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Gilbert Gottfried (1955)

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  Summary  

Gilbert Gottfried is an American actor, voice actor and stand-up comedian, best known for his trademark comedic persona of speaking in a loud, grating tone of voice. He has played numerous roles in film and television, perhaps most notably voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin , and co-starred in the Problem Child movies. He is also known for voicing Digit in the children's cartoon/educational math-based show Cyberchase and formerly the Aflac duck until the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

  Biography  

 early life
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1955, Gottfried was the youngest of three children.

 career
 Early career (1980–1994)
At age fifteen, Gilbert Gottfried began doing amateur stand-up in New York City and, after a few years, became known as "the comedian's comedian." In 1980, the popular NBC late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live was being retooled with a new staff and new comedians; the producers noticed Gottfried and hired him as a cast member. During the 1980–1981 season, Gottfried's persona in SNL sketches was very different from his later characterization: he rarely spoke in his trademark screeching, obnoxious voice and never squinted. During his 12-episode stint, he was given very little airtime and seldom used in sketches. Gottfried recalls a low point was having to play a corpse in a sketch about a sports organist hired to play inappropriate music at a funeral. Despite this, he had one recurring character (Leo Waxman, husband to Denny Dillon's Pinky Waxman on the recurring talk show sketch, "What's It All About?") and two celebrity impersonations: David A. Stockman and controversial film director Roman Polanski.

Although not a regular, he also appeared in the short-lived 1992 TV series The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys and voiced crazed dentist "Dr. Bender" and his son Wendell on the show The Fairly OddParents and the voice of Jerry the Belly Button Elf on Ren and Stimpy. He is notably known for his voice-overs as ducks or other birds—when asked how he prepared for his role of Iago in Aladdin, he said "I did the whole DeNiro thing. I moved to South America! I lived in the trees!" He was the host of the Saturday edition of USA Up All Night. Rhonda Shear hosted the Friday version.

 Voice acting, television and films (1999–2001)

He also appeared as a semi-regular in the most recent version of Hollywood Squares. He is best remembered for a 1999 episode in which a single round of play took up the entire half-hour. The contestants had each won four stars/squares, leaving Gottfried as the last square available. Because either player could win upon capturing Gottfried's square, they could not win on their competitor's wrong response and had to win it themselves. The contestants alternated agreeing or disagreeing about whether Gottfried was bluffing an answer—and missed six consecutive tries. Five of those times he admonished the contestant with an increasingly incredulous "YOU FOOL!", mimicking Penn Jillette and his partner Teller. The seventh time he and the contestant agreed, and they finally won the square and the game. This segment has been featured on game show blooper programs and it is popular on Youtube.

Gottfried has provided the voice of the duck in the AFLAC commercials and Digit in the math-mystery cartoon Cyberchase on PBS Kids GO!, as well as the magical imp Mr. Mxyzptlk on Superman: The Animated Series. He also played a nasty wisecracking criminal genius named "Nick-Nack" who used toys to commit crimes on two episodes of the TV series Superboy (he also co-wrote an issue of the tie-in Superboy: The Comic Book which featured the origin of his character, Nick-Nack). Gottfried made regular appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

 Recent work (2004–present)
In 2004 Comedy Central featured his stand up material for an animated series called Shorties Watchin' Shorties. Gottfried was part of an online advertising campaign for Microsoft's Office XP software, showing, in a series of Flash-animated cartoons, that the Clippy office assistant would be removed. In 2006, Gottfried topped the Boston Phoenixs tongue-in-cheek list of the world's 100 Unsexiest Men. In April 2006, Gottfried performed with the University of Pennsylvania's Mask and Wig Club in their annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival. Also in 2006, he made an appearance on the Let's Make a Deal portion of Gameshow Marathon (as a baby in a large high chair, he says "Hey Ricki, I think I need my diaper changed!"), and in the Dodge Viper in the big deal (where he tells the contestants "What were you thinking?!" because neither one picked it). He also guest-starred in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy as Santa Claus in the one-hour Christmas Special. He voiced Rick Platypus in an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey entitled "That Darn Platypus". Furthermore, Gottfried appeared as Peter's horse in an episode of Family Guy entitled "Boys Do Cry". He also guest-starred in Hannah Montana as Barny Bittmen. In January 2009, Gottfried worked again with David Faustino for an episode of Faustino's show Star-ving. In 2011, Gottfried appeared in the episode "Lost Traveler" on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as sarcastic computer professional Leo Gerber, which producer Warren Leight said could become a recurring character.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Gilbert Gottfried", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.