|Date of Birth:||February 28, 1955|
|Years on SNL:|| As Cast Member:|
September 26, 1998
October 30, 2010
Gilbert Gottfried (born February 28, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and voice actor whose most salient feature is a distinctive, squeaky, grating voice that is often described as loud and obnoxious. He was an original cast member in season 6, and was let go upon the arrival of Dick Ebersol.
He has played numerous roles in film and television, perhaps most notably voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin (1992), as well as co-starring in the Problem Child movies. Gottfried also provided the voice of the Aflac duck.
Gottfried was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York on February 28, 1955.
At age 15, Gottfried began doing stand-up at open-mike nights in New York City and, after a few short years, became known around town as "the comedian's comedian." In 1980 the popular NBC late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live was being retooled with a new staff and new comedians; the producers noticed Gottfried and hired him as a cast member. During the 1980-1981 season, Gottfried's persona in SNL sketches was very different from his later characterization; he spoke in a low, mellow voice. During his 12-episode stint, he was seldom used (with even the featured players garnering more airtime). The low point of Gottfried's single SNL season was in a funeral-themed sketch, in which Gottfried was cast as the motionless corpse. This lack of participation led to a deep depression that affected his performances. When Dick Ebersol took over as producer before the end of the season, there was an overhaul of both the cast and crew, and Gottfried was dismissed.
He made a spectacular comeback in the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. This 1987 episode, "Say Hello to a Good Buy," concerned Cosby and Malcolm Jamal-Warner, in character as father and son, shopping for a car. They "dress down" for the showroom, deliberately posing as lower-class customers to get a bargain price from the salesman. All goes well until friendly Gilbert Gottfried bursts onto the scene, yelling, "DOCTOR HUXTABLE!" Loudly and enthusiastically he greets the upscale Cosby, and asks about his upscale, professional wife, and his upscale home and family. Gottfried's surprise appearance as the loudmouth was so animated and so outrageous that he practically stole the show from the regulars. From then on, Gilbert Gottfried adopted the "loudmouth" voice for his performances.
Although not a regular, he also appeared in the short-lived 1992 TV series The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys and voiced a crazed physician "Dr. Bender" on the show The Fairly OddParents and the voice of Jerry the Belly Button Elf on Ren and Stimpy. He is notably known for his voice-overs as ducks or other birds. In 1993 he was interviewed by Chris Aable at the "B Minus Movie Awards" along with David Cassidy and Gary Coleman. Gottfried's interview aired on Chris Aable's cable TV show "Hollywood Today" in 1994 and is now part of his video "America's Craziest Home Videos". He also was a co-host of the Saturday edition of "USA Up All Night" with Rhonda Shear.
Since 2000, he has also been the voice of the duck in the AFLAC commercials and Digit in the math-mystery cartoon Cyberchase on PBS Kids GO!, as well as the magical imp Mr. Mxyzptlk on Superman: The Animated Series. He also played a nasty wisecracking criminal genius named "Nick-Nack" who used toys to commit crimes on two episodes of the TV series Superboy (he also co-wrote an issue of the tie-in Superboy: The Comic Book which featured the origin of his character, Nick-Nack). Gottfried makes regular appearances on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show. He shocked the audience in a Jeopardy! parody portraying Eminem repeating "biatch" many times as well as an enemy on Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. To this day, his most well-known phrase used on The Tonight Show is "son of a bitch!"
He also appeared as a semi-regular in the most recent version of The Hollywood Squares. He is best remembered for a 1999 episode in which a single round of play took up the entire half-hour. The contestants had each won four stars / squares, leaving Gottfried as the last square available. Because this was a tiebreaker, contestants couldn't win a fifth square on their competitor's wrong response and had to win it themselves. The contestants alternated agreeing or disagreeing about whether Gottfried was bluffing an answer -- and missed six consecutive tries. Five of those times he admonished the contestant with an increasingly incredulous "YOU FOOL!" The seventh time he and the contestant agreed, and that contestant finally won the square and the game. This segment was featured on game show blooper programs.
Gottfried is also a notorious favorite of Howard Stern, appearing on his radio show many times a year; Gottfried has made more appearances than any other celebrity guest. Most famous for his impersonation of "Dracula Gottfried" he is also well known for his numerous, and often raunchy / racial, parodies of public figures, including 1950's B-film stars and a particularly accurate impersonation of the aged Groucho Marx. Gottfried also does an impersonation of Jerry Seinfeld, which he has showcased on the Stern show as well as Clerks: The Animated Series. Coming on the Stern show immediately after David Brenner years ago, Gottfried proceeded to parody Brenner's lengthy child custody problems & even Brenner's former girl friend's drug addiction and her adequacy as custodial parent: "Sure she uses heroin, but she still takes vitamin C!"
He frequently parodies Jewish rabbis and cantors, making up atonal gibberish prayers and compositions on the spot. Gilbert also is notorious for his impression of Andrew Dice Clay... or Dice Gottfried. When doing this impression he often used the phrases that Andrew Dice Clay uses while on stage (such as: "Hickory, Dickory, Dock...", "OOOoooo" and "What are you a homo? ooooooo"). Gilbert also has achieved the rare honor of being censored on the Sirius satellite version of the Stern show after making an off-color joke about the late Steve Irwin's daughter Bindi.
Gottfried famously told the venerable Aristocrats joke at a Friars Club Roast of Hugh Hefner just three weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Gottfried's quick wit saved what could have been a notorious disaster. He began his monologue joking that he had intended to catch a plane, but couldn't get a direct flight because "they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first." As audience members nervously responded with gasps and cries of "Too soon!", Gottfried abandoned his prepared remarks and launched into the Aristocrats joke, effectively winning back the audience and having roastmaster Rob Schneider literally falling out of his chair laughing. When the laughter and applause had subsided, Gottfried commented, "They might have to clean this up for TV," to more laughter and applause. It has been suggested that this performance inspired Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza to produce a film about the joke. However, Jillette and Provenza point out that they had already filmed Gottfried. In fact, it was their project that inspired Gottfried to choose that joke as his response to the audience's claim that there are certain unspoken limits in comedy. He 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. The following year, with Gottfried's blessing, the Phoenix renamed the award the "Golden Gilbert" in his honor. 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 part of a Zonk (as a baby in a large high chair, he says "Hey Ricki [Lake], 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 1-hour Christmas Special. He also voiced Rick Platypus in an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey entitled "That Darn Platypus". Furthermore, Gottfried appeared as Peter's horse in an episode of Family Guy entitled "Boys Do Cry".
During Bill Maher's tenure at ABC (1997-2002), Gottfried was a frequent guest on Politically Incorrect.
He was also a guest floor reporter during G4's live coverage of the E3 Convention in 2006. At one point in the coverage, program host Adam Sessler asked the question, "What does Gilbert Gottfried have to do with gaming?" To which Gilbert said, "Absolutely nothing!"He was also on night court for about one episode. He will be at The Comedy Spot Comedy Club in Scottsdale, Arizona on August 22 and 23.
On December 6, 2006, Gottfried announced on The Howard Stern Show that he was engaged and that his fiancée was pregnant. Gottfried and Dara (née Kravitz), 36, were married under a chuppah on February 3, 2007, having been together for 10 years. Lily Aster Gottfried was born on June 12, 2007.
Characters / ImpressionsEdit
- Leo Waxman, Pinky Waxman's husband and co-host of What's It All About.