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Shout-Outs to Gilbert Gottfried

December 1, 2010

Today’s shout-out is directed toward Gilbert Gottfried.  You may be wondering why I’m getting to him before industry legends like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, or currently huge comics like Zach Galifianakis and Mike Birbiglia.  Well, there are a couple of reasons.  First, I actually find this guy pretty funny.  And some people agree:

If you can get past his grating voice, he tells a lot of clever jokes.  Second, my buddy Shane and I were hanging out and making a “most influential comics” list for a secret project (SPOOKY) and we both agreed that he is a comic’s comic.

Gottfried has made a name for himself mainly as “that yelling guy,” because of his distinct voice.  The unmistakable grate of his shouting has made him a bundle on voice-over work, as well as other minor acting roles.   In fact, here is an example of a comic who is known for a persona, or character.  Other such comics include Larry the Cable Guy, and Triumph the Insult Comic (voiced by Robert Smeigel, great interview with him in this book). Gottfried is a good example of how a goofy character can act as a smokescreen for some pretty bold comedy.

I appreciate that he is a very honest comic, and tackles challenging topics in his bits. Here is a clip of a roast for Hugh Hefner where he just goes off:

Gottfried basically caused a whole documentary to be made surrounding the joke “The Aristocrats.” What’s extra cool about the story is that he told the joke after making another edgy reference that got booed.

For those who don’t know, The Aristocrats is a modular joke, which is designed to be told as filthy as possible. Depending on the comic, it can get pretty nasty as they add their own details. Anyways, it was a cool moment, where he basically protested the audience’s prudishness by making them laugh at something even more offensive. I wish I could find the clip online, but it’s great to see the audience shots of comics just losing their minds as they realize what he’s doing.  Here is a version of him telling the Aristocrats joke used in the documentary “The Aristocrats.” (Not for the easily offended, you’ve been warned)

5 Fun Facts:

1) Gottfried was a member of the Saturday Night Live cast during the 1980-81 season.  During this time he rarely used his trademark voice or the squinty eyes that he is known for.

2) He was the voice of the parrot Iago in the Disney animated film “Alladin.”  (Also Alladin was voiced by DJ Tanner’s boyfriend Steve from Full House, but that’s neither here nor there.)

3) Gottfried has had a recent resurgence of popularity as a (hilarious) speaker at celebrity roasts.

4) He is a favourite guest of Howard Stern, holding the record for most visits to the show of any celebrity

5) He used to be a bit of a regular on the TV show “Hollywood Squares.”

Actually, let’s end off the shout-out with a clip from “Hollywood Squares.”  Worth a watch to hear Gottfried yell “YOU FOOL!”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2011 1:03 pm

    his bit Death to the two name boy is perhaps the greatest example of comedic genius in the world.

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