Howie Mandel didn’t know what he was getting himself into.
“My son is a YouTuber and he was doing a live stream,” the America’s Got Talent judge, 60, tells PEOPLE of joining his son, Alex, 26, for a YouNow Q&A session last Friday. “I didn’t really understand what any of that meant, but I agreed to do it with him.”
When Mandel began interacting with the viewers via live video chat on YouNow, the TV personality got an idea.
“I have three children,” he says. “My oldest daughter, [Jackelyn, 31,] is married and about to have her second child and my younger daughter, [Riley, 23,] just got engaged. My son’s only engagements are when he communicates with his online followers, so I thought, ‘Why not see if I can set my third child on the path towards marriage.’ ”
Mandel put a call out for potential dates for Alex and the response was impressive.
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“I wasn’t trying to embarrass him – I think the fact that I exist does that enough – but I saw how he was chatting with people and I thought, ‘This is as good a place as any for him to find dates,” says Mandel. “And we got thousands and thousands of people interested.”
Mandel admits his son was “really embarrassed” and kept hitting him just out of frame, but now the father and son are headed back to YouNow for another live stream Thursday to continue the search.
“I liken this to what I do as a judge on America’s Got Talent. I never know what I’m looking for until I find it,” says Mandel. “This is bascially just America’s Got Daughter-In-Laws.”
Mandel knows YouNow may not be the most conventional place to find a date, but he thinks it may actually be better than meeting in person.
“I think you get to see who people really are when they are chatting with you live on webcam,” he says. “They aren’t getting all made up and meeting you at a bar or restaurant. You’re just seeing what they look like in their living rooms. You can learn a lot about a person by seeing their lives in that way.”
Mandel and his son will go live on Alex’s YouNow page at 7 p.m. ET tonight. Season 11 of America’s Got Talent premieres May 31 on NBC.