Gilbert Gottfried, one of the iconic voices in TV and movies, sadly passed away at 67 years old. His death was confirmed on Twitter by his family:

“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 honour.”

Gottfried was born in New York to a humble family and began stand up at the age of 15 and became known as the “comedians comedian”. He was hired for Saturday Night Live (season 6), but his persona was very different from the man we mostly knew. In sketches, he wouldn’t speak very often and he wouldn’t use his trademark screechy voice or his squinting.

He worked more in TV and some movies, including playing Jerry the Belly Button Elf in an episode of Ren & Stimpy. He didn’t really find recognition until 1990 when he appeared in Problem Child 1 & 2 and then the Disney animation of Aladdin, where he played Iago the parrot.

He also worked as a voice artist for many animated series, like Superman: The Animated Series, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Justice League Action and Lego DC Super-Villains, where he played Mister Mxyzptik.

He also voiced a wise-cracking criminal in two episodes of Superboy and was then asked to co-write an issue of Superboy: The Comic Book, which was based on his character’s origin story.

Gottfried has also made adverts and many other appearances in things like Family Guy, Hannah Montana, Star-Ving and even Law & Order: Special Victim Unit.

He was also asked, with his shrill voice, to read sections of 50 Shades of Grey, which is hilarious.

He was also known for his controversial jokes. He ended up blacklisted from the Primetime Emmy Awards for making endless masturbation jokes at the expense of Paul Reubens, who was arrested for masturbating in an adult theatre. Fox had to apologise for his jokes, stating they were “irresponsible and insulting”.

He also made a 9/11 joke, about three weeks after the event. It was in a monologue at a roast for Hugh Hefner. He said:

“I intended to get a direct flight here, but they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first.”

Some of the audience booed and comments like “too soon” were heard, so he changed his speech into the Aristocrat Joke, which is still known today.

Gottfried passed away, leaving his wife Dara Kravitz and their daughter Lily.

RIP Gilbert and I’ll leave you with this quote from him:

“I have always felt comedy and tragedy are roommates. If you look up comedy and tragedy, you will find a very old picture of two masks. One mask is tragedy. It looks like it’s crying. The other mask is comedy. It looks like it’s laughing. Nowadays, we would say, “How tasteless and insensitive. A comedy mask is laughing at a tragedy mask.”

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