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Howie Mandel jokes about secret to his 43-year marriage: ‘Haven’t said a word to each other’

Howie Mandel has opened up about what he thinks has made his decades-long marriage to his wife, Terry Mandel, work.

On Tuesday 12 September, the America’s Got Talent judge said that the two of them have a non-conventional way of speaking to one another during an interview with People. “My wife doesn’t speak or understand a word of English, so that’s what works for us,” he joked. “I don’t know how to say ‘I am funny’ in her language, but it works for us.”

“Communication is overrated,” Mandel continued. “I’ve been married for 43 years and we haven’t said a word to each other.”

Although the two 68 year olds have been married since 1980, they have known each other since high school at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Canada.

During an interview on the Today show, Mandel recalled he met his now-wife while in line to buy french fries. “I actually borrowed money from her,” he explained. “I didn’t know her, and I was short a couple of bucks for french fries and she lent me money. She was, like, 14 at the time and she lent me money. And I’ve been paying her back ever since.”

Mandel went on to say that his wife rejected his initial attempts to woo her, and, once they finally did go on their first date, it was cut short due to the weather. But that didn’t stop him from eventually asking for her hand in marriage.

“I was sitting in a deli, and I’d bought a loose diamond, and I put it on the table and said: ‘I got to go to the bathroom, but if you want to make a ring go ahead,’” he told Streets of Toronto.

After getting married in Toronto, the pair went on to have three children together: a son, Alex, born in 1989, and two daughters, Jackie and Riley, born in 1984 and 1992.

While speaking with People, Mandel also admitted that he isn’t sure if his fellow AGT judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum find him funny either.

“I don’t know that my fellow judges enjoy my humour or appreciate it for what it’s worth, but I think one day, years and years from now, they’re all going to sit back and go, oh, we should have relished this a little bit more,” Howie told the outlet. “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.”

Madel isn’t the only person opening up about their marriage secrets. Kristen Bell also recently revealed how she’s made her marriage with Dax Shepard work after all these years. Bell, 43, married the Hit and Run actor in 2013, nearly six years into their relationship. The Hollywood couple will celebrate 10 years of marriage in October of this year.

“Common goals, seek them out. Our kids are a common goal, right?” she told ET Online. “People are like: ‘Oh, I wouldn’t be able to work with my husband or wife or partner.’ For me, I want another common goal with him.”

“I respect him so much creatively. I have so much trust in him. Of course, I want him to be my director or my scene partner,” Bell continued.