Howie Mandel spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the joke he made on a recent episode of America’s Got Talent regarding his cohost Sofia Vergara‘s divorce. The Deal or No Deal host said people “were killing” him online after the episode aired.

“If I have one word of advice, if you're looking for eligible bachelors, you should've talked to Sofia because she's in the market right now,” Mandel said to Brynn Cummings, a ventriloquist who was looking for an eligible bachelor for one of her puppets. In July, Vergara and her husband of seven years, Joe Manganiello, announced they were divorcing.

“I just thought, 'Oh my god. Using Heidi to find an eligible bachelor? Hello! Who's right here? Sofia is on the market, ready and eager!'” Mandel told the outlet. “And then online people said it was too soon and it was tasteless.” Meanwhile, Vergara laughed and said, “Yes!” while throwing her hands up in the air after Mandel made the joke.

“It's not too soon! It's too soon when she's still married. Last season was too soon. Even if she saw it coming. I don't think she did. I'm just saying, that was too soon,” he added. “As soon as she's free, as soon as they live in separate homes, the door is open, people!”