Gilbert Gottfried is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and voice artist. His numerous roles in film and television include voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin and Digit in the children's cartoon / educational math-based show Cyberchase. Gottfried was also the voice of the Aflac Duck until 2011.
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I'm a comedian, an actor, voice actor and host of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast.
Let's get this started at the top of the hour.
This is the end of this session, I have to go kick myself for not coming up with better answers. Please forgive if I didn't to your question and know that I appreciate you as a fan. Or don't forgive me, go around telling everyone you know what a heartless prick I am.
You're the next logical person to play Colonel Sanders in the KFC commercials. Has KFC contacted you yet?
They contacted me to say, "Stop hanging around here unless you're going to buy something."
Have you ever considered narrating porn?
I did do a thing, you can find it on the internet where I read 50 Shades of Grey. Its not the entire book of course but it's something that gets your horny I'm certain.
Hey Gilbert, who's the shittiest person you've worked with in the film industry?
That's a tough one to answer since I hate them all.
Will you ever do another roast? Your roast of Bob Saget is probably my favorite that I've ever seen.
I'll definitely do another roast. Any chance I have to hurt another human being I jump at.
Do you ever annoy yourself?
CONSTANTLY. That's what I try not to talk to myself.
If you can talk about it, what exactly happened with Aflac and you?
They fired me, got loads of free publicity. Then hired a sound alike for less money thus bringing closure to a horrible tragedy.
Gilbert! I love your rendition of The Aristocrats. Also been a fan of yours since your Lawyer scene in Beverly Hills Cop, and your turn as Iago was brilliant. How much of the Iago dialogue was improvised versus scripted?
The makers of Aladdin were very open to have me improvise. They gave me a lot of freedom but often they would have to stop and go "Gilbert, this is a family film"
Thanks for doing an AMA! You've voiced a parrot in Disney's Aladdin, the Aflac duck, a digital bird in Cyberchase, and as a guest on Sesame Street, your character wore a large rubber duck on your head. What do you think makes you so ideal to play bird-related roles?
Well I did an episode of Family Guy, when I voiced a horse so I'm actually starting to branch out now.
Hi Gilbert, I've always loved you on the Howard Stern Show. Your appearances on Stern almost always equaled an instant classic. Can you shed some light on what's going on and why you've been absent for so long on there?
I don't really have an answer one way or another on that way. I certainly enjoyed all my appearances on Stern, but I don't really know.
Were you surprised by the reaction to your 9/11 joke at the Hugh Hefner roast?
I wasn't surprised at that, what surprised me was afterwards I did the Aristocrats joke about incest and bestiality. So terrorists, bad - incest and bestiality, good!?
What was your first paying job?
Wow, I think it was like in a basement of a church of all things. They were trying to make it into a coffee club. I think I got $7 and then I had a second gig at the same place where it was reduced to $5.
Gilbert, you are famously a cheapskate. Can you tell a humorous story where even you were disgusted at yourself for how cheap you are?
Oh god, let me think...
The earliest I could remember is when I was a kid and we would go to the music park they'd give you a card with circles in it that they punched out.
If they missed the circle, I would put my finger/thumb where the hole was and got extra rides that way.
Well hello derr, Gilbert!
Which appearance on the Howard Stern show do you remember most vividly?
Oh god there's so many of them. I remember one time they made me up and dressed me as Dracula and sent me out on the street to ask black people if they thought OJ was guilty. It was frightening at times, not gonna lie. The reactions were any way someone would act if someone asked them about the OJ Simpson trial.
I've been a Stern fan since he started syndicating in Memphis in the mid 90's and have since gone back to the archives many times. Your sitting in on the news was incredibly funny. Bindi!!!! Now that I've listened to your podcast, and heard your side of the story through the appearances you've had on Artie Lange's podcast, I feel like the messages from you and the Stern camp are quite striking. For example, it was claimed on the Wrap Up Show the other day that you weren't on purely due to scheduling reasons.
Can you elaborate on what happened, and perhaps speculate on why you think you aren't invited on anymore?
You're hilarious. Goo fah you and goo fah me!
I can't figure that one out myself what's going on. But I guess I'll book myself Crazy Jim and Captain Bob for the Morning Zoo instead.
Have you recovered from the cold shoulder you received from Beetlejuice on the Stern Show? Was it actually goo fah you? It certainly didn't seem goo fah him.
I'm still pretty heartbroken about it but I haven't given up on him.
Gilbert - What did Lorne Michaels say to you at the SNL 40th Anniversary?
That was a surprise, he came over and said Hello to me. I made some kind of remark "Oh I didn't think you'd want to say hi to me" and he said "Well why not, you're one of the brick in this world.' Which I thought was very nice.
I was a huge Night Court fan. What was it like when you did your episodes? Any stories or memories from that? Did you get to touch Markie Post?
I did touch Markie Post and that's when they stopped using me. I touch Markie Post but not as much as I touched Harry Anderson.
Funniest experience from filming Problem Child?
There were a lot of times most of the time when you are dealing with children in movies. With all actors they have stand-ins, so that the actor doesn't have to be in each shot.
Usually with kids, they use a midget as a stand-in. I wasn't aware of this until a scene opened and there was a group of nuns and a midget walked out where the Problem Child was supposed to be. It was like a Fellini film.
Rank your top 5 monster flicks of all time?
Oh that's a tough one. Let's see, Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula and Alberrt & Costello meet Frankenstein.
What was your experience like on the Celebrity Apprentice (...and would you vote for Donald Trump)?
My experience on celebrity apprentice it was much harder work than I thought it should be. I didn't get into this business to work for a living. I would definitely vote for him if he could assure me I'd have a separate bedroom at the White House.
Gilbert, can you reiterate the lessons learned from Artie Lange about producing a DVD?
(Laughs) I'm still trying to decipher what he was saying to me!
When are you going to host a remake of USA Up All Night?
That would be good, certainly. But God knows. I haven't heard of any talk about it, I dont know if the world is clamoring for it.
Do you go out drinking with the kid from Problem Child?
With the kid from Problem Child, I don't believe in drinking with him so we just go out and get crystal meth.
Did the podcast escalate faster than you expected? It seemed like a hit out of the gate, and must take a pile of time you didn't anticipate?
I never anticipated that anybody would ever listen to the podcast, that's why it's still a shock to me about how much they love it.
Were you really thinking about quitting showbiz after your appendix burst or did Howard Stern exaggerate that part?
That's something Stern likes to say, as long as they keep paying me to be in show business, I'm sticking with it.
What's your favorite character you've played?
Enjoy my crappy collage!
Whichever is the most current and which ever one they're currently paying me for.
Hi Gilbert, how was your Saved By The Bell experience?
That was exciting. My character was trying to get Zach and Screech to be male prostitutes. I'm not making this one up.
What is Paul Shaffer doing with himself these days?
I dont know the last I saw of him he was going into a room with a dirty magazine and locking the door.
Hey buddy! What of all your work would people not know about that you think people SHOULD know about?
Nobody seems to have seen Problem Child 3 which was made for TV, not that they really should. But that bugs me.
When will the Jackie "the jokeman" Martling episode of the podcast air?
Im usually the last one to know, usually when it's towards the end of the week I find out. I have nothing to do when it actually airs. Probably March 7th.
How come when George Takei was on your podcast when discussing "Never So Few" you only asked him about Frank Sinatra but omitted any questions about Steve McQueen?
Well, one day I'll reveal my days with Steve McQueen and what caused the split it, but I'm not strong enough to do it now.
What would advice would you give to aspiring comedians?
Watch everything I do and then do the opposite.
Did you write the lines you had in the "Be Cool About Fire Safety" PSA? Great job in that, by the way...you out-acted Lindsay Lohan!
That was pretty amazing, I was a fire detector. I can actually say I got to act with Lindsay Lohan. I'm actually the one who got her on drugs to be honest.
Was there anything you liked about being on SNL?
Uh no. It was right as the original cast and crew left. It was like in the Beatlemania, if you replaced John, Paul, George and Ringo with 4 other schmucks.
Watching you try to drive a car on Celebrity Wife Swap was pretty funny....ever figure it out?
Uh no, there's still a lawsuit having to do with that one.
Hi Gilbert. Big, big fan.
The evening of the roast. The aristocrats. Were you sure that joke would work, or were you nervous as you decided to let it rip?
Also, what is the most memorable evening of stand up from your career? Either when you performed, or perhaps another comedian?
Thanks for stopping by today. I love you.
At that point after the 9/11 joke. I lost the joke so badly that I figure I had nothing further to lose with the Aristocrats.
Did you get to meet Robin Williams when you were working on Aladdin together? What's your favorite memory of him?
It's funny. I hear loads of stories when Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried were together what craziness was going on. But I never ran into him once while making the movie. I got on stage a number of times to improvise. The times we were onstage together were invigorating and exhausting at the same time.
Hello! I'm insanely curious what your voice sounded like as a child. Has it always been so.................................unique?
Uh when I was 2 years old this is what my voice sounded like, but it was a lot more gravelly.
Food fight at the restaurant in Problem Child 2, how fun was it?
The pizza I was getting hit with. The pizza crust was made of a hard rubber. It was like getting hit with a boot.
Is your voice natural or are you pulling a long con?
I'm pulling something but it's not a con.
Hey Gilbert. Thanks for doing an AMA. Nice to see you here.
I know a lot of us have been familiar with you since Aladdin and for me, also since the Are You Afraid of the Dark episode The Tale of Station 109.1. You seem to truly enjoy showbiz, through the highs and lows of it. (And we’ve enjoyed your performances for years.) I ask this question semi-often but I still feel it’s worth it to hear an actor’s opinion, is there anything via comedy or film that you want to do that you haven’t done yet? What would you say has been the hardest part about doing comedy and being an actor, either voice over or live-action?
The hardest thing about doing comedy and being an actor is that when I act in a dramatic scene is when I get the biggest laughs.
What do you have for breakfast?
(chuckle) I think that's a sensitive question and I don't feel that this is the platform to answer it.
Hi Gibert. Who's at the top of your wishlist to have on the podcast?
I don't know, I'm sure they're dead already. There are loads of people, I'd be afraid to mention of them cause I'd jinx any chance I had of getting them anyway.
I remember your classic appearance on the Bill Cosby Show. Any thoughts on the Cosby situation? Are you guys friends? You're hilarious by the way. Always the best part of the Celebrity Roasts.
Um. What situation are we talking about here? Did anything happen with him?
What is something you do regularly that would surprise people?
Ballet. I'm quite graceful.
Gilbert, have you hooked up with Alan Thicke's wife again?
Yes we've hooked a number of time in a motel somewhere in Jersey, I think right by the airport.
Yes we've hooked a number of time in a motel somewhere in Jersey, I think right by the airport.
With your fondness for classic horror are you also a fan of Italian horror like Fulci, Bava, Argento, etc? Modern horror at all?
I just on my podcast, I recommended Dr. Butcher M.D. (Medical Deviant), it was directed by a guy who called himself Al Martin. But his real name is Alluncio Martinelli or something like that.
Who was your role model when you were a kid?
The guy who sold rolls down the street.
Used to watch you on USA Up All Night....did you ever have relations with Rhonda Shear?
Gilbert, got any PAT COOPER stories?
I have one, but I can't say it right now. It insults another person so I don't want to mention here.