Photos by Arlene Gottfried
Few can claim to be so iconic that the mere sight of them is audible. Don’t lie — you heard Gottfried’s signature call in your mind the second you saw his photo, didn’t you? With more than three decades of stand-up, film and television, voice acting, roasting, and podcasting under his belt, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t instantly recognize his particular set of pipes.The prolific entertainer will be gracing the stand-up stage at Yonkers Comedy Club for two shows on Saturday, March 31, but we were lucky enough to get a chance to speak with the comic before the big date.
You’ve spent years touring the country, but you’re a Brooklyn boy, born and raised. Is there anything special for you about booking gigs in New York? The pizza? Bagels?
Mainly sleeping in my own bed … and not having to go through security at the airport … and not having to pack a bag.
You’ve played Yonkers Comedy Club before, and you’ll be back this coming June as well. Do you have special relationship or memories with the venue? Any favorite restaurants nearby?
What I remember the last time — I think they were just opening — I was about to go on and they had on the opening act and the middle, and both of them were working without sound. [Laughs] I thought, “Even as loud as I speak, I don’t want to get too pushy but I think a working mike…” and luckily they fixed it, I think right in the middle as they were introducing me!
Like all good comedy, that’s great timing.
Having just passed 200 episodes of your show Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast — congratulations, by the way! — who would you love to have come on as a guest?
Oh, that’s something that people always ask me and I always get scared that if I say their name I’ll really jinx it. There’s a few people. I mean the bigger list is how many people are dead who I would have liked to interview.
Well that actually leads into our follow-up: Excluding perhaps Joan of Arc, if you could roast any person living or dead who would it be?
Oh, wow! Whichever one is easiest to get to! Any person in history; it doesn’t matter as long as they’re easy to get to and I don’t have to pack or prepare too much.
You’ve lent your voice to a ton of beloved characters, from kids’ shows for both Disney and Nickelodeon to corporate mascots — your casting as the canonical voice of Microsoft’s Clippy is on par with some of the most perfect casting choices in cinematic history.
Yeah, my career walks the tightrope between early morning children’s programming and hardcore porn.
How do you balance a career in both family friendly and, let’s say “family less-friendly” spheres?
Yeah, not easily. I’ve fallen several times.
On the adult side, you had the distinction of being one of the last celebrity apprentices to be fired by Donald Trump (on T.V., not in the White House).
Yeah, I never thought at the time a former game show host would become president. I was campaigning for Pat Sajak!
Which of his ever-rotating cabinet posts do you think you’d be best suited to fill?
WOW.…That would be ‘resident Jew.’ It’s funny, I kind of feel like now everybody’s getting fired by Trump. I was one of the early ones! Before it became a fad.
Finally, what’s your go-to cure for a sore throat?
Ooh, God, I don’t know. There have been a couple of times where I’ve gotten up and I couldn’t even whisper. Maybe I’ll wind up like a bunch of the former famous singers (who I won’t mention) who can’t sing a note now.
Or, you know, you could always start peddling your own lozenge line.
You know, that’s an idea! I’d be just as equipped as these models who have furniture lines.
You can see Gilbert Gottfried live at Yonkers Comedy Club on Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Tickets start at just $30.
Yonkers Comedy Club
Ridge Hill Mall
257 Market St., Yonkers