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'Deal or No Deal' host Howie Mandel released from Toronto hospital

TORONTO - Canadian TV star Howie Mandel was released from a Toronto hospital on Tuesday and planned to be back at work a day later.

TORONTO - Canadian TV star Howie Mandel was released from a Toronto hospital on Tuesday and planned to be back at work a day later.

Such is life for the busy host of two network shows.

A spokesman for the Toronto-born comedian told The Canadian Press that Mandel would return to work on his new show, "Howie Do It," a day after being hospitalized overnight with an irregular heartbeat.

"Howie has been released from the hospital and will be back at work tomorrow," Lewis Kay said in an email. "He appreciates everyone's concern."

Toronto police said officers were called to a downtown hotel Monday after getting a call for a man with an undisclosed "medical condition."

Police said Mandel was conscious and breathing when he arrived at St. Michael's Hospital, accompanied by family members.

Late Monday, Kay issued an email statement refuting early reports that the comedian had suffered a heart attack.

"Howie is in the hospital being monitored for an irregular heartbeat but doctors expect him to be released and back to work tomorrow," Kay said at the time. "He did not have a heart attack."

Celebrity gossip website TMZ.com reported Tuesday that a doctor had detected an irregular heartbeat while checking Mandel during a routine physical.

According to the website, the doctor gave Mandel medicine to control his heartbeat but cautioned him not to take it on an empty stomach. Mandel reportedly ignored the advice before fainting later.

Mandel's hospitalization comes amid shooting for "Howie Do It," a prank show designed as a cross between "Candid Camera" and "Punk'd."

The show, which debuted earlier this month in both the U.S. and Canada, follows on his success as the host of NBC's "Deal or No Deal."

Mandel also has a smattering of live performances scheduled over the next few months. He said in a recent interview he wasn't worried about overextending himself.

"I've been in this business for 30 years and spent a good part of the 30 years looking for work, so if I have found a job that there's too much of, that's a problem you can only dream about having," he said.

The 53-year-old is notorious for his neuroses. He has said in the past that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder and a germ phobia.

He refuses to shake hands with contestants on "Deal or No Deal" and keeps his head cleanly shaven because he says it feels more sanitary.

In a recent interview, Mandel said he drew on some of those phobias while searching for material for "Howie Do It."

"When we come up with ideas ... they come from my biggest fears and what would affect me," he said.

"In my reality, shaking hands is the equivalent of you sticking your finger in my soft drink or my cake, so just because that was my horror, I thought it would be interesting to see how people react."

Mandel frequently jokes about his affliction.

When he appeared as a guest host on "Live With Regis and Kelly" on Friday, a guest told viewers that they should visit the doctor every three years.

"Just three years to the doctor, that's amazing," Mandel said. "I'm a hypochondriac, I go every three weeks."

The video prompted TMZ to feature a poll asking users if Mandel's heart problems were real or in his head.

But visitors to Mandel's MySpace page didn't share that skepticism.

"I'm sorry to hear you're in the hospital. I hope you feel better soon," wrote a fan named Alisha.

Added another: "Get well Soon."

Mandel's recent success marks a return to the limelight for the career comedian, who starred on "St. Elsewhere" in the 1980s before almost fading from sight for nearly 20 years.

His fortunes turned in 2005 when he was chosen to host "Deal or No Deal," the game show that drew 16 million viewers at its peak and became a cash cow for NBC.

Last fall, the show also went into syndication with a daytime version.

Mandel said recently he hopes the show has a lengthy run, comparing it to the CBS game show "The Price Is Right."

"In syndication, Bob Barker did his daytime version for what, 30-odd years? I have no idea how long these things can last, do last, or will last, all I know is I've got a job and I'll show up for work," he said.

"I'm just happy to have the job and I'll stay with it as long as they'll have me."

- With files from Michelle McQuigge and Neena Chowdhury in Toronto.

 
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