Howie Mandel “Catches” Comedian Stealing Another Comic’s Material During ‘America’s Got Talent’ Taping?
Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2013 by Peter Sciretta
I know /Film really isn’t a place to blog about competition reality shows, but I thought this story was interesting enough for a post. For the record, I don’t know if the contestant stole the bit from Frank Nicotero, I’m just presenting my strange experience from the taping last night. Here’s how the events unfolded.
Last night I attended a taping of America’s Got Talent at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood (please don’t judge, I’m a big Howard Stern fan). The talent show reality series holds audition shows in cities around the country, which are edited to death and eventually televised in highlight packages in the weeks before the show goes live from New York City. The tapings are usually pretty long with a warm up comedian trying to keep the audience entertained in between the various acts.
The strangest thing happened during the taping Thursday night, something which was not staged. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole incident is never broadcast on television.
A comedian contestant named Greg Wilson came up to present his comedy act. He praised Howie Mandel, one of the show’s judges, saying he had seen his stand-up show in Dallas during the 1990’s. The two bonded in the pre-act interview. Wilson went on to perform his routine, which was basically a reenactment of a wife and husband fighting in a car. The unique angle is the bit is done from the point of view of a driver in another car, and the fight is reenacted without words, only a visual performance.
The bit killed, the audience loved it. So did the judges. Howard Stern praised the routine. Eventually it got to Howie who opened with a strange question, paraphrased, “Did you write this yourself or are you performing someone else’s material?” Wilson on stage claimed that he created the bit himself, much like Howie created his own bits. He seemed very offended by the question. Howie seemed unsure how to handle the situation. Something was off. After one of the other judges prodded, Howie admitted that he had seen this same act before, performed by another comedian.