Monday, August 25, 2014

Gilbert Gottfried and Me

Gilbert Gottfried, drawn for the Lowbrow

Gilbert Gottfried is a hyper, crazy-brilliant and fearless comedian. In fact, he's one of my favorite younger Old Jewish Comedians. I've known Gilbert for over thirty years, ever since meeting him up at the mid-eighties, not-very-funny version of the National Lampoon which we were both creating work for. We hit it off because we both shared a passion for old schlocky show business and especially old Hollywood horror films, featuring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, John Carradine, George Zucco, Onslow Stevens, Lional Atwill, Lon Chaney, Jr., and the giant, bald Swedish wrestler-turned- zombie/actor Tor Johnson. Gilbert and I lived in the same neighborhood in the East Village and he would frequently drop by, (usually unannounced), to watch my meager VHS tape collection of 1950's schlocky horror films mainly featuring Lugosi, some directed by Ed Wood, Jr., as well as Lon Chaney, Jr. films.  Sometimes we'd both watch entire films in silence, absorbing every nuance and detail before Gilbert would put his hat and coat back on and return to his apartment on Avenue A.

Gilbert and I discuss our love of old horror films, among many other pertinent topics, including Groucho Marx's justifing do horrific things because "Chico needed the money", Jerry Lewis's reaction to my Old Jewish Comedian book, Jack Carter hating my portrait of him,  Rosie Grier's bodyguard and film career,  Milton Berle's schlong, Danny Thomas/glass coffee tables,  etc, along with another old friend, savvy co-host Frank Santopadre, in this episode of Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing, Colossal Podcast!:

Gilbert Gottfried, New York Punk, The Lowbrow Reader by Jay Ruttenberg

I've drawn Gilbert several times over the years, the first time to accompany his introduction to my book of SPY magazine drawings
"Private Lives of Public Figures" in 1991. Gilbert always referred
to my early stipple drawing style as "Jew Dots":

Also From SPY, Gilbert's famous and hilarious "encounter" with
short-fingered vularian Donald Trump, (whatever became of him?), from the book "Spy High":

a panel from a comic strip that ran in Los Angeles magazine, predicting upcoming network TV shows, including "Everyone Hates Gilbert":

G.G. for the New York Observer/2015

G.G., drawn for the final print edition of the Village Voice in 2017
Gilbert and I at the book launch party for my book "Even More Old Jewish Comedians",
at the Friars club in 2011. photo by Kipp Friedman

famed comic Larry Storch with Gilbert at the same party,
photo by Matt Beckoff

Gilbert and I with the late legenday talk show host, the late Joe Franklin, at the opening night party
for my Old Jewish Comedians show at the
Society of Illustrators in March, 2114

Gilbert Gottfried at the Society of Illustrators
photo by Ken Farell

Gilbert with his copy of "Drew Friedman's Chosen People"
photo by Lily Gottfried


  1. I'm honored to be the first to link to Gottfried's brilliant PLAYBOY article: "The Apology Epidemic," which every American should read -- even wops.
    Click HERE!

  2. I use your books as a perfect reference for my puppet building designs. Gilbert says I'm I hack. I introduced Gilbert to Carl Ballantine it was an interesting moment.

  3. This is a lot of fