Coming to Zanies Comedy Night Club in Saint Charles this Saturday night is the one and only (and never soft-spoken) Gilbert Gottfried.
If you haven’t seen Gilbert Gottfried’s over the top and sometimes R-rated stand-up act, you would most likely recognize those squinty eyes and raspy voice with a splash of Brooklyn accent. Not only is Gilbert seen in comedy clubs, theaters, and casinos across the country — he has also been prevelant for decades as a voice, television, and film actor as well.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Gilbert had a flare for comedy at a young age. He would often use humor in school; not as the class clown, but to keep the bullies from taking his lunch money. At the age of 15, he started performing his own material on open mic night at comedy clubs in New York City.
Crafting a solid stand-up act by his early twenties that even fellow comedians applauded, Gilbert was noticed by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, who added him to the cast in 1980. Gilbert had such a unique television presence that he soon made an appearance on The Cosby Show and became a regular guest on Late Night with David Letterman. He was also a frequent guest on The Tonight Show, and became a regular contributor in the show’s sketches when fellow comedian and friend Jay Leno became the host in 1992. Not only is Gilbert still with The Tonight Show, but he can still be seen as host of the USA series Up All Night, where he presents classic movies (both good and bad) and performs his “schtick” going to and from commercial breaks.
TV appearances soon lead to movie roles in the 1980’s, when he performed alongside fellow former SNL cast member Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop 2. He was also seen in other big hits like Problem Child, Problem Child 2, Look Who’s Talking Too, and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, starring fellow stand-up pal Andrew Dice Clay.
Another noteworthy feature of Gilbert’s lengthy career has been his countless voice-over characters. Although the range of Gilbert’s voices hasn’t really changed much over the years (it’s the same Gilbert voice you hear in his movies and on the stage), he has done numerous voice-overs in commercials, tv shows, and films. His most recognizable character voice is likely from the 1992 Disney animated film Aladdin, where he played the sarcastic, wisecracking parrot Iago. One of his more recent notable voice-overs was Geico Insurance’s “Gekko”, of which he was let go from after a few jokes he made on Twitter following the 2011 tsunami in Japan were seen as offensive.
Showtimes for this Saturday are 7:30pm and 9:45pm at Zanies, which is located in the Pheasant Run Resort on 4051 East Main Street in St. Charles. For more information, call 630-584-6342 or visit www.stcharles.zanies.com.