Comedians like Howie Mandel draw source material from all places, and recently, he took a humorous jab at his fellow America’s Got Talent judge, Sofia Vergara.
Last month, Monsters and Critics reported that AGT’s Vergara and her husband of seven years, actor Joe Mangiella, were separating and getting divorced.
With Season 18 underway for NBC’s popular talent show, auditions have concluded, and contestants are getting to compete further.
Young contestant Brynn Cummings was on stage to perform her ventriloquist and mentalist act for the judges and audience.
During the segment, one of the puppets was looking for a girlfriend. Cummings asked AGT judge Heidi Klum to assist with the search in the audience.
Later on, that provided an opportunity for Mandel to make a quick joke involving the puppet and Vergara’s situation, but Vergara didn’t seem to let it offend her.
Sofia Vergara responds to Howie Mandel’s AGT joke
With Cummings having concluded her act, host Terry Crews joined her on stage, and judges got to converse with Cummings and offer advice or criticism from their seats.
“I hope America loves you. If I have one word of advice. If you’re looking for eligible bachelors, you should’ve talked to Sofia ‘cause she’s in the market right now,” Mandel joked.
That drew some cheers and laughs from the audience, along with a few jeers and uncertain looks from fellow judges Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum.
“No! No! We are not doing that here!” Crews said from the stage, trying to end any uncomfortable moments.
Vergara was looking to the side at first but then reacted excitedly as she cheered, “Yeah!” with both arms raised in the air. It’s unknown if she was rolling with the punches or genuinely was OK with Mandel’s remark.
Check out the complete segment below, or watch from the 3:54 mark to see Mandel’s joke and Vergara’s response.
“Well, thank you that you picked me. I think I did a fantastic job, and so did you,” Klum told Cummings about her act to conclude the segment.
Mandel defended his joke after the AGT segment aired
Mandel spoke with Extra about his joke and some of the reactions to it from others, indicating some people believed it to be “mean and insensitive.”
“If you watched Sofia, she screamed after she came over to me and thought it was funny. She said, ‘Yes,’ so she’s got a great sense of humor and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt a fellow – a friend first, and a fellow co-worker,” Mandel said.
He didn’t shy away from continuing to joke about Vergara’s situation, asking for more people’s help finding someone for her.
“Now that I have said that, if you are watching ‘Extra,’ and you can think of somebody, send it our way and we will either swipe left or right,” Mandel joked with Extra’s Terry Seymour.
Not long after, Mandel said that Vergara doesn’t need any help when it comes to finding someone for a relationship. In fact, he said he believes she’ll need help when it comes to “fending them off.”
“I mean, she is a great friend, a brilliant person, businessperson, a powerhouse, an amazing sense of humor. She checks every box, so whoever ends up with Sofía is going to be really, really lucky,” Mandel said of his AGT co-worker and friend.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC.