Born on February 28, 1955, in Brooklyn, New York, Gilbert Gottfried was an American comedian, actor, and voice artist known for his unique and distinctive voice, sharp wit, and unfiltered comedic style. With his high-pitched voice and often edgy humor, Gottfried has left an indelible mark on the world of comedy as one of the most recognizable and iconic comedians of his generation.
Gottfried began his stand-up comedy career at the young age of 15, performing at various clubs and venues in New York City. His fearlessness, offbeat humor and ability to connect with audiences quickly garnered attention and gained him a loyal following.
Gottfried's career took off in the 1980s when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live and then started appearing in commercials for the newly launched MTV. Over the next 40+ years, he made appearances on popular television shows like "Lake Night with David Letterman", "The Cosby Show", "Married with Children", "Hollywood Squares" and "Celebrity Apprentice". He was a regular guest on the "Howard Stern Show". He also began landing roles in films like "Beverly Hills Cop II", "Look Who's Talking", and "Problem Child". He appeared in the hit documentary, "The Aristocrats" where Entertainment Weekly wrote that "out of the 101 comedians who appear on screen, no one is funnier – or more disgusting – than Gilbert Gottfried."
It was his portrayal of Iago, the wisecracking parrot in Disney's animated film "Aladdin," that catapulted him to international fame, establishing him as a sought-after voice artist. He lent his distinctive voice to animated characters, including Mr. Mxyzptlk in "Superman: The Animated Series" and Digit in “Cyberchase." Moreover, his voice work extended to commercials, with his memorable vocal performances for products like the Aflac duck. He has been described as one of the most recognizable voices in the entertainment industry.
Gottfried’s stand-up comedy specials, such as "Gilbert Gottfried: Dirty Jokes", showcased his ability to deliver controversial and daring material while maintaining a dedicated following. In 2017, the documentary "Gilbert" was released revealing an unexpected side to the iconic comedian and his podcast ”Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!” where Gilbert and Frank Santopadre interview Hollywood icons and legends, continues to be downloaded by millions of people.
Unfortunately, Gilbert passed away from complications of Myotonic Dystrophy Type II on April 12, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Dara and two children, Lily and Max.
Few comedians have had careers as long and diverse as Gilbert. His unapologetic approach and fearless delivery have solidified his place in the annals of comedy history, ensuring that his unique brand of humor will be remembered for generations to come.
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