You’d have to be of a certain age to remember Howie Mandel before he sported his signature bald head. But on Thursday, the America’s Got Talent judge took to social media to share a throwback pic and remind the world that he once flaunted a big old mess of curls.
Without comment (just a #tbt hashtag), the 64-year-old posted an autographed photo from his early comedy days. Mandel is smiling with a full head of dark, wavy locks that barely graze his shoulders.
“Hold up, you had hair?” asked an Instagram user. “Is that really you Howie???” another commenter inquired.
Others appreciated the blast from the past. “Omg Howie, I’m the only [sic] one old enough to remember you had hair?” asked one follower. Another added, “That’s the Howie I remember and paid good money to go see every year, live in person. You were worth every penny.”
Mandel’s current look isn’t a cover-up for premature balding. In 2006, he revealed on the Howard Stern Show that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD—a debilitating anxiety disorder that—for Mandel—causes an obsession with germs. Not only does he refuse to shake hands or touch handrails, but he also shaved his head for an extra measure of cleanliness. “This feels so streamlined and so clean,” he told David Muir in a 2009 ABC interview.
In October, Canadian television network CTV released Howie Mandel: But Enough About Me. The two-hour documentary examined his struggles to cope with the disorder while maintaining his career in show business. And the timing seemed perfect, given that the world has been gripped by COVID-19.
“The world is now living the nightmare I’ve lived every waking moment of my last 65 years,” Mandell told The Star last month. “My existence is not comfortable, but that is OK. I am uncomfortable with what I personally suffer with, but I am comfortable telling you that I suffer so that other people out there know that they are not alone.”