Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off

UPDATED 08/22/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/22/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

Howie Mandel: Howie Mandel has made a sideline on The Tonight Show with Candid Camera-style segments, using glasses that have a camera hidden in the bridge. His new Bravo series, Hidden Howie, premiering Aug. 18, gives the joke a Curb Your Enthusiasm twist: Mandel plays an obsessive-compulsive comic who dons the glasses to spring pranks on real-life victims.

HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA? "I carry the glasses with me, and I annoy from coast to coast. It's a wonderful country! But a lot of the [hidden camera] segments never end up on TV—there's anger and yelling and embarrassment. Instead of leaving it at that, I said, 'Hey! There's a show!' Half hidden camera, half reality, half sitcom. Wait, there are too many halves."

YOU'RE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE? "Not about everything. I have a germ phobia, that's a big thing, so I can't shake hands. I have a lot of weirdnesses."

WHY DOES AN ACTRESS, JULIE WARNER, SUB FOR YOUR YOUR REAL-LIFE WIFE? Because for Terry Mandel, a clothing-store owner, "life is embarrassing enough just being married to me. I have a personal marital restraining order to not do any of these segments within a five-mile radius of where we live [or near] the people we have to socialize with. Apparently I'm an eyesore to the community."

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