Cackling and quacky comedian Gilbert Gottfried was praised for his voiceover talent as the wise-cracking parrot Iago in the Disney classic ALADDIN (I also lent my voice). His recognition grew with the well-known frustrated duck in the Aflac commercials.
Gilbert’s laugh has been described as volcanic Joker-esque. At heart, though, since he was 15 years old, Gilbert is a standup, and he returns in that role Saturday night at The M Resort. Preparing for a rare visit to Las Vegas while juggling episodes of his AMAZING COLOSSAL PROJECT, Gilbert found time to answer a few questions.
His podcast, available as a free weekly iTunes download, also features his longtime co-host and producer Frank Santopadre, where they talk about pop culture, horror movies and old-time showbiz. Frank was a writer on A&E’s standup sketch comedy series CAROLINE’S COMEDY HOUR with Gilbert as a guest in the 1990s.
What are you looking forward to doing in Las Vegas while performing here?
What I look forward to most is a pass to the buffet!
Do you change the act to tailor it for Las Vegas audiences?
No, not really. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, something happens that week or night in the area. I was very lucky when Mayor Rob Ford was getting into all the drug problems. I happened to be booked in Toronto that night. I didn’t even have to say jokes. I would just say his name onstage, and the audience would laugh and applaud.
Is the current presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton perfect fodder for comedy?
I’m still waiting for both of them to step forward and say, “It was all a gag. Here are the two real candidates.”
What subjects do you enjoy talking about on the podcast?
I love everything having to do with Old Hollywood. Finding out stories that I didn’t know. For instance, we had on former kiddie show host Sonny Fox from WONDERAMA. I was expecting just wacky stories about kids saying the darndest things and one time a kid peed in his pants on the air. That type of thing.
But he had stories about being a prisoner of war during World War II and the treatment his troop got from the Nazis. Those were stories I wasn’t expecting at all. The interview was in equal parts chilling and heartwarming, and at times funny. I love when that type of thing happens.
Gilbert Gottfried is at The M Resort on Saturday night.