Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried

Born: February 28, 1955
Age: 63
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Biography

Gilbert Gottfried (born February 28, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and voice actor. Gottfried's persona as a comedian features an exaggerated shrill voice and emphasis on crude humor. His numerous roles in film and television include voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin, Digit in the children's cartoon/educational math-based show Cyberchase, and Kraang Subprime in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Gottfried was also the voice of the Aflac Duck until 2011.

Since 2014, Gottfried has hosted a podcast titled Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, which airs new episodes each week featuring discussions of classic movies and celebrity interviews, most often with veteran actors, comedians and comedy writers. A documentary on Gottfried's life and career was released in 2017, titled Gilbert.

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Career

Early career (1970-1998)

At age 15, Gottfried began doing amateur stand-up in New York City and, after a few years, became known around New York as "the comedian's comedian." In 1980, Saturday Night Live was being retooled with a new staff and new comedians; the producers noticed Gottfried and hired him as a cast member for season 6. Gottfried's persona in SNL sketches was very different from his later characterization: he rarely (if ever) spoke in his trademark screeching, obnoxious voice and never squinted. During his 12-episode stint, he was given very little airtime and seldom used in sketches. Gottfried recalls a low point was having to play a corpse in a sketch about a sports organist hired to play inappropriate music at a funeral. Despite this, he had one recurring character (Leo Waxman, husband to Denny Dillon's Pinky Waxman on the recurring talk show sketch, "What's It All About?") and two celebrity impersonations: David A. Stockman and controversial film director Roman Polanski.

Gottfried also played accountant Sidney Bernstein in the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II.

Although not a regular, he also appeared in The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, as well as voicing the crazed dentist Dr. Bender and his son Wendell in The Fairly OddParents and the voice of Jerry the Belly Button Elf on Ren and Stimpy. Three of his most prominent roles came in 1990, 1991, and 1992, when he was cast as the adoption agent Igor Peabody in Problem Child and Problem Child 2 and the parrot Iago in Aladdin. When asked how he prepared for the role, Gottfried said, "I did the whole DeNiro thing. I moved to South America! I lived in the trees!" Gottfried reprised the role in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the television series and various related media, such as Kingdom Hearts and House of Mouse. Gottfried also voiced Berkely Beetle in 1994's Thumbelina.

In 1996, he starred as a talking smoke detector, in "Be Cool about Fire Safety," a short fire safety video for younger audiences.

Gottfried was the host of the Saturday edition of USA Up All Night for its entire run from 1989 to 1998.

Voice acting, television and films (1999-present)

On the most recent version of Hollywood Squares, Gottfried was a regular guest. On one particular episode, which aired on October 1, 1999, he was the last square on the board for a five-square win, but both contestants repeatedly got his answers wrong, prompting Gottfried to yell "YOU FOOL!" with every incorrect response. It took seven tries before a contestant finally correctly agreed with him, specifically on a question of "smog" being a combination of smoke and fog.

Gottfried has provided the voice of the duck in the Aflac commercials and Digit in Cyberchase, as well as Mister Mxyzptlk in Superman: The Animated Series. He also voiced a nasty wisecracking criminal genius named Nick-Nack in two episodes of Superboy (he also co-wrote an issue of Superboy: The Comic Book, which featured Nick-Nack's origin). On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Gottfried has made regular appearances.

In 2004, Comedy Central featured Gottfried's stand-up material for Shorties Watchin' Shorties. Gottfried was part of an online advertising campaign for Microsoft's Office XP software, showing, in a series of Flash-animated cartoons, that the Clippy office assistant would be removed. In 2006, Gottfried topped the Boston Phoenix's tongue-in-cheek list of the world's 100 Unsexiest Men. In April 2006, Gottfried performed with the University of Pennsylvania's Mask and Wig Club in their annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival. Also in 2006, he made an appearance on the Let's Make a Deal portion of Gameshow Marathon (as a baby in a large high chair, he says "Hey Ricki, I think I need my diaper changed!"), and in the Dodge Viper in the big deal (where he tells the contestants "What were you thinking?!" because neither one picked it). He also guest-starred in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy as Santa Claus in the one-hour Christmas Special. He voiced Rick Platypus in an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey entitled "That Darn Platypus".

