Why Howie Mandel Helped AGT Comedian After She Got Rejected By Simon Cowell

Season 17 of America’s Got Talent celebrated its first night of qualifiers during the live episode earlier this week, and it included plenty of talented hopefuls aiming to make their mark. One would-be entertainer that took the stage was stand-up comic Lace Larrabee, whose act comprised stories about her marriage and her friends. Unfortunately, Simon Cowell buzzed her just three minutes in, which Larrabee later claimed was an unfair move. Luckily, she had the support of the other judges, including fellow stand-up vet Howie Mandel.

Following the live AGT episode, Mandel spoke to PEOPLE in support of Larrabee, whom he talked to after she’d exited the stage. He apparently gave the younger comedian some great advice that she will presumably keep close to her heart and mind for years to come. Here’s how Mandel put it:

You are mentally naked out there, and you are vulnerable, and as I said to her after Simon gave her the buzzer, humor is subjective. I said to her, ‘You’re not playing to Simon, you’re not playing to me, you’re not even playing to this audience — you’re playing to the millions of people out there, and you delivered your humor seamlessly , professionally, wonderfully. And don’t let these little bumps in the road stop you.

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