Stand-up comedian Gilbert Gottfried is the subject of Gilbert, a new documentary from director Neil Berkeley.
Gottfried has been well-known in the comedy scene for quite some time and while his personality can put off some people, the comedian has found a way to re-invent himself to the surprise of many. Berkeley’s documentary provides for a view of the comedian that many of us aren’t used to seeing. None of us are used to seeing how Gottfried has changed in the time since becoming a father.
Gottfried is one of those comedians whose sense of humor can and will push boundaries. It’s the just the nature of the territory that comes with being a comedian. Even in this era of political correctness, boundaries can be pushed to extremes. Still though, it is hard to think of Gottfried without thinking of his voice. It doesn’t matter as to how annoying it can be and maybe, just maybe, it’s always possible that he plays up his voice just for the response. To some, Gottfried’s voice falls into the same category as another comedian, Fran Drescher.
Berkeley got the approval to make the documentary from the comedian’s wife, to which Gilbert Gottfried reportedly responded by saying “Shouldn’t I be dead before you do that?” This led to shooting seven months worth of footage to get an intimate view of a person as we see him open up. Viewers don’t just get footage of the comedian opening up on his life but also friends and family discussing their relationship with the legendary Brooklyn native. The list of those appearing include Dave Attell, Joy Behar, Richard Belzer, Lewis Black, Bill Burr, Dick Van Dyke, Susie Essman, Jim Gaffigan, Judy Gold, Whoopi Goldberg, Arlene Gottfried, Dara Gottfried, Karen Gottfried, Lily Gottfried, Max Gottfried, Arsenio Hall, Anthony Jeselnik, Penn Jillette, Richard Kind, Artie Lange, Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Rick Newman, Patton Oswalt, Frank Santopadre, Joe Piscopo, Paul Provenza, Jeff Ross, Bob Saget, and Alan Zweibel.
Breaking into the comedy scene in the 1980s, Gilbert Gottfried was quickly able to get a number of roles in both film and television but it wasn’t until being cast in Aladdin as the parrot, Iago, that the comedian was able to really breakout as a voice-over artist, including a later appearance as the duck in the Aflac Insurance commercials.
A revealing documentary shown through an intimate lens, Gilbert is such a personal film. There may never be another comedian like him.
Gilbert was released in Digital HD last week and is playing in select theatrical locations, including a run at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago starting November 24, 2017. For more information on how to watch Gilbert, please click here.