The story goes that huggable, highly affable stand-up comedian Howie Mandel began his show biz career by chance while catching amateur night at the Comedy Store on the L.A. Sunset Strip during a vacation. Goaded on by friends to try out, a producer spotted him, hired him for an appearance on a comedy game show and the rest is history. Talk about luck! Howie would move from this to TV celebrity, screenwriter, actor, producer, director, entrepreneur, and popular game show panelist/host. Curly-haired Jewish-Canadian Howard Michael Mandel II was born in Toronto, Ontario on November 29 1955, and raised there. Of Romanian and Polish descent, and a distant cousin of Israeli violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, he proved to be a highly controversial class clown in high school and was expelled for some costly antics. He soon found work as a carpet salesman while hitting the stage at night as a cut-up at Toronto's Yuk Yuk's comedy club. His routine, which included extremely bizarre sight gags, which

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