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Howie Mandel Reveals the Secret to His 43-Year Marriage: 'Communication Is Overrated' (Exclusive)

"My wife doesn't speak or understand a word of English, so that's what works for us,” the 'America's Got Talent' judge jokes to PEOPLE

Michael Caulfield/WireImage Howie Mandel and wife Terry
Michael Caulfield/WireImage Howie Mandel and wife Terry

Howie Mandel’s secret to his decades-long marriage isn’t what most people would expect.

On Tuesday, the America’s Got Talent judge, 67, opened up about his wife Terry Mandel to PEOPLE on the red carpet of the show's taping in Pasadena, California, joking about her impression of his sense of humor.

“My wife doesn't speak or understand a word of English, so that's what works for us,” the comedian teased. “I don't know how to say 'I am funny' in her language, but it works for us.”

“Communication is overrated,” quipped Howie. “I've been married for 43 years and we haven't said a word to each other.”

Related: Howie Mandel Is Not Actually Trying to Play Matchmaker for Sofía Vergara: 'She Doesn't Need My Help'

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Terry and Howie Mandel
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Terry and Howie Mandel

Howie and Terry, 68, have been married since 1980, but the couple went way back before they ever tied the knot. Both born in Toronto, Canada, the duo first met when they were in high school together at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute.

As the former Deal or No Deal host recalled during an appearance on Today with Hoda & Jenna last year, he and his wife met in line while waiting to buy french fries. "I actually borrowed money from her," Howie explained. "I didn't know her, and I was short a couple of bucks for french fries and she lent me money. She was, like, 14 at the time and she lent me money. And I've been paying her back ever since."

Even though she rejected his early advances and their first date ended in disaster due to bad weather, Howie went on to pop the question. "I was sitting in a deli, and I'd bought a loose diamond, and I put it on the table and said, 'I got to go to the bathroom, but if you want to make a ring go ahead,’ ” he told Streets of Toronto.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic Howie Mandel and wife Terry
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic Howie Mandel and wife Terry

Related: Howie Mandel on His Daughter Jackie Also Suffering from Anxiety and OCD

After getting married in their hometown, the couple welcomed three children: a son, Alex, born in 1989, and two daughters, Jackie and Riley, born in 1984 and 1992, respectively.

According to Howie, the jury is also out on whether his fellow AGT judges Simon Cowell, Sofía Vergara and Heidi Klum find him funny.

“I don't know that my fellow judges enjoy my humor or appreciate it for what it's worth, but I think one day, years and years from now, they're all going to sit back and go, oh, we should have relished this a little bit more,” Howie tells PEOPLE. “You don't know what you got 'til it's gone.”

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Fans will find out which two viewer-voted contestants to move onto the season 18 finale when the America's Got Talent results show airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Read the original article on People.