He appeared as Peter's horse in an episode of Family Guy entitled "Boys Do Cry" (in which Peter Griffin is enthused to learn that Gottfried is providing the horse's voice). He also guest-starred in Hannah Montana as Barny Bittmen. In January 2009, Gottfried worked again with David Faustino for an episode of Faustino's show Star-ving. In 2011, Gottfried appeared in the episode "Lost Traveler" on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Leo Gerber, a sarcastic computer professional working for the NYPD's Technical Assistance Response Unit, which producer Warren Leight said could become a recurring character. Gottfried read a section from the hit book Fifty Shades of Grey in a June 2012 YouTube video, which was created with the aim of using Gottfried's trademark voice to make fun of the book's graphic sexual content.

In 2013, Gottfried became a member of "Team Rachael" on the second season of Food Network's Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. In March 2013 he appeared on ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap. He swapped wives with Alan Thicke. He is also a commentator on truTV Presents: World's Dumbest....

On May 28, 2014, Sideshow Network premiered Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, an interview series where Gottfried and his co-host Frank Santopadre discuss classic movies and talk to "Hollywood legends and behind-the-scenes talents" who shaped Gottfried's childhood and influenced his comedy. His first guest was Dick Cavett.

Gottfried was the third contestant fired during the fourteenth season of the NBC reality show The Celebrity Apprentice. Gottfried's most recent role came in 2016 when he played the 'Pig Man' in a comedy/fantasy film Abnormal Attraction.

Personal life

In the late 1990s, Gottfried met Dara Kravitz at a Grammy Awards party. They were married in 2007 and have two children together, daughter Lily and son Max. They reside in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Gottfried was raised in a Jewish family, but he has commented on his podcast that he did not have a bar mitzvah. One of his sisters was Arlene Gottfried, a New York Street photographer, who died in 2017.

Comedic style

Danny Gallagher of the Dallas Observer wrote that "Gottfried has one of the most original formulas in the history of comedy", adding: "You don't just laugh at the punchline when Gilbert Gottfried tells a joke. You laugh at the setup. You laugh at his comments about the joke. You even laugh at the segues between his jokes." Gottfried is known for speaking in a loud and grating voice, which is not his natural speaking voice. Mark Binneli of Rolling Stone described Gottfried as a "squinting, squawking mass of contradictions", noting his status as "one of America's filthiest stand-ups and one of the most successful voice-over artists in children's entertainment." Gottfried is known for joking about recent tragedies. In a July 2012 op-ed for CNN, he wrote: "I have always felt comedy and tragedy are roommates. If you look up comedy and tragedy, you will find a very old picture of two masks. One mask is tragedy. It looks like it's crying. The other mask is comedy. It looks like it's laughing. Nowadays, we would say, 'How tasteless and insensitive. A comedy mask is laughing at a tragedy mask.'"

Controversial jokes

1991 Emmy Awards

At the 43rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Gottfried made "an endless series of masturbation jokes" in reference to Paul Reubens' arrest for masturbating in an adult movie theater. Viewers on the east coast saw the entire set live, but Fox censored the broadcast for the west coast delay. Fox issued an apology, stating that Gottfried's jokes were "irresponsible and insulting". Gottfried said that producers stated he would not be invited back, and Rolling Stone wrote that the monologue resulted in him being "blacklisted".

September 11 joke

During his monologue at a Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner three weeks after the September 11 attacks, Gottfried joked that he had intended to catch a plane, but could not get a direct flight because "they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first". This was one of the first public examples of 9/11 humor. Audience members responded with hisses and a cry of "Too soon!" Gottfried then abandoned his prepared remarks and launched into the venerable Aristocrats joke, winning back the audience. Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza used Gottfried's monologue as a segment in their 2005 film The Aristocrats.

