I suppose the first time I remember seeing Gilbert Gottfried was in Beverly Hills Cop II. His classic scene with Eddie Murphy made me laugh harder than I ever had before- and I started to notice him popping up on some of my favorite television shows.
When Gilbert Gottfried lent his voice talents to Disney’s Aladdin, it was a perfect combination for me- I loved both Disney animation and Gilbert’s sense of humor. Gilbert became a familiar face and someone who I knew would always make me laugh.
It wasn’t until I discovered his podcast, however, that I became a super fan. Over hundreds of podcast episodes, Gilbert and his co-host Frank Santopadre recorded hours of showbiz stories from legends of stage and screen while also telling a ribald joke or two. I don’t remember which was the first episode I listened to, but I probably chose it because I really liked the guest. While listening to the podcast, I quickly remembered why I liked Gilbert’s sense of humor and became a weekly listener.
As I explored Gilbert’s Amazing Colossal World, I stumbled upon the podcast’s fan community and found a group of kindred spirits, whose love of outdated media and so-called ‘tasteless’ jokes mirrored mine- and Gilbert Gottfried’s as well. I had been creating crude little photoshops that amused me, but I didn’t think would amuse others. When one of Gilbert’s jokes on the podcast inspired me to make a fake TV Guide advertisement, I decided to share it with other fans- and it was an instant success.
It never occurred to me that my comedic hero would ever see my crazy creations, much less laugh at them. Imagine my shock and delight when Gilbert Gottfried mentioned one of my creations on the podcast- and laughed at it! I’ll leave the specifics of the joke to your imagination, but here’s the picture that made Gilbert laugh- and made my day, week and year-
Hearing the news of Gilbert’s passing was a shock. I can’t imagine a world without Old Groucho, obscure jokes about obscure actors like Skelton Knaggs and really bad singing. So long, Mr. Gottfried- hopefully you’re enjoying drinks with Groucho, Chico and Harpo.