The Hippo


Jun 18, 2019








Courtesy photo.

Gilbert Gottfried with Paul Landwehr

When: Thursday, Nov. 5, 8 p.m. 
Where: Chunky’s Cinema Pub, 151 Coliseum Ave, Nashua
Tickets: $30 at
Also appearing Sunday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m. at Mountain Meadow Event Center, 478 Route 4, Canaan (Tickets $25-$30)

Edgy comic Gottfried plays two NH shows

By Michael Witthaus

 The surest way go to make Gilbert Gottfried say something provocative is telling him not to go there. Gottfried is a comic known for promising that at least once during a show, someone in the audience will wonder whose idea it was to see him. Usually, this happens as the shocked patron is exiting the venue.

However, Gottfried found himself toying with self-censorship while performing at a recent benefit for the school his two young children attend in New York City.  Wondering if he should hold back considering the crowd “makes it even worse,” he said from a recent tour stop in Philadelphia. “If I feel like I have to tone it down, that gives me more of an urge to do it.”
Typically, he takes the well-traveled path. 
“At a show the other day, this couple got up to leave,” Gottfried said. “The guy says out loud, ‘That’s offensive!’ The only thing that could go through my mind was, ‘Gee, it took too long. I must be slipping.’”
Last year, Gottfried wrote a Playboy piece bemoaning the current culture of apology and its negative effect on comedy. Conversely, he believes reality actor turned candidate Donald Trump is benefiting from a political correctness backlash by refusing to apologize for anything.  
“It certainly has been helping him,” Gottfried said. “There are enough people that are just tired of it [and] he doesn’t care what he says or who he offends. I think people like that and are relieved by it.”
In addition to standup, Gottfried works as a film and voice actor. He played Abraham Lincoln in Seth McFarlane’s 2014 movie A Million Ways to Die in the West and has a continuing role in the PBS animated series Cyberchase.
Gottfried enjoyed working with the Family Guy creator. 
“The makeup man said that Seth McFarlane wanted me look as much like Daniel Day Lewis as possible,” he said with a laugh. “The idea of playing Lincoln and being in a movie with Liam Neeson and Charlize Theron is certainly something. I don’t know that most people would cast me like that.”
Asked if he prefers live acting to voice work, Gottfried demurs. 
“It always jumps back and forth. … If I get a check at the end of the night it all evens out,” he said in 2014. “But once I was in a bad mood about a job I was doing, and I saw these guys in the freezing cold pushing these big metal dumpsters and I stopped and said, ‘Wait a second — these people are actually working.’ These are things you have to remind yourself.” 
Gottfried is perhaps best known for voicing Iago in Disney’s Aladdin. A cast reunion at a recent Broadway party prompted questions about his memories of working with late comic Robin Williams during the film. 
“I don’t know how many times I have heard stories about the insanity that was happening when me and Robin were together [but] most of the time, you’re recording by yourself,” he said. “I met Robin Williams a bunch of times at comedy clubs and even went on stage a few times with him, but I never worked once with him during Aladdin.”
Now 60, Gottfried has two elementary-age kids. Being a dad late in life is a novel experience. “Sometimes I feel like I’m waking up in the Twilight Zone … but I enjoy it,” he said. “They come out with odd things; like when my son was in preschool the teacher said to us, ‘He doesn’t pay attention in class and he is always trying to crack jokes.’ I figure, ‘Gee, where does he get that from?’ She said to him, ‘Where did you learn how to be funny?’ He said, ‘From my daddy,’ and she said, ‘Oh, your daddy’s funny?’ He said, ‘He’s funny at home — not at work.’” 
Provoking outrage is part of Gottfried’s job description. He called Twitter “an expensive hobby” after losing his Aflac gig in 2011 following tweets about the Japanese tsunami. Later, a new voice sounding suspiciously like his turned up in commercials for the insurance company. Was he traded in on a bargain basement duck? 
“Yeah, that’s pretty much it,” he said. 
Though not much is off limits in his act, the Middle East refugee crisis hasn’t made an appearance. 
“I don’t have a Syrian one yet,” Gottfried said. “You’ll know I do when it’s in the news that I’ve been fired from some job.” 

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu