R.I.P. Gilbert Gottfried, comedian and actor known for his iconic voice
His wit was as sharp as the squawk he gave the parrot Iago in Aladdin and the Aflac duck.
Gilbert Gottfried had one of the most, if not the most, recognizable voice in Hollywood. For his standup routines, he put on a shrill, nasally tone that complimented his biting, sometimes vulgar humor. He was a favorite at celebrity roasts.
His inflection also made him the perfect choice for talking birds, both animated and not. He famously voiced Iago, the parrot of villain Jafar in the Disney film Aladdin as well as the Aflac duck in countless commercials.
Born in Brooklyn in 1955, Gottfried started performing comedy as a teenager. At 25, he joined Saturday Night Live for a short stint during the infamous 1980 season – the year without Lorne Michaels at the helm.
Even if he didn’t break out on the sketch series, he continued to work as a standup and won small roles in Eighties movies like Bad Medicine and Beverly Hills Cop II.
On TV in the Nineties, he appeared in three episodes of Night Court as Oscar Brown during the show’s final season. He also guest starred in A Different World, Wings, and Married… with Children where he played himself.
In recent years, Gottfried hosted Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast where he talked to a wide variety of guests about pop culture, including his love for the TV of his childhood. In fact, he and sportscaster Bob Costas raved about The Rifleman and just this year, Toon In With Me’s own Bill Leff talked classic cartoons on the show.
Gottfried's love of classic cartoons didn't end there. In fact, he appeared on MeTV's Toon In With Me as a special guest.
In a statement, the Gottfried family said, “We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness. In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”
The iconic comedian was 67.