Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried (February 28, 1955 – April 12, 2022) was a stand-up comedian and actor in the United States of America. As a comic, he was known for his exaggerated shrill voice and emphasis on vulgar comedy. His numerous film and television credits include voicing Iago, the parrot, in the Aladdin animated movie and series, Digit LeBoid, Kraang Subprime, and the Aflac Duck. He made his film debut in 1990 with the critically criticized but commercially successful Problem Child.
Gilbert Gottfried was the host of the podcast Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast from 2014 to 2022, which featured discussions of vintage films and celebrity interviews, most frequently with experienced actors, comedians, singers, and comedy writers. Gilbert (2017) was a documentary on his life and career.
Gilbert Gottfried’s Net Worth
The stand-up comedian, actor, and voice artist from the United States has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried was born on February 28, 1955, in the Coney Island district of New York City’s Brooklyn borough, the son of homemaker Lillian Zimmerman and hardware shop owner Max Gottfried. His father and grandfather were the proprietors of the store above which the family resided. He was raised in a Jewish family but subsequently stated that his upbringing was unusual “I consumed pork. We weren’t particularly aware of the festivals or anything else, but we were aware of our Jewish heritage. It’s as if I knew, even though I was never bar mitzvahed and our family did not observe the holidays, that if the Nazis returned, I would be in the same train coach as everyone else.”He was Arlene Gottfried’s (1950–2017) younger brother.
After performing stand-up in New York City for a period and earning a reputation as “the comedian’s comedian,” he caught the attention of producers of “Saturday Night Live” in 1980 when the show underwent changes with new personnel and performers. He was hired as a member of the season 6 cast. However, he earned very limited airtime and appeared in only a few sketches over his 12 episodes on the show. He did, however, have a few recurring roles: the character Leo Waxman on the talk show spoof “What’s It All About?” and celebrity impersonations of David A. Stockman and Roman Polanski.
Unfortunately for Gottfried, his one-season stint on “Saturday Night Live” was a flop. His performances were few and far between, and he and the show agreed to part ways at the conclusion of the year. Gottfried scored a major coup shortly after departing “Saturday Night Live” when the newly founded MTV network engaged him to perform a series of impromptu promos. The brief advertisements were a big success for the nascent network and helped bring Gottfried to the network’s youthful audience’s attention. His second big break came courtesy of Bill Cosby, who saw the MTV commercials and invited Gottfried to audition for a role on his NBC sitcom, “The Cosby Show.” Gottfried returned to the hit show multiple times over the next few years. Additionally, Gottfried, who had developed a reputation for shrieking and squinting, appeared on “Late Night With David Letterman,” “Hollywood Squares,” “The Howard Stern Show,” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on a regular basis. He also presented his own late-night movie show, “USA Up All Night,” for numerous years. Additionally, he gave the voice for the Aflac duck in various television commercials.
Although he did not stay long on “Saturday Night Live,” he has subsequently established a successful career in the entertainment industry. He has starred in films such as “Bad Medicine” (1985), “Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987), “Never on Tuesday” (1989), “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” (1990), “Problem Child” (1990), “Problem Child 2” (1991), “Highway to Hell” (1991), “Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas” (1994), “Double Dragon” (1994), “Problem Child 3: Junior in Love” (19
He has starred in films such as “The Lindabury Story” (2009), “Beecher Baby Bouncer” (2013), “The Comedian’s Guide to Survival” (2016), “Life, Animated” (2016), and “Gilbert” (2017) as himself (2017). The latter is a biographical documentary about his life and career. He also had his own comedy special, “Gilbert Gottfried: Dirty Jokes,” which aired on Comedy Central (2008). Additionally, he has worked as a voice actor on numerous projects and films. He voiced Iago the Parrot in the 1992 film “Aladdin,” “The Return of Jafar” (1994), “Aladdin and the King of Thieves” (1996), “Mickey’s House of Villains” (2002), and “Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams” (2007); Berkeley Beetle in “Thumbelina” (1994); Compulsive Dog in “Dr. Dolittle” (1998); and Mario Zu (2017). He has also starred alongside Donald Trump on reality television shows such as “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Several times throughout his career, the somewhat arrogant Gottfried attracted unfavorable attention, including when he made less-than-humanitarian jokes about the 9/11 attacks on New York City and the Japan earthquake crisis.
According to Danny Gallagher of the Dallas Observer, “Gilbert Gottfried has one of the most original formulae in the history of comedy,” he continues, adding, “When Gilbert Gottfried tells a joke, you don’t simply laugh at the punchline. You snicker at the set-up. You chuckle at his remark about the joke. You even chuckle at his transitions between jokes.”
Gottfried was well-known for speaking with a harsh, grating tone that was not his natural tone.
Rolling Stone’s Mark Binneli described Gottfried as a “squinting, squawking jumble of contradictions,” noting that he is “one of America’s filthiest stand-up comedians” while also being “one of the most popular voice-over artists in children’s entertainment.” He was well-known for his sarcastic remarks regarding recent disasters. He stated in a July 2012 op-ed for CNN, “I’ve always believed comedy and sadness coexist harmoniously. If you Google “comedy and tragedy,” you’ll come across an extremely old image of two masks. One of these masks is a tragedy. It appears to be crying. The other guise is that of comedy. It appears to be laughing. ‘How tasteless and insensitive,’ we would remark nowadays. A comedy mask mocks a tragedy mask.'”
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Gottfried met Dara Kravitz in the late 1990s at a Grammy Awards party. They married in 2007 and have two children, Lily and Max.
Gottfried was well-known for his thrift, frequently foregoing taxis and public transportation. In the late 1980s, illustrator Drew Friedman recalls Gottfried paying surprise visits to his apartment to watch films on his VCR since he felt a VCR to be too expensive.
Gilbert Gottfried is the father of two children, Max (boy) and Lily (daughter) (Daughter).
Gottfried died in the New York City borough of Manhattan on April 12, 2022, at the age of 67, from recurrent ventricular tachycardia accompanied by type II myotonic dystrophy.
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