Comedy writer Betsy Borns once asked Gilbert Gottfried, in Interview magazine, what goes through his mind when he’s on stage. Gilbert’s quick reply was, “Everything. The Holocaust... my laundry... whether waxed or unwaxed dental floss is better... whether the mint flavor on toothpicks is poisonous... how many bristles are in a hairbrush.”
You might think he’s joking - though he’s probably not. That’s the challenge: is he serious?
Who is this guy? What is he talking about? It’s this challenge and the spark that sets Gottfried apart from other performers. Few, if any comedians can compare to his rapid-fire train-of-thought deliveries capable of knocking audiences (and Emmy censors) off their feet.
That he can do this and worry about dental floss is... distinctively Gilbert! Gottfried has translated this quick wit into many areas. Not only can you find him selling-out comedy clubs around the country, you’re also seeing him on network television as a regular on Hollywood Squares, Tonight Show, cable television, the big screen and in print.
One of the first places many viewers may remember seeing Gilbert on television though is probably on “Saturday Night Live,” where he was a regular in the early days of the show with the likes of Eddie Murphy and “was probably the one person in the history of the show who didn’t do drugs with Belushi.”
Gilbert would later team up with Murphy for one of his most famous movies roles to date in “Beverly Hills Cop II,”as the odd (to say the least) accountant.
This launched Gilbert into his current throne of what many call the “King of Quirky Roles” in modern films: the maniacal “shock jock” in “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane”; the obnoxious adoption agent in “Problem Child”; as well as similar roles in “Problem Child II” and “Look Who’s Talking Too.” Gottfried can also be heard as Ayego the Parrot in the Walt Disney feature “Aladdin.”
In the cable world, Gottfried is all over the dial. Gilbert has appeared in two of his own Cinemax: specials “Caught In The Act” and “Greetings From Gilbert.” Additionally, Gilbert was nominated for an Ace Award for hosting his own series, “Up All Night” on USA where he provided the “relief” in wrap-arounds for the campy B-movies featured there every weekend.
Further, Gilbert is a contributing writer for The National Lampoon as well as the author of a recent issue of the comic book, “The Adventures of Superboy.”
Despite all this success, Gilbert Gottfried is probably still wondering how many bristles are contained in the average hairbrush!