TORONTO — Canadian Howie Mandel almost said “no deal” to the now hugely successful game show he hosts, and audiences have his wife to thank for changing his mind.
“I actually said no to that show,” Mandel, the host of “Deal Or No Deal” said before the 2009 Canada’s Walk of Fame ceremony Saturday.
“My wife, another bright comedian — Canadian, she’s not a comedian — told me to do it and that’s why I did it. I listened. She said, ‘Take the deal,’ and it’s the best advice I ever got.”
Mandel was among an eclectic cast of eight group and individual inductees this year to Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Actress Kim Cattrall, Musicians Blue Rodeo and Tom Cochrane, author Robert Munsch, Dsquared2 identical-twin fashion designers Dean and Dan Caten, athlete Chantal Petitclerc and the late actor Raymond Burr from TV’s “Perry Mason” were all honoured with stars.
Also receiving her award — more than a decade late — was Canadian icon Anne Murray, who said she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to host the event.
“I sort of felt obligated because they awarded me this in 1998 and I didn’t show up to pick it up,” Murray said. “It’s been 11 years, so I kind of owed them.”
Murray just completed writing her memoirs, which will be released at the end of October.
Mandel speculated that Canada “reproduces” — not produces — funny people because of the climate.
He’s found there are more laughs in colder rooms.
“If I had my druthers I never would have left (Canada),” he said.
“Any time they invite me back, I’m back. But this is the ultimate invitation.”
Cattrall, best known for the Sex and the City TV show and subsequent movie, said she was “deeply honoured” to be inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame this year.
The Little River, B.C., native said she doesn’t like being away from her beloved home country for too long.
“I miss my family, foremost,” Cattrall said. “I miss Nanaimo bars…I miss the beaches of the Pacific Northwest. I just miss the really high quality of life and I think there’s something about Canada, there’s a high level of respect and tolerance for each other.”
Established in 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame recognizes achievements in music, sport, film and television as well as the literary, visual and performing arts, and science and innovation.