Howie Mandel Cracks Hacking Joke At Unamused Piers Morgan On America’s Got Talent

CNN host Piers Morgan defended himself on Twitter Tuesday morning against suggestions that he had any involvement with phone hacking while he was editor of recently shuttered News of the World, but that didn’t stop the scandal from jumping to his cushy entertainment gig as a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Fellow judge Howie Mandel couldn’t resist getting a dig in at Morgan early in Tuesday night’s live broadcast, wondering aloud how he and Piers had arrived at the same comments.

Morgan’s role on AGT is similar to prickly odd-Brit-out Simon Cowell‘s on American Idol, so while he’s frequently at odds with both Mandel and Sharon Osbourne, Morgan and Mandel have an especially testy onscreen relationship. As often as they trade insults, it would have been weird for Howie not to take the shot. When explaining his critique of “Attack Dance Squad,” Mandel said, “Piers, that’s what I was gonna say, I don’t know how you got those comments. You musta hacked me, or something.”

Morgan did a sarcastic laugh, then said, “I’m gonna hack you in a minute.”

Considering the size and scope of the NOTW brouhaha, Morgan took the remark in stride, but it was still unusual to see a news personality taking a ribbing from a stand-up comic on a game show. Can we see Louie Anderson heckling Geraldo Rivera on Family Feud next?

Here’s the clip, from NBC:

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