Howie Mandel will be the subject of the documentary tentatively titled “Howie’s World: The Howie Mandel Project.” (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Howie Mandel to be subject of a new documentary by Barry Avrich

TORONTO — Howie Mandel’s rise from Toronto carpet salesman to Hollywood personality is getting the documentary treatment.

Canadian filmmaker Barry Avrich says he’s begun work on a full-length project that’ll chart Mandel’s unlikely career trajectory, which spans movies, TV game shows and an animated series.

Avrich says he intends to follow Mandel for roughly a year as he performs stand-up shows, launches new projects and spends time with his family.

He’ll begin shooting “Howie’s World: The Howie Mandel Project,” as it’s tentatively titled, next month for a planned release in 2021.

The documentary is part of a three-film production deal between Avrich, Bell Media and Canada’s Walk of Fame, which focuses on non-fiction projects that celebrate successful Canadians in the arts.

“David Foster: Off the Record,” which had a limited run in theatres before it airs on CTV next month, was the first of the documentaries, while the third subject is undecided.

Avrich says he’s particularly interested in exploring how Mandel went from a Toronto salesman to performing at a Los Angeles comedy show on a dare from his friends. His appearance caught the attention of one network executive and led to him opening for David Letterman’s 1979 comedy tour. He was later cast in the network TV drama “St. Elsewhere” with hardly any acting experience.

Mandel went on to share his own personal stories on the Fox children’s animated series “Bobby’s World,” hosted the hit game show “Deal or No Deal” and frequently speaks about his obsessive-compulsive disorder and germ phobia.

“He’s so brilliant at reinventing himself and the common thread is always his love of people — and that’s the paradox,” Avrich says.

“Howie’s built this life for himself where he’s also a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, there’s so many different sides.”

Avrich has worked with the comic on a number of other projects, including when he produced the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, which Mandel hosted.

They also executive produced the 2017 documentary short “On My Way Out: The Secret life of Nani and Popi,” about two Holocaust survivors whose marriage faces an unexpected hurdle when the husband reveals to his wife that he’s gay.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Red Deer drum circle aims to ‘bring different cultures together’

Central Alberta Refugee Effort, Urban Aboriginal Voices Society hosted the event Friday

Students reassured pandemic’s academic impact will be taken into account

Some Grade 12 students concerned how pandemic will affect their post-secondary plans

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Shattenkirk scores in overtime, Tampa Bay beats Dallas 5-4 in Stanley Cup final

Shattenkirk scores in overtime, Tampa Bay beats Dallas 5-4 in Stanley Cup final

Toronto FC starts strange new chapter in East Hartford with game against Columbus

Toronto FC starts strange new chapter in East Hartford with game against Columbus

Toronto Wolfpack fate deferred for four weeks as Super League continues review

Toronto Wolfpack fate deferred for four weeks as Super League continues review

Newly installed in the top 10, Shapovalov leads Canadian hopes at French Open

Newly installed in the top 10, Shapovalov leads Canadian hopes at French Open

Montreal Impact eager to return to winning ways against N.Y. Red Bulls

Montreal Impact eager to return to winning ways against N.Y. Red Bulls

Hornet sting, birdies take Swafford to lead at Punta Cana

Hornet sting, birdies take Swafford to lead at Punta Cana

Champion Adesanya gets redemption chance vs Costa at UFC 253

Champion Adesanya gets redemption chance vs Costa at UFC 253

Canadiens sign defenceman Jeff Petry to four-year contract extension

Canadiens sign defenceman Jeff Petry to four-year contract extension

Most Read