Stand-Up Comic And Actor Gilbert Gottfried Is Dead At 67

Gilbert Gottfried at the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr
(Image credit: Comedy Central )

The comedy world has sadly lost a number of veterans over the past year and, sadly, another has left us far too soon. Gilbert Gottfried, the legendary stand-up comedian and actor known for his edgy humor, has died. The Hollywood veteran was 67 at the time of his passing. 

Gilbert Gottfried’s death was confirmed by his family via a post on his Instagram account. Per the statement, the star passed away after "a long illness." The Gottfried family remembered the patriarch as “a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father” while also referring to him as the most iconic voice in Hollywood.” You can view the post down below, which includes a photo of the beloved comic:

Comedy aficionados would certainly agree that the late star had one of the most unique voices in the industry. Aside from his comedy, much of which was considered taboo, he was widely known for performing with an exaggerated shrill voice, which he also used in a lot of his voice acting work. It was also parodied and used as a parody for movies like Independence Day. It would be an understatement to say that he’s one of the most unique talents to have ever held a mic. 

Born in Brooklyn, New York on February 28, 1955, Gilbert Gottfried began doing amateur stand-up comedy in New York City at the age of 15. The star’s big break eventually came in 1980 when he became a cast member during Season 6 of Saturday Night Live, which was in the midst of being retooled following the departure of the original cast. Though Gottfried only remained on the show for a single season, he managed to make a serious impression with his comedic timing impressions and shrill-voiced on-screen persona.

As his stand-up career grew, many became further familiarized with his specific brand of comedy. In addition to his loud speaking voice (which he only used in his performances), the SNL alum aimed to be subversive by telling jokes that were crude (and mostly sharp) in nature. Something he’s most famous for using is “The Aristocrats,” an off-color gag with which a comedian tells the story of a family trying to get an agent to hire them for their stage act. The gag is that said act is incredibly vulgar, and the punchline is that the group refers to themselves as “The Aristocrats.” The Bad Medicine star actually performed a cleaner version of the joke with his daughters on TBS’ Tournament of Laughs in 2020.

Gilbert Gottfried’s career flourished over the decades with the actor finding success in both TV and film. With the latter, he landed roles in notable films such as Beverly Hills Cop II, Problem Child and Double Dragon. But his most iconic role is probably that of the wise-cracking parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin, a role that he reprised for the direct-to-video sequels and spinoff television show. Gottfried recorded quite a bit of dialogue for the 1992 movie alone (and wasn’t too happy when he learned he’d been replaced for the 2019 live-action Disney remake). Aside from his work with Disney, the star also has voice credits from the likes of Superman: The Animated Series and The Fairly Oddparents and PBS’ Cyberchase.

Additionally, he also became a frequent guest star on TV sitcoms. He was also a roaster at Comedy Central’s famous celebrity roasts like Roseanne Barr's. Needless to say, the actor and comedian leaves an indelible mark on pop culture, and he will be dearly missed by those of us who were privileged enough to enjoy his work.

We here at CinemaBlend extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Gilbert Gottfried during this difficult time.

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Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.