Japanese tsunami jokes

In March 2011, Gottfried made a series of jokes on his Twitter account about the earthquake disaster in Japan. Aflac, which does 75% of its business in Japan, responded by dismissing Gottfried from voicing its duck mascot on March 14, 2011, and announced a casting call for his replacement as the voice of the duck. He was replaced by Daniel McKeague (who did an impression of Gottfried) on April 26, 2011.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
1984 Gallavants Edil (voice; on his first film role)
1984 The House of God Paramedic
1985 Bad Medicine Tony Sandoval
1987 Beverly Hills Cop II Sidney Bernstein
1988 Hot to Trot Dentist
1989 Never on Tuesday Lucky Larry Lupin
1990 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Johnny Crunch
1990 Seriously...Phil Collins Roger
1990 Problem Child Mr. Peabody
1991 Problem Child 2 Mr. Peabody
1991 Horror Hall of Fame 2 Boris
1992 Aladdin Iago the Parrot (voice)
1992 Highway to Hell Hitler
1994 Aladdin: The Return of Jafar Iago the Parrot (voice)
1994 Thumbelina Berkeley Beetle (voice)
1994 Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Las Vegas Burt Banner
1994 Double Dragon Walter
1995 The Magic Gift of the Snowman Charlatan (voice)
1995 Problem Child 3 Dr. Peabody
1996 Aladdin and the King of Thieves Iago the Parrot (voice)
1996 Escape from It's a Wonderful Life Angry man on porch
1996 Be Cool About Fire Safety Seymour Smoke
1997 Def Jam's How to Be a Player Tony the Doorman
1998 Dr. Dolittle Compulsive Dog (voice)
1999 Goosed Alan Levy
2001 Longshot Mr. Chadwick
2002 Mickey's House of Villains Iago the Parrot (voice)
2004 The Amazing Floydini Magic Store owner
2004 Back by Midnight Security Guard
2004 Funky Monkey Dr. Spleen
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Duck
2005 The Aristocrats Himself
2006 Farce of the Penguins "I'm Freezing My Nuts Off" Penguin (voice)
2007 Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams Iago the Parrot (voice)
2008 Gilbert Gottfried: Dirty Jokes Himself
2009 The Lindabury Story Himself
2009 Jack and the Beanstalk Grayson the Goose
2011 Miss December The Police Officer
2013 Beecher Baby Bouncer Himself
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Abraham Lincoln
2016 The Comedian's Guide to Survival Himself
2016 Abnormal Attraction Pig Man
2016 Director's Cut Superintendent
2016 Unbelievable!!!! Major LeGrande Bushe
2016 Gender Bender Dr. Montalto
2016 Life, Animated Himself
2016 The Comedian Trevor Friedmann
2016 Hospital Arrest Jerome Carter
2017 Gilbert Himself
2017 80s Creature House Grim Reaper
2017 Animal Crackers Mario Zucchini (voice)

