Howie Mandel Defends His Joke About Sofia Vergara's Split From Joe Manganiello
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In a new interview, the judge of 'America's Got Talent' responds to backlash over his controversial joke about his fellow judge's new status following her split from Joe Manganiello.

AceShowbiz - Howie Mandel is standing by his joke about Sofia Vergara in an episode of "America's Got Talent". In a new interview, Howie responded to backlash over his joke about his fellow judge's new status following her split from Joe Manganiello.

The 67-year-old comedian told Extra that he didn't think it was too soon to poke fun at Sofia's single status. "People were online saying, 'Too soon,' " Howie shared. "I think as soon as you're available, it's never too soon. She's fresh, people."

The entertainment industry vet continued, "People thought that was mean and insensitive. If you watched Sofia, she screamed after she came over to me and thought it was funny. She said, 'Yes,' so she's got a great sense of humor and I wouldn't do anything to hurt a fellow - a friend first, and a fellow co-worker."

Howie went on joking, "Now that I have said that, if you are watching Extra, and you can think of somebody, send it our way and we will either swipe left or right." When asked if he has a good potential suitor for his co-star, he answered, "I think everybody watching who is available believes they're the perfect match for Sofia. I don't think, Sofia, to be honest… she doesn't need my help. She really doesn't. I believe that she'll be fending them off."

He then gushed over the Colombian-born actress. "I mean, she is a great friend, a brilliant person, businessperson, a powerhouse, an amazing sense of humor. She checks every box, so whoever ends up with Sofía is going to be really, really lucky," he shared. "Let's try and do it by the end of the season. We'll find her a match and leave it to America to vote."

In the Tuesday, August 22 episode, Howie quipped that Sofia is in the market for a new man. "I have one more piece of advice for you: if you're looking for eligible bachelors, you should've talked to Sofia because she's in the market right now," Howie said. Host Terry Crews jumped in to say, "No, we're not doing that here!"

Sofia and Joe announced their split after seven years of marriage. They said in a statement, "We have made the difficult decision to divorce. As two people that love and care for one another very much, we politely ask for respect for our privacy at this time as we navigate this new phase of our lives."

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