingston says:

      I’m just over here laughing out loud and laughing my arse off, looking at how folks keep eating Meghan’s dust (and I could use an even more evocative word. But I wont.)

      She drops her truths and moves on and then come all the vultures to pick apart her leavings after she’s moved on to her next big thing.

      What a woman! She’s really the moment. When we get to the other side of this decade I guarantee that we will all say the 2020s belonged to Harry and Meghan.

  13. Serenity says:

    This makes me love Howie even more. I’m Bipolar with PTSD and a fear of people-I can’t be touched either. I’ve admired him for many years and it’s wonderful to see that he is a truly nice man who isn’t afraid to speak up for others.

    • Mary says:

      💯 and love and support your way!

    • Nicegirl says:

      @Serenity 💕 thank you very much for sharing 🖖 this resonates w me a lot rn. I wish your every step becomes a haven of self love 💗, safety, peace ☮️ and joy 🌅. Air 🤗 being sent your way.

  14. Green girl says:

    What I didn’t get about the original backlash is that everyone has a job or two (or more) in their career that was just that – a job. It paid the bills and maybe it opened the door to something better. I found that relatable when Meghan said that.

  15. hangonamin says:

    this is exactly what i think Meghan was trying to say. It was a good experience for her to get the foot in the door but it wasn’t enough and thats why she left. really not anything as controversial as everyone made it to be.
    I still think she could have maybe used a better example of “objectified” and why we place a lot more commodity on women’s looks than men. so much so that even in arenas were we are expected to be intelligent or give our opinion we are often having our looks placed first. Aka when she’s giving a speech at a function or highlighting a cause and there are hundreds of articles that come out where the headline is 50 different ways to get Meghan’s skin, or how to dress if you have Meghan’s body, or the endless articles comparing her to Kate in terms of their looks. in the deal or no deal case, beauty was used as a commodity, but that was also the job description and the women that took the job also were treated fairly and compensated in a good work environment. and there is nothing wrong for a woman to CHOOSE that job and to use her looks to book jobs if she wants to. While i think there may be a better example, her comments didn’t deserve the amount of drama that followed.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Hangonamin, what would you use as an example of objectification of women? I think the example Meghan used was spot on. If those 26 women weren’t objectified as sex on the hoof ,then what is? I would bet you any amount of money you name that there was LOTS of men who watched this show because of those 26 women.

      I agree that it is up to the person involved whether they choose to continue to work somewhere if they feel objectified. It means looking for another job, which may take time. For the women who laugh all of the way to the bank (models) because they’re getting rich off of men’s idiocy, I say good for you. It’s up to the individual and no one can tell them how to feel or what to do in those circumstances.

  16. Becks1 says:

    yeah, he summarized her comments pretty well. she didn’t say there was sexual harassment or any issues like that, she just said that it wasn’t for her, it wasn’t what she wanted to do, so she left.

  17. Jaded says:

    I’m glad he waded into this and gave Meghan’s comments credibility. Howie has integrity and a good name in the business. I hope the tabloids take note of this and lay off the Meghan-bashing — oh I’m sure some will start making sh*t up about Howie but it will just make them look more spiteful, desperate and stupid than they already are.

    • Julia K says:

      The tabloids will take note of this but won t lay off the Meghan bashing imo. They have gleefully been waiting for an opportunity to connect ” Meghan ” with “bimbo” and they won’t stop until something even worse comes along. Karma can’t come too soon.

  18. N. says:

    I’m relieved to read some normal, reasonable remarks from a person on that show, but I still can’t believe how triggered people are getting by Meghan (even here!) just because she’s a real person and isn’t hiding out in an ivory tower. Why would anyone trash a person for wanting a job that uses more of what they feel they have to give? If the opportunity exists to do better for ourselves, why should we not try? Even Whoopi moved on and moved up, who is she kidding?

  19. Chantal says:

    Good for Howie! Finally, a rational voice! Most people without agendas totally understood what Meghan said. They just love to twist her words for faux outrage.
    Its interesting that there were no reports on Claudia Jordan clarifying her remarks and (I’m paraphrasing) basically saying that she didn’t want anyone thinking it was a bad place to work and that her experience was very different. Of course this was after she and Whoopi got thoroughly dragged on Twitter so…

  20. usavgjoe says:

    Thanks Howie for your comment. Thanks Kaiser for sharing. Now “the peanut gallery” of complainers got their 15-seconds of fame can go home now, along with the RR and the BP… always trying to start_Sh_+.

  21. Formerly Lithe says:

    Howie’s comment is perfection. I loved it. Obviously it’s the gender power gap that makes him recasting himself as the bimbo hilarious. But he gets it. He showed that he understood perfectly how Meghan contextualized her own experience and that she didn’t actually insult anyone in doing so.