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1980-1981 Saturday Night Live Various characters Cast member; 12 episodes
1983-1984 Thicke of the Night Various characters
1987 The Cosby Show Mr. Babcock "Say Hello to a Good Buy"
1990 Superboy Nick-Nack (voice)
1991 Night Court Oscar Brown
1993-1995 Bonkers Two-Bits (voice)
1993 Problem Child Mr. Peabody
1994 Living Single Larry Friedlander
1994-1995 Aladdin Iago the Parrot (voice)
1994 Beavis and Butthead Gus Baker (voice)
The Ren & Stimpy Show Jerry the Bellybutton Elf / Porkchop Monster (voice)
1994-1997 Duckman Art DeSalvo (voice) Recurring role
1994-1995 Wings Lewis (guest role)
1995 Married... with Children Himself "Ship Happens"
Adventures in Wonderland Mike McNasty "Pie Noon"
Bump in the Night Stink Bug (voice)
Aladdin on Ice Iago the Parrot (voice) TV movie
1995-1996 Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Additional Characters Voice
1996 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Roy "The Tale of Station 109.1"
In the House Mr. Comstock
Adventures from the Book of Virtues Additional voices
Escape From It's a Wonderful Life Angry man on porch
Big Bag Himself Troubles the Cat segment
1996-2000 Superman: The Animated Series Mister Mxyzptlk (voice)
1997 Bear in the Big Blue House Large Possum (voice)
1998 Cosby Cellmate "Fifteen Minutes of Fame"
Noddy Jack Frost "Jack Frost is Coming to Town"
Hercules Cilon (voice)
1999 Dilbert Accounting Troll (voice) "Hunger"
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Himself Episodes 503 and 506
Timon & Pumbaa The Woodpecker (voice)
2000 Clerks: The Animated Series Jerry Seinfeld, Patrick Swayze (voices)
2001-2005 The Fairly OddParents Dr. Bender / Wendel (voices)
2001-2003 Disney's House of Mouse Iago the Parrot (voice)
2002-present Cyberchase Digit, Widget (voices) Daytime Emmy
Outstanding New Approaches - Daytime Children's
Daytime Emmy Awards 2009
2002 Son of the Beach Noccus Johnstein "Chip's A Goy" and Hamm Stroker's Suck My Blood
Celebrity Deathmatch Himself (voice) "Gottfried in the Arena"
2003 Becker Alan
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Comic "Last Laugh"
2004 Home Movies Tonko the Parrot (voice)
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Various sketches
VH1's Celebrity Paranormal Project and I Love Toys
Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments Himself Part I: 100-81
2005 Billy and Mandy Save Christmas Santa Claus (voice)
2007 The Emperor's New School Additional voices Season 2, Episode 11
Family Guy Peter's Horse (voice)
My Gym Partner's a Monkey Rick Platypus (voice) "That Darn Platypus"
2008 Hannah Montana Barney Bitman "(We're So Sorry) Uncle Earl"
VH1's I Love the New Millennium 4 Episodes
The Comedy Central Roast: Bob Saget Himself
The Replacements Himself "A Buzzwork Orange"
Back at the Barnyard Barn Buddy (voice)
Big & Small Small (voice)
Sesame Street Denny the Distractor "Hurry Up, You're Running Out of Time"
The View Horny the Dwarf Joy's Month in ReView
The Weird Al Show Himself
Pyramid Himself Celebrity Guest
Hollywood Squares Himself Regular
2009 Star-ving Himself "Gilbert's Kid"
The Comedy Central Roast: Joan Rivers Himself
Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Himself
2010 'Til Death Tommy Guest starred
The Comedy Central Roast: David Hasselhoff Himself
Robotomy Tickle Me Psycho (voice) "The Playdate"
2011 The Comedy Central Roast: Donald Trump Himself
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Leo Gerber
2012 The Comedy Central Roast: Roseanne Barr Himself
The Burn with Jeff Ross Himself
2013-2014 TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest... Himself
2013 Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Himself
Celebrity Wife Swap Himself "Gilbert Gottfried/Alan Thicke"
MAD Linkong, Father, Crash (voices)
2014 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Ranginald Bagel (voice)
The Celebrity Apprentice 7 Himself
Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends Himself
Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas Mr. Greenway (voice)
Last Comic Standing Himself
Big Brother 16 Otev (voice)
Newbridge Tourism Board Presents: We're Newbridge, We're Comin' To Get Ya! Himself
Anger Management Dudley Guest starred
2014-2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kraang Subprime (voice)
2016 Mighty Magiswords Prohyas' Stomach (voice) Guest starred
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens Ron McDonald TV movie
2017 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Strip Club MC Episode: "Pilot"
Justice League Action Mister Mxyztplk (voice)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Jared Kushner (voice) Season 4, Episodes 10 and 19
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming Ron McDonald TV movie
Episodes Himself Season 5, Episode 1
Cash Cab Himself
The Untitled Action Bronson Show Himself Season 1, Episode 7
2018 Transformers: Cyberverse Thundercracker (voice)

Video games

Year Title Role
1999 Disney's Arcade Frenzy Iago the Parrot
2001 Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge Iago the Parrot
2002 Kingdom Hearts Iago the Parrot
2006 Kingdom Hearts II Iago the Parrot
2010 APB: All Points Bulletin Joker Ammo
2014 Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Mister Mxyzptlk

Commercials

  • MTV (1980s)
  • Pepsi (1991)
  • Pop-Tarts: Voice of the Toaster (1995)
  • Aflac: Voice of the Aflac duck (2000-2011)
  • Subway (2000)
  • Office XP: Voice of Clippy (2001)
  • Glad (2003)
  • Shoedini (2010)
  • Easterns Automotive Group commercials (2012)
  • Eat24 (2015 Super Bowl commercial)

[ Source: Wikipedia ]