Comic Howie Mandel's first reaction when offered the chance to be host of a game show was to wonder whether it would be death for his career.
"If I'm a game show host, will someone buy a ticket to see me do standup?" he wondered. "If I'm a game show host, will I get an offer to do a dramatic role in a movie?"
His worries so far have proven unfounded, so Mandel was happily promoting NBC's "Deal or No Deal" on Sunday. The show, on which contestants can win a million dollars but also leave with one dollar if they make a bad bet, will return to NBC's schedule on Monday nights, preceding “The Apprentice,” in March.
"Deal or No Deal" did well in the ratings during a one-week run in December, although rivals said it faced little competition against reruns shortly before Christmas.
Mandel liked that the game had elements of comedy and drama and lets him use the full range of his skills, he said. People also appear to get involved while watching at home, envisioning themselves taking chances along with the contestants.
"There's no skill," he said. "You can be a rock and move into another cash bracket."