Howie Mandel Brings Popular Animal Instagram Account to TV
Howie Mandel watches funny cat videos at work? Celebrities really are just like us! The comedian and America’s Got Talent judge enjoys animal antics so much that he decided to team up with AnimalsDoingThings to bring the popular Instagram account to TV.
Premiering Saturday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on Nat Geo WILD, Howie Mandel’s Animals Doing Things showcases the web’s funniest animal videos and pairs them with Mandel’s quips and observations, as well as animal experts’ know-how on why critters do such goofy things.
Unfamiliar with AnimalsDoingThings? Check out a compilation of the account’s best videos below—and read on for Mandel’s story behind the show.
How did this show get started?
I found the AnimalsDoingThings Instagram page. All day long, five times a day, I’d share. I’d go, “Look at this, look at this, look at this.” I said, Why am I just sitting here on my phone just enjoying this Instagram page? This is like a TV show. I called the guys up who created that website, and I said, “I’d love to be your partner and if there’s any way, can I be part of this and present it to a network?” and they said go ahead. I’m just thrilled that NatGeo got on board with me.
What clips get selected for the show?
I curated some of my favorite moments, and that can continually change. Even while we make the show, I go, “Oh, you got to put this one in instead, this is so much funnier. This is a better shot.” Right up until airtime, I’m pulling out clips and putting in clips and driving everybody crazy and just having a great time. When something you are a fan of becomes something that you’re working on, that’s the collision of all the best worlds.
It sounds like you’re having a lot of fun!
I am. It doesn’t really feel like a job. When I’m at every job I have, I sit on my phone, and that’s what I’m staring at. I’m staring at AnimalsDoingThings. It makes me giggle, it’s adorable, it’s jaw-dropping, it’s funny—and now I’m just sharing that.
The clips are hilarious but you also include commentary from animal experts. What does that add to the show?
As much as I find it entertaining to comment and to share and to laugh and to enjoy, I also can’t tell you how many moments are left with an unanswered question. So on the show, we will answer the questions. There’s a million clips of cats falling. They climb things and they fall, but they always land on their feet, and you say, “Oh my god, it’s OK, it landed on its feet. I wonder if there’s a reason for that.” Well, there is a reason for why they always land on their feet, and we have an expert tell us why. You’ll be entertained, you’ll be educated, you’ll laugh, you’ll be in awe—and hopefully you’ll enjoy.
Do you have pets of your own?
We have three dogs. I have a dichotomy because I love looking at them and I like having them, but I’m a germaphobe.
What are some of the funniest things your pets do?
I’m just fascinated by animals. Like my family will bring home a pet, and there’re not really caged—and I’m not talking about dogs. My son always had ferrets and hedgehogs and lizards and turtles and snakes. I feel like I raised my family in an ark—without it raining because I’m in California and there’s sort of a drought.
Do you have a favorite animal video of all time?
I don’t—each one of these clips is like a child to me. I think the best one is always yet to come. Every time I think I’ve seen everything, I realize I ain’t seen nothing yet. I can open up my phone today, and I’m calling my partner, David Leepson, who’s the production company behind it, and say, “Did you see the raccoon eating an apple today? You gotta put that in! I gotta have the raccoon eating the apple!” He’ll go, “OK, where do you want me to put that?”