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Mandel focuses on functioning

Odd news alert: Howie Mandel of "Deal or No Deal" owns some City Stop gas station-convenience stores in Las Vegas. If you fill up your tank or buy gum there, you’re contributing to the economy of Howie Mandel.

This came to light the other day, when comedian Sandra Bernhard told Howard Stern she and Mandel, who have a business manager in common, own shopping centers here.

"I’ve been" to the shopping centers, Mandel, 52, tells me. Obvious question: Are there massage parlors in these centers?

"No," he says, but he jokes about soliciting them. "God knows I’ve tried to rent (space) to more tenants."

You might already know that Mandel — performing stand-up at 10 tonight and Saturday at The Mirage ($77; 792-7777) — deals with obsessive-compulsive disorder. So I ask if he has studied Vegas’ most famous OCD sufferer, the late recluse Howard Hughes.

"I can’t tell you how many nights I have feared that I’m gonna end up locking myself in a room, naked, peeing into a bottle," he says.

"You can … totally let it destroy you, or you can be proactive. And that’s life. It’s a great metaphor for life. You can be proactive and function," he says. "Every day, even though I make fun of it, it’s a lot of work."

Mandel is also a germophobe (mysophobia). He shaved his full head of curly hair about six years ago for a movie, but he keeps shaving because his wife thought this was sexy, and it rebranded his image — but it’s also "cleaner" and staves off hairy bacteria.

I remind him he doesn’t shave his eyebrows, which host bacteria.

"I know, I know, I know," he says, sounding slightly anxious. "But I try not to think of that. You always look at the upside of things. I’m like a landlord. … I don’t think of them as bacteria. I think of them as tenants."

Mandel also has ADHD. That’s a lot of disorders.

"It is a lot. I’m telling you, my therapist is very busy in an all-new tax bracket," he says. "But I’m here to tell people you can function. ADHD in adults is pretty common. There’s actually a Web site where you can semi-test yourself: adultadhdisreal.com," for which he is the spokesman.

Mandel’s family TV show has made him more recognizable, but fans shouldn’t take kids to his Mirage shows, which are improvisational and interactive.

"It’s a free-for-all. I look at it as a giant party and I’m just trying to be the center of attention," he says.

By the way, tonight’s "Deal or No Deal" offers a potential $2 million giveaway (8 p.m. today, KVBC-TV, Channel 3; the show runs in syndication at 5 and 5:30 p.m. weekdays on KVCW-TV, Channel 33.) I inform Mandel of something Drew Carey says, that when people lose on Carey’s "Price Is Right," he wants to give them money from his own pocket.

"I feel the same way," Mandel says. "When people lose (on ‘Deal or No Deal’), I want Drew Carey to give them money out of his pocket."

Doug Elfman’s column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 702-383-0391 or delfman@ reviewjournal.com. Write on the blog at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

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