Gilbert Gottfried

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Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried 2016.jpg
Gottfried at the Montclair Film Festival, April 2016
Born (1955-02-28) February 28, 1955 (age 61)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Medium Stand-up, film, television
Years active 1980–present
Genres Satire, crude humor, blue comedy, improvisational comedy, black comedy, insult comedy
Subject(s) Religion, race relations, racism, pop culture, sex
Spouse Dara Kravitz (2007–present)
Notable works and roles Saturday Night Live
Comedy Central Roasts
Host of USA Up All Night
Igor Peabody in Problem Child, Problem Child 2 and Problem Child 3
Iago in Aladdin
Digit in Cyberchase
Aflac Duck in the Aflac commercials
Host of Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast

Gilbert Gottfried[2] (born February 28, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor and comedian. 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.[3]

Early life[edit]

Gottfried was born on February 28, 1955 in Brooklyn, New York.


Early career (1980–1998)[edit]

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."[4] 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 at the 1991 Emmy Awards

Gottfried also played lawyer Sidney Bernstein in the 1987 film Beverley Hills Cop 2.

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.

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

Voice acting, television and films (1999–present)[edit]

On the most recent version of Hollywood Squares, Gottfried was a regular guest.

Gottfried has provided the voice of the duck in the Aflac commercials and Digit in Cyberchase, as well as Mr. 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.[5] 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".

Gottfried at the Writers Guild of America East Solidarity Rally in Washington Square on November 27, 2007

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] His first guest was Dick Cavett.

Gottfried was the third contestant fired during the seventh season of the NBC reality show The Celebrity Apprentice.

Gilbert's most recent role comes in 2016 where he plays the 'Pig Man' in a comedy/fantasy film Abnormal Attraction.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In the late 1990s, Gottfried met Dara Kravitz at a Grammy Awards party. In 2007, they married. They have two children together, daughter Lily and son Max.[12]


September 11 joke[edit]

During his monologue at a Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner 3 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.[13] Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza used Gottfried's monologue as a segment in their 2005 film The Aristocrats.[14]

Japanese tsunami jokes[edit]

In March 2011, Gottfried made a series of jokes on his Twitter account about the earthquake disaster in Japan.[15] Aflac, which does 75% of its business in Japan, responded by firing Gottfried on March 14, 2011, and announced a casting call for his replacement as the voice of its duck mascot.[16] He was replaced by Daniel McKeague (who did an impression of Gottfried) on April 26, 2011.[17]




  1. ^ "Gilbert Gottfried. New York Times". 
  2. ^ "Gilbert Gottfried. New York Times". 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "About Gilbert". Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Cook, Ross, Corbett, Vega". Comedy Central. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Bill Jensen & Ryan Stewart (2008-03-27). "The 100 unsexiest men in the world – Ultimate Lists". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  7. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: Gilbert Gottfried to Annoy SVU Cast - Today's News: Our Take". 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Gilbert Gottfried reads Fifty Shades of Grey". 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  9. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2013-03-10). "Vulgarity’s Abrasive Master, but Not at Home". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Sideshow Network". 
  11. ^ a b "Abnormal Attraction (2016)". IMDb. 
  12. ^ "Discussion of: What It's Like Being Married to Gilbert Gottfried - 'NYT' takes a look at Gottfried's marriage ahead of 'Celebrity Wife Swap'". Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  13. ^ DiGiacomo, Frank (2005-08-07). "Why Have a Night Like This in Times Like These?". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (2005-08-12). "The Aristocrats". Roger Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  15. ^ "The 10 Worst Gilbert Gottfried Tsunami Jokes". BuzzFeed. 
  16. ^ a b Cina, Mark (2011-03-14). "Gilbert Gottfried Fired as Aflac Duck After Japan Tweets". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  17. ^ "The Aflac Duck's New Voice Comes From a Minnesota Sales Manager". Yahoo. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  18. ^ webmaster (1999-06-06). "NODDY - Jack Frost Is Coming to Town". KET. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  19. ^ a b c "Gilbert Gottfried bio". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  20. ^ Rhodes, Joe (31 May 1991). "Another Pop Culture Moment". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  21. ^ Macarthur, Kate (January 1, 2001). "Slim Subway spokesman has expanding influence". Advertising age. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  22. ^ Stenger, Richard (12 April 2001). "Microsoft's 'Clippy' headed for the trash". CNN. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  23. ^ Gentilviso, Chris (2010-08-18). "25 Worst (We Mean Best) Infomercials - Shoedini". Time. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  24. ^ Steinberg, Dan (2012-06-25). "Brian Orakpo, Gilbert Gottfried do Eastern Motors jingle - DC Sports Bog". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  25. ^ Brokenbough, Aaron (January 29, 2015). "Snoop Dogg and Gilbert Gottfried star in Eat24's Super Bowl commercial". Retrieved February 1, 2015. 

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