Where to Find Gilbert Gottfried in His 5 Best Roles
Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian who dared to go where few had gone before and a voice actor who created countless memorable characters, passed away today, leaving behind a legacy that will live on through his generations-spanning fan base, devoted friends and family, and While Gottfried's shrill voice helped him succeed in voice acting, his reputation as a stand-up comedian was marred by his offensive, insensitive, and sexist jokes.
Gottfried joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in its sixth season, launching his career into the mainstream after a successful stand-up career in the 1970s. In the decades that followed, Gottfried played nearly 200 roles, many of which featured cameo appearances where his distinctive voice was essential. With a career spanning five decades, picking his best roles is like picking between a parent's obnoxious offspring. As a tribute to Gilbert Gottfried's legacy, we're sharing five of his greatest comedic works.
Gilbert Gottfried follows a long tradition of comedians being given preferential treatment for hosting and guest-hosting roles on game shows. For nearly a decade, Gilbert Gottfried hosted "USA Up All Night," a weekend movie program that showed low-budget and independent films, cult favorites, and PG-13 versions of sexploitation flicks. With Caroline Schlitt and, especially, Rhonda Shear, Gottfried provided hilarious commentary.
Gottfried's innate sense of humor made him a hit as both a host and a contestant on game shows. Gottfried was a huge fan of trolling "Hollywood Squares" contestants during the Tom Bergeron era. One of the greatest game show moments ever occurred when the contestants were at a standstill and required Gottfried's help to break the tie. His ludicrous responses showed that he was an improv master who understood what viewers wanted to see on television. That crazy outlier was a natural in front of the lens.
Due to "USA Up All Night's" movie presentation format, its episodes are unavailable for rental, purchase, or streaming, but Gottfried's unforgettable "You Fool!" remains available in all three formats. I was on Hollywood Squares, and the video is now available on YouTube.
Many people of a certain age group were probably introduced to Gilbert Gottfried through the Disney animated film Aladdin. It was pure genius on the part of Iago to cast the shrill-sounding Gottfried as the red-plumed talking scarlet macaw, a role that remains his most well-known performance.
With Gottfried joining Robin Williams as the Genie, Frank Welker as Abu, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, and Jim Cummings as Razoul, "Aladdin" has one of the most impressive voice casts in Disney history and is a part of The Disney Renaissance era of animated classics. Gottfried's Iago, in his role as Jafar's top minions, provided the humor that Williams was unable to. Just forget about it. And now look at this: I'm so angry that I'm shedding skin. That line, delivered by Gottfried, is still one of the film's highlights. All of Iago's animated appearances, including those in the "Kingdom Hearts" video games, have been voiced by Gottfried.
The Disney streaming service now features "Aladdin."
As a regular guest on celebrity roasts from 2001 until 2012, Gilbert Gottfried After the late '90s and early '00s, when Comedy Central began its own roasting tradition, Gottfried was repeatedly invited to the New York Friars Club to dish out sick burns. His jokes didn't always land with the audiences (or the roast panelists), and his frequent line-crossing often got him in hot water from a publicity standpoint, but his fellow comedians always respected and laughed with him because of his talent. Gottfried's words absolutely annihilated a number of comedians, including Joan Rivers, David Hasselhoff, Roseanne Bar, and Bob Saget, and the other roasters joined in on the fun. Before he passed away, Comedy Central released a collection of his greatest jokes, calling him a "roast-master." "
Comedy Central is correct; this is not a clickbait headline. Anyone who was on the receiving end of one of Gottfried's roasts was the recipient of one of the highest comedic honors possible.
For the time being, Paramount's streaming service is home to the "Best of the Comedy Central Roast" collection.
Gilbert Gottfried, whose voice and persona made him better suited for supporting roles or cameos than for the spotlight, never quite made it as a leading man in Hollywood. But playing Dr. Jekyll in a play was as close as he got. Within the "Problem Child" series, Igor Peabody plays a pivotal role.
Though Michael Oliver played the title role in the first two films, Gottfried is the only actor to appear in all three "Problem Child" films. In the first film, Gottfried plays a child psychologist who will stop at nothing to keep Junior inside and out of trouble. Later on, Gottfried will play Junior's school principal and then his dentist. I have no idea how he juggled so many degrees, but let's not quibble over details. Watching Gottfried pick fights with a seven-year-old sociopath is hilarious, and he serves as Junior's secondary antagonist throughout the series. The "Problem Child" films are a great showcase of Gottfried's skills acting opposite children, which you wouldn't know from watching his stand-up material.
Peacock is currently streaming "Problem Child" and "Problem Child 2," while Tubi is offering a free stream of "Problem Child 3: Junior in Love."
The family of Gilbert Gottfried (and his wife and two kids) was followed around by director Neil Berkeley in 2017. Gottfried is not portrayed as his comedic persona, making this one of the most striking instances in which the actor is heard speaking in his own voice. The film is a slice-of-life documentary about the legendary comedian, and it features clips of him addressing some of his most controversial issues. The insensitive tweets he sent out after the Japanese earthquake cost him his job as the voice of the Aflac duck, as do the Aristocrats joke and the Empire State Building joke he told at Hugh Hefner's roast after September 11. It's an emotional tribute to a talent lost far too soon and a fascinating look into the life of a man most people only knew through his roles.
The "Gilbert" series is broadcast on PlutoTV, The Roku Channel, and Peacock.
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