How Gilbert Gottfried Was Inspired By His Daughter And TikTok For TBS’ Tournament Of Laughs

Gilbert Gottfried and his children on Tournament of Laughs (2020)

Gilbert Gottfried is easily one of the most recognizable names in comedy, which is mostly due to his unique brand of humor and high-pitched delivery, and it has certainly carried into his performance on TBS’ Tournament of Laughs. The veteran comic is currently vying to make it to the third round of the competition, but he made a splash with his first video entry. Now, Gottfried has opened up how the sweet and hilarious clip came to be.

In the video, Gilbert Gottfried plays an eccentric dental patient and his daughter and son play the dentist and dental assistant, respectively. When I spoke to Gottfried about how he came up with the idea for the sketch, he revealed that it was his daughter’s love for TikTok that inspired the idea:

My daughter, she’s on TikTok. So she got me on TikTok, I have no idea what it is. I’m like talking to somebody’s grandmother about TikTok. And she’ll say, ‘I want you to do this little dance step,’ which, of course, I can never do. So I was already making stuff with her, and [the video] was like the next step.

One of the stand-out elements of the skit is that Gottfried managed to include a version of the “Aristocrats” joke, an off-color gag that’s been used for decades. A comedian sets up the joke by detailing a family’s visit to a talent agency, during which an agent asks what the family does. The comic will then ad-lib this part by detailing raunchy practices that turn social norms on their heads. By the end of the joke, the “agent” will ask what the act is called, to which the family will proudly say, “The Aristocrats!”

For his Tournament of Laughs entry, Gottfried used a censored version of the joke and, when I asked why he decided to use it in an act involving his children, he provided a simple answer:

I thought it would be a lot more shocking and wake people up if I was doing it in front of my kids.

The final product is certainly a clever and humorous performance from Gottfried and his kids, who affectionately know their dad for some of his more family-friendly roles in projects like Aladdin. You can check out a part of their sketch down below:

Gottfried’s daughter also deserves credit for introducing her father to TikTok and inspiring the clip. TikTok has proven to be a powerful social media platform, and plenty of celebrities have been taking advantage of it during self-quarantine.

It’s no surprise that Gottfried’s video propelled him past the first round, which saw come out on top against Sarah Tiana. The comedian also included his kids in his second-round video, which saw the three transform their living room into a comedy club, during which Gottfried impersonated famous comics like Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.

It remains to be seen if Gottfried makes it to the third round of the competition, but he joked that fans “should vote” for him, even if they don’t exactly find him funny.

You can find out what happens with Gilbert Gottfried and his fellow comedians by watching Tournament of Laughs, which airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TBS.

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.