Howie Mandell Reacts to Criticism Over His Comment About Sofía Vergara's Relationship Status

By Brett Malec Aug 30, 2023 4:37 PMTags
Watch: Here's What Sofia Vergara Is Asking for in Joe Manganiello Divorce

Howie Mandel is still buzzing over the reaction he got from that cheeky comment about costar Sofía Vergara's newly single relationship status.

In fact, the comedian is standing by the joke he made about the Modern Family alum being "in the market" for a new man on the Aug. 22 episode of America's Got Talent—given her recent divorce from ex Joe Manganiello.

"I think everybody needs to take a shot at Sofía," Howie exclusively told E! News on the Aug. 30 episode (airing tonight at 11 p.m.). "I got killed for that last week to say she's on the market, but she is. And it isn't too soon. Last year was too soon. When Joe is in the house, it's too soon. Joe is out of the house, it's open season people!"

After making the quip on last week's live show, the 67-year-old assured viewers Sofía took the jest in stride.

"She is doing great," Howie added. "She is a wonderful, beautiful, strong, funny lady."

2023 Celebrity Breakups

Howie made headlines for making light of the 51-year-old's breakup when 12-year-old competitor Brynn Cummings performed a magic and ventriloquism act in which she asked fellow judge Heidi Klum to help her puppet find an eligible bachelor.

"If I have one word of advice," he said following the act, "if you're looking for eligible bachelors, you should've talked to Sofía 'cause she's in the market right now."

Sofía laughed off Howie's comment by shouting "yes" as she threw her hands in the air, but host Terry Crews tried to change the subject. "No," he replied. "No, we are not doing that here."

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Trae Patton/NBC

Last month, Sofía and Joe announced they are breaking up after seven years of marriage.

"We have made the difficult decision to divorce," the former couple said in a joint statement July 17. "As two people that love and care for one another very much, we politely ask for respect of our privacy at this time as we navigate this new phase of our lives."

The True Blood alum officially filed for divorce two days later.

For more exclusive scoop from the AGT judges, watch E! News tonight at 11 p.m. Keep reading to look back at Sofía and Joe's love story before their split.

Oscar-Worthy Date Night

The A-list couple stun at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in Beverly Hills on March 12.

Ciao Bella

Vergara and Manganiello enjoy a romantic getaway to Italy in the summer of 2022.

La Dolce Vita

The two tour the stunning Italian countryside.

On-Set Support

Vergara gets support from her hubby and son on set during the final day of filming Modern Family in 2020.

The Look of Love

The duo celebrate Valentine's Day 2020 with a sizzling Instagram pic.

Red Carpet Royalty

Manganiello and Vergara attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in L.A. in January 2020.

2020 Vision

The duo celebrate New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, 2019.

Birthday Babe

The True Blood alum holds his lady tight while celebrating her 47th birthday in July 2019.

I Heart You

The couple shares an adorable photo while celebrating Valentine's Day 2019.

Hangin' in Hawaii

Vergara presents her other half with The Shooting Star award during the 2019 Maui Film Festival in June 2019 in Wailea, Hawaii.

Trick or Treat?

The famous couple got spooky with Sofia Vergara's son Manolo for Halloween 2018.

Forever Dinner Date

The duo got all dressed up for a night on the town.

Love Like This

We just want to find someone that looks at us like these two look at each other.

Happily Ever After

It's a love story, we're so glad they said YES!

Pretty in Paradise

The couple enjoyed a much needed vacay together.

Crazy in Love

Their love for each other is undeniable!

They Shine Bright Like a Diamond

It's no secret that this Hollywood couple shines in everything they do, especially together.


Sofia Vergara threw her husband the ultimate Coachella-themed 40th Birthday Bash.

You Fancy, Huh?

They are the definition of color-coordinated couple goals.

Perfect for Each Other

According to a source, "They work out together, watch football together, go out to eat and to movies."


Lighting Up Each Other's World

Whether it is the 4th of July or New Years Eve, this happy couple is celebrating together.

Getting Some Vitamin Sea

Not sure what we love more: This beautiful couple or the stunning view behind them.

Love on Top

 "Joe makes Sofia feel like she is the most important woman in the world," says our E! insider.

Cutest Couple on the Carpet

Why Netflix & chill when you can get dressed up and attend the Solo: A Star Wars Movie premiere together?

Happiest Together

"I've never seen two people so truly in love. The way they talk to each other, touch each other—it's incredible," said a friend of the couple.

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Manganiello

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello said "I do" on November 21, 2015.

Kisses for the Mrs.

According to a friend of the couple, "She thinks he's gorgeous and sexy and she can't get enough of him. He is the nicest guy in the world and treats her like a queen. He's everything."

He Put a Ring On It

Joe Manganiello popped the question to Sofia Vergara on December 25, 2014.

Red Carpet Official

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara made their official red carpet debut as a couple at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens world premiere.


The power couple was first confirmed to be dating in July 2014.

America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays at Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC and streams next day on Peacock.

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Watch E! News weeknights Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m., only on E!.