(NEW YORK) — Howie Mandel returns to America’s Got Talent at the end of this month, but he’s also got a host of other projects, including a comedy special, and advocating for a cause that’s literally close to his heart.

Mandel’s new special, Howie Mandel Presents Howie Mandel at the Howie Mandel Comedy Club, is his first in 20 years. While times have changed, he admits, “I don’t know if it’s harder, but it’s scarier.”

“[These days], just because you’re a comedian doesn’t mean you can’t cross the line,” he explains. “And just because you did it in the context of an act doesn’t mean that people couldn’t come at you and you could lose your career.” 

Mandel’s also the new face of Take Cholesterol to Heart, an initiative which raises awareness of high cholesterol.  The comedian was diagnosed with it in his 30s but thanks to diet and medication, the 63-year-old star has it in check.  However, he admits it was a wakeup call.

As he tells ABC Radio. “[W]hat makes it even scarier [is] you can’t think just because you’re thin, just because you’re in shape…doesn’t mean you don’t have high cholesterol.”

Mandel adds, “You know today even more than ever, with the loss of John Singleton and Luke Perry, you realize how prevalent…stroke and heart disease is. And high cholesterol is the leading cause of that.”

On another topic, how much does Mandel recall of Duchess Meghan Markle, who was one of his show Deal or No Deal’s signature briefcase models back in the day?

“I have no recollection of her at all,” Howie admits, “But yeah, it’s kind of cool…And I would imagine some of the new models [on the show] will one day be vice presidents, at least.”

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