Sad news in the comedy world today: Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has passed away at the age of 67.
Gottfried voice was instantly recognizable amongst fans. Despite being grating in almost every way it’s also what made him an endearing star.
His publicist told the Washington Post that he died of myotonic dystrophy type 2, a form of muscular dystrophy.
“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,” his family wrote on Twitter.
Gottfried was known for trademark shrill, nasally and instantly recognizable voice, squinted eyes, faux anger and a comic delivery that melded classic Borscht Belt style with contemporary (and often crass) substance. His appeal stretched from adults — he popularized the remarkably vulgar joke featured in the 2005 documentary The Aristocrats — and at least two generations of children, through his voiceover work as the parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin (1992) and various TV cartoons. He earned a 2009 Daytime Emmy nom for his voice role as Digit in the PBS Kids series Cyberchase. He has been featured in more than 80 episodes of the show extending to this year.
Gottfried would reprise the Iago role for the 1994 direct-to-video sequel Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar, the 1994-95 animated Aladdin series and 2001the early-2000s toon series House of Mouse.
He also voiced the duck in numerous memorable TV commercials for Aflac insurance.
His Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcastwas one of the medium’s most popular.
Gottfried will be missed…