This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 21, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: "Don't Touch Me." That's the name of actor-comedian Howie Mandel's brand-new autobiography. He doesn't want anyone to touch him. So what's the deal? When Howie went "On the Record," we came equipped with hand sanitizer.
VAN SUSTEREN: Howie, nice to see you.
HOWIE MANDEL, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: Good to be seen.
VAN SUSTEREN: "Don't Touch Me," brand new book -- first of all, you've done everything. You are an actor, you're a comedian, you've got a great TV show -- writing.
MANDEL: I'm an author. I'm now an author.
VAN SUSTEREN: Wow. Have you dreamed to be an author?
MANDEL: It's not a dream I ever had, but nothing I've ever done. And this is an autobiography, and I talk about that. Nothing I have done in my career was a dream. I don't blaze a trail. I just follow this weird path.
I got up onstage as a dare in the '70s in Toronto to do standup comedy. And a guy saw me and told me to come back. I kept coming back. I went down to California and I got seen at the comedy store, and I became a comedian.
And then somebody -- I auditioned to be on a sitcom, and they were doing -- at MTM, and they were famous for sitcoms at the time, Mary Tyler Moore's company, and I became an actor. It was a drama. I had no idea. And recently I became a game show host.
And then I wrote a book about myself. Which has become -- the hook that people seem to be honing in on is the fact that I have OCD, you know, which is a big part of my life.
VAN SUSTEREN: Explain. OCD is --
MANDEL: Obsessive compulsive disorder.
VAN SUSTEREN: That means you keep doing the same thing over and over?
MANDEL: Well, the same thought over and over. You have an obsession and a compulsion to do something because of that obsession. I don't have the same whacky thoughts that you have. Do you have whacky thoughts? You don't strike me as whacky.
VAN SUSTEREN: I have a theory that we're all nuts only some of us hide it better than others. I'm good at hiding it. I think. The viewers will tell you.
MANDEL: I don't know if you're hiding it, but you're hiding it very well today. I'm not sensing any wackiness. But I'll have a whacky thought, and it's like a skipping record. I can't get by it.
So whether that thought be the fact that I have some germ on my hands and I have to -- the compulsion to go and wash it over and over and over again, and it stops my hand --
VAN SUSTEREN: And I confess to you when you sat down that I do have this in my pocket.
MANDEL: For those of you just joining us -- usually you'll go to a show, and you've been so careful and such a gracious host, because they didn't even have somebody put on my microphone. Nobody wanted to touch me. They said put this on yourself.
You offered me the Purell, the anti-bacterial, which I can't use. I love it, it's a phenomenal product. I'll tell you why, and it's in my book. When I was doing my talk show, I had a talk show in the '90s, a daytime talk show, and at that time I didn't talk about my mental issues. So I would shake hands instead of saying I'm a germaphobe, but I was a germaphobe, and I would soak in it. And then -
VAN SUSTEREN: You mean like -- we use it all the time because we're on the road all the time.
MANDEL: I would soak in it.
VAN SUSTEREN: You didn't bathe in it. You didn't put it in the tub.
MANDEL: To me that's like a dream. I would love to. That would be a very -- anyway, I lost my train of thought because that is such a wonderful, sexy thought, bathing in Purell.
VAN SUSTEREN: We told you that you could mic yourself.
MANDEL: And then I took the -- I had a surgical scrub that surgeons use, and I would wash my hands so much so that I killed all the antibodies in my hands.
VAN SUSTEREN: Really?
MANDEL: Germs are actually good. That kills enough, but I killed too much, and I ended up getting -- it's not because of this, because of overdoing it with the surgical scrubs and that, I ended up having -- I got viruses. Whatever I touched, I ended up getting warts.
And I went to the doctor and said what are these things? And he goes you've got no antibodies.
VAN SUSTEREN: You were using it that much.
MANDEL: That much. I'm compulsive. Everything that I do is -- it's over the top.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me -- with all the discussion about swine flu, I have to ask you a question. We use this because we travel so much. We're always scrubbing down and thinking we're going to catch something on a plane. How long have you been a germaphobe?
MANDEL: You're asking my age?
VAN SUSTEREN: No, how long have you been cleaning -- keeping yourself really clean?
MANDEL: My whole life. I also talk in the book about being a kid, I was ridiculed because when my shoelaces -- I'll show you this now. I don't have laces, because I'm afraid that laces may touch the floor and then I won't touch them.
So when I was a little bogy I learning to tie my shoelaces. If they came untied when I would never tie them, and the kids at school thought I didn't know how to tie my shoelaces, and I was ridiculed. And my shoes would come off and I'd walk like Quasimodo just to try to keep them on. So I've always been this way.
VAN SUSTEREN: The reason that we're always afraid we're going to get sick on the road, do you get colds and flus?
MANDEL: I probably get more...
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you get more?
MANDEL: Probably, because I keep myself so sequestered. I wear masks, I wear gloves, I -- if anybody in my house sniffles, I'll go to another part of the house and sleep there. So I'm not --
VAN SUSTEREN: For how long? What's your -
MANDEL: Till the coast is clear.
VAN SUSTEREN: If someone sneezes here, how long before you'll feel comfortable here?
MANDEL: Well, I won't.
VAN SUSTEREN: Somebody must have sneezed sometime.
MANDEL: People sneeze, and I live in terror. But I go to therapy and I'm medicated and I'm OK. I mean, I'm functioning. It's really hard.
VAN SUSTEREN: But a lot of people now have a heightened awareness of germs. Yours seems a little extreme. Yours is extreme.
MANDEL: And now the world is joining me. It seems like everything that you have to enact because of this H1N1 is like -- you know what I call that for me? Wednesday. That's not a special thing. That's the waive I act. I wash. I won't touch my face. I won't touch any mucus membrane. I will not touch elevator buttons or handrails, I don't serve myself from public...
VAN SUSTEREN: You wouldn't go to a buffet?
MANDEL: If I did, I would have the -- I can go to a buffet, but I have certain rituals. I have my own utensils and I'll have them serve me from the back. I won't touch the same thing that everybody else touches, and I won't touch anything if they have the ladle and they dropped it back into the -- you have no idea. I am so busy. I'm making paths in my hotel room with towels.
VAN SUSTEREN: Hotels are really bad. Have you ever seen when they do the green light?
MANDEL: No, it's a black light.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you carry that?
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have it now?
MANDEL: No, I'm not sleeping here. I going to talk to you for a couple minutes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you're welcome, but I have to go. I have to catch a train, but you're welcome to spend the night here in the studio.
MANDEL: A bath of Purell and an evening with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: There's so much more of our interview with Howie Mandel, and you will love this. So go to GretaWire.com and check out the entire interview. Howie is not dull.
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