The Winnipeg Comedy Festival is celebrating 10 years with a big opening act.
Howie Mandel will perform at the Winnipeg festival on April 1, festival director Al Rae announced on Tuesday.
"I've wanted Howie for a long time. He was sort of out of our price range so it took some diplomacy, but you know, he's a great guy," Rae said.
Mandel is well known as host of the TV game show Deal or No Deal and more recently as a judge on America's Got Talent. However, the Toronto-born and raised entertainer first made his mark with a zany comic repertoire that included placing a latex glove over his head and inflating it by blowing through his nose.
He also had a six-year run on TV's St. Elsewhere during the 1980s and both created and starred in the children's cartoon Bobby's World.
In 2004, Mandel was included on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand up comedians of all time, ranking 82nd.
In addition to being ecstatic about having Mandel in the festival, Rae is also thrilled with how the event has evolved over the past decade.
"The growth of the shows, the amount of new people we've been able to hire — the comedy scene in the city is blossoming."
The festival itself is also being extended to 10 days from seven. It begins April 1 with all kinds of jokes and runs until the 10th.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday.
For more information check the comedy festival's website.