Living & Entertainment

Gilbert Gottfried thinks twice before he jokes but says it anyway. He’s playing Tacoma

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried doesn’t tour.

“I work all the time, doing stand-up,” he says “To me, touring means you have your own bus.”

Tour or not, Gottfried returns to the Tacoma Comedy Club for three shows this weekend.

Gottfried’s distinctive frenetic voice has gotten him a lot of work over the years, including the parrot Iago in 1992’s “Aladdin”.

It’s also gotten him in hot water. He lost his job as the voice of the Aflac duck when he made a joke about the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

These days, he has a podcast and shows up frequently in movies or TV shows. He recently played Adolf Hitler in Jeff Ross’s “Historical Roasts.”

“That’s one of the least offensive roles I’ve played,” Gottfried says.

Gottfried spoke with The News Tribune from his New York home.

Q: Have you gotten in trouble over anything lately, like the Aflac duck?

A: Not lately. I’m starting to feel left out. I feel like if someone doesn’t get up and walk out on one of my shows, I’m losing it.

Q: You have been a staple in the “Sharknado” movies. What are those like to make?

A: I like doing those movies because when you watch them, if you listen closely, you can hear your IQ drop.

Q: You’ve become known recently for your “50 Shades of Grey” reading. What’s another work that you think you would excel at reading?

A: The Bible. I think people would listen to it and say, ‘I always imagined that’s what God sounds like.’

Q: When a producer or casting agent calls you for a part, do you they tell you it was written specifically for you?

A: I love when I get a call and they say, we want you to do an audition for a voice over. I think, you already know what I sound like. I’m not going to turn into Bing Crosby.

Q: Like some other celebrities, I see you are making customized videos for Cameo. Are you cheap or pricey?

A: I’ve kept it at one price, and sometimes I look at other people and they are a lot more or a lot less.

Q: Does it screw with your head? ‘That guy isn’t as big as me, why does he charge more?’

A: Oh, absolutely. It’s like looking at your career in general. You say, I’ve done this and this, so that puts me on this level. But, wait a second, that guy did this and that moves him up a notch ...

Q: I don’t think that’s good for your mental health.

A: Oh, I gave up on my mental health years ago.

Q: Has social media changed the way you perform?

A: I wind up just doing what I want to do and not letting it affect me. I think twice before I say anything now. But I say it anyway.

Q: Has outrage culture affected you ... recently?

A: I’m sure after this call the internet will blow up.

Gilbert Gottfried

When: 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 9), 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 10).

Where: Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market Street, Tacoma

Tickets: $18-32


Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.