    Other than sad, I don’t know how to feel about how her straightforward and respectful comments were whipped up into this wild controversy where even some supporters were suggesting that Meghan needs to lower her voice a little. Become a little less Meghan. How did her anecdote deserve such an immediate and brutal pushback? And for me, what seemed to underline it all was the suggestion that she was (is) a bimbo. Lying bimbo. Crying bimbo. Uppity bimbo. Ungrateful bimbo. Trashy bimbo. Tasteless bimbo. Scheming bimbo. Unattractive bimbo. Attention-seeking bimbo. Stop sticking your tongue out, bimbo.

    Anyway, I appreciate Howie for weighing in and saying what he said.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Well said. Some pathetic trolls were trying to make her out to be a selfish famewhore for daring to publicly exist and express herself after complaining about how she’s been treated, and trying to use the podcast as proof that she’s somehow a bad person. This is part of the reason why racists and misogynists behave the way they do and have such a sense of entitlement- because their help doesn’t just come from other conservatives, religion, or men. There are always ‘enlightened and civilized’ women enabling that crowd by shitting on some woman for not making herself smaller to hide from racial abuse and misogynistic abuse.

  22. JackieJacks says:

    Howie’s comments were great. Sounds like his joke about feeling like a bimbo was an attempt to bring some levity to the topic – comedians are going to comedian after all.

    But in a somewhat related – could it be that TIL Vanna White wears a wig for Wheel of Fortune???? That thought never crossed my mind but totally makes sense.

  23. MsIam says:

    I guess he can’t say too much with that video out there of him telling one of the women to kick up her legs and flash people. He’s probably just as eager for this to die down as anyone.

  24. Concern Fae says:

    Good on Howie.

    One thing on Vanna. She loves crochet and published many books of afghan patterns and even has a yarn line. Not my scene, I knit garments out of wool, but I’ve always been impressed by the quality of her products. The yarns are in lovely colors, much nicer than others at the price point. I do think it’s her rather than just slapping her name on something, because the taste level has been consistent from the beginning. So even Vanna needed something more fulfilling to take up her time.

    • Christine says:

      So, you have just perfectly encapsulated why I check the comments on CB, when I ignore the comments on every other site I visit. I had no idea Vanna White had anything going on professionally, beyond Wheel of Fortune.

      You are not wrong, her crocheting is GORGEOUS, thank you!

  25. ThandieLand says:

    it is not nuanced. he mocked her about bimbo claim/association. disregarding it and then he agreed with her like “allright allright, you kinna had a point.”

    • AppleCart says:

      How were the Deal or No Deal women treated like bimbos on the show. They were just beautiful women that opened cases. Nobody was making them strip or humilate themselves.

      He is just paraphrasing what Megan said so people can understand. That he had more to offer and moved on. Which is just what Meghan was saying, but people are making it seem worse than it actually was.

      And to be clear, all Howie cared about was getting off the road and money. He has said in interviews Deal or No Deal saved and reinvented his career.

  26. poppedbubble says:

    So where is everyone saying Howie knew what he was getting into and he should not have felt unfulfilled?

  27. QuiteContrary says:

    Can we be done with this whole thing now?

  28. blunt talker says:

    It shows that Mr. Mandel has a mental intelligence higher than the haters of what Meghan said in that podcast-he listened to it and made the conclusion I did-hell he only did the show to get off the comedy circuit-Meghan did the show to pay the bills but decided it was not for her and left-how another person on the show felt is their perrogative as it is Meghan’s perrogative to feel and think as she did.-all the haters need to deprogram and find inner peace to a more stable and fulfilling life. the poster Maxine Branch wrote a simple but very sensible post-keep up the good work.

  29. Robin Samuels says:

    What did many of these women do before Meghan Markle? The clout-chasing is off the charts. She has that magnetism that brings out the evil in a particular breed of women, like Megyn Kelly, Tina Brown, and Whoopi Goldberg. “Bimbo” hit home hard. Many are as old or older as Meghan’s mom. Some don’t listen to the podcast, and others only listen for the “gotcha” comment. Howie Mandell did what the bitter brigade couldn’t do, respect her opinion.

  30. equality says:

    Vanna is kind of in a different category from the DOND models. In a lot of ways, Vanna is treated like the co-host of the show. She interacts with the contestants and Pat and they seem to be friends. When they show them traveling (a great perk of doing the show) she seems treated equally. I bet there would be more uproar if she left the show than if Pat did.

  31. Jezzebeelzebub says:

    MFers will go after MM for literally anything. If that woman said publicly that water is wet, there’d be a huge backlash and people talking shit about how her water is too wet or not wet enough or how she’s taking all the wetness out of Harry’s water or trying to waterboard him with extra wet water.

    I quit a job at an ambulatory surgical center bc it was boring, all I did was stand around with hardly anything to do. I can’t imagine standing around with even LESS to do, for Christ’s sake.