Behind the scenes on this issue’s cover shoot
The crew on most photo shoots involving a major celebrity are usually prepared for a Waiting-for-Godot— type scenario. The celeb might be late arriving on set. Or on rare instances they might not show up at all. It’s not a matter of rudeness — whenever they are doing promos, they are following a packed schedule. And one delay during their day can cause a chain reaction to shatter carefully plotted appointments made weeks in advance.
So we were completely caught off guard when Howie Mandel announced via his management team that he would be almost two hours early for our cover photo shoot. Our photographer Chris Chapman was still setting up a make-shift photo studio backstage at Montreal’s Place des Arts, home to the Just for Laughs comedy festival. So it was with some mortification I had to find a polite way of saying, “Can he come later?”
Luckily for us, the star was juggling more than a few things that day in another part of the theatre hosting The Howie Mandel AllStar Comedy Gala — part of the Just for Laughs festival. There were still rehearsals to be completed and sound checks to be done.
When he did finally bounce in for the 30-minute shoot, it was startling how boyish he looked at 62 years old. Already dressed in his out- fit to host the gala – which was only an hour or so away from start time – he was brimming with energy in his black skinny jeans, white sneakers and fitted blazer.
The shoot went by in whiz. He was in full comedian mode, managing to keep the crew laughing despite the frantic pace of trying to capture several shots involving different backdrops and a few baseball caps with telling statements. And not “What? What? …”
See the results in “Funny Man,” pg. 42.