Megan Daley
May 15, 2015 AT 06:18 PM EDT

Early in his career, Howie Mandel of America’s Got Talent knew that landing an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was the best gig a comedian could get. So, in quick preparation for his guest spot, he stopped by a studio’s prop room to pick up the essentials: a plastic saber-toothed tiger and a giant fake carrot. 

“That’s the last time I did the Johnny Carson show,” Mandel says, “I remember getting the call, going ‘Johnny wasn’t happy.’ And that’s the first time I felt a little flutter in my heart.”  

Watch Mandel recount the disastrous experience, along with his AFib diagnosis (the other reason for a flutter in his heart), ahead of the America’s Got Talent premiere on Tuesday, May 26 at 8 p.m. on NBC. 


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