'AGT' Comedian Mike E. Winfield Reacts to 'Amazing' Offer from Howie Mandel to Open at His Upcoming Show

"No matter what, I want to see more of you. I either want to see you in the final or I'd love to share a stage with you," Howie Mandel told PEOPLE after surprising Winfield with an offer to open for him

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- “Semi Finals 1” Episode 1715 -- Pictured: Howie Mandel -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC); AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- “Semi Finals 1” Episode 1715 -- Pictured: Mike E. Winfield -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Howie Mandel and Mike E. Winfield. Photo: Trae Patton/NBC (2)

Even if comedian contestant Mike E. Winfield doesn't make it to the America's Got Talent finale, he's got himself a job.

Howie Mandel surprised everyone on Tuesday night when he invited the season 17 semifinalist to open up for him at an upcoming comedy show following Winfield's stellar live show performance.

"I will tell you something: if you do not get voted into the finals, on September 9, I'm playing the Westbury Theater in New York," Mandel told Winfield after the comedian received a standing ovation from the judges. "You come and open up for me."

Once the 66-year-old judge made his offer, both Winfield and host Terry Crews' jaws dropped in disbelief.

"But I've got a feeling you're not going to be available," Mandel added, noting how Winfield would likely be busy preparing for the season 17 finale.

AMERICAS GOT TALENT -- Quarterfinals 1 Episode 1709 Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Terry Crews, Sofia Vergara, Simon Cowell (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images)
The judges and host of America's Got Talent. Trae Patton/NBC/Getty

Speaking to PEOPLE after the live show, the Baltimore, Maryland comedian said the crowd was screaming so loudly that he almost missed what Mandel told him.

"I didn't hear everything, but I heard the offer," Winfield explained. "I heard the date and I wrote it down and I'm going to follow up somehow."

Winfield also noted how surreal the moment felt on stage. "That was the first time, I think, physically my body moved across stage," he said. "Because I was [like], 'That really just happened?' in real time. So yes, that would be amazing!"

Though Mandel is known for his own comedic chops, the AGT judge told PEOPLE wasn't joking when it came to the once-in-a-lifetime offer.

"He just makes me, and an entire room, explode and my first thought is, you deserve one of the two votes to go on, but if America does not get it right and doesn't vote for you, I know that next week I'm going to be on the road anyway, in New York on the 9th," Mandel said. "He lives on the east coast. Come on over and I'll give you time on the stage on my show."

"No matter what, I want to see more of you," Mandel continued. "I either want to see you in the final or I'd love to share a stage with you. That's what it is."

"I think he's unique. I think he's a star in himself," he added. "I love everything he's talking about. I like the way he dresses and his glasses and the way he looks. I liked everything about him. I think the kid is a star. I thought that was the best performance of the night."

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- “Semi Finals 1” Episode 1715 -- Pictured: Mike E. Winfield -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Trae Patton/NBC

Fellow judges Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell told PEOPLE they were also impressed by Mandel's generous offer — even if it was perceived as a "shameless" plug for his upcoming show.

"It's so nice that he just gave him that job," Klum said. "Sometimes that's what makes things happen, you have to start the ball rolling, and why not? I think it was very nice of him to offer that."

"Well, he is shameless," Cowell jokingly stated. "Howie is the best person at promoting himself in the world. I actually went to him, and I went, 'That was shameless, you know that.' And he just gave me a look. And it's, 'Wow, that's how you promote yourself.'"

"He'll stand true to his word, a hundred percent," Cowell added. "I think Mike's probably thinking, at this moment, I want to make it through to the final. So, let me concentrate on that. But it was cool."

Crews also chimed in: "Mike E, the fact [is] that he wowed us tonight. The only way I could really say is like, a star is born. He wowed the auditions but no one knew he could take it like this. He took the reins and he acted like a seasoned vet. Howie's offer to him in the middle of the show just took it through the roof."

Howie Mandell
Howie Mandell. Sami Drasin/NBC

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Although Mandel extended the generous invitation, Winfield is hoping to decline the offer for a spot on AGT's finale stage on Sept. 13 and 14.

"See, here's the catch," Winfield explained. "I don't know how much Howie's paying me. If he was offering a million, I think I would say, 'You know what, finals? That's probably a huge opportunity, but I'm going to be set.'"

"But here's the thing about AGT: the exposure's phenomenal," he continued. "So, I could probably get that million just by performing and getting opportunities on the road. So, that's a tough one."

Fans will find out if Winfield is one of two viewer-voted contestants to move onto the season 17 finale when the AGT results show airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Related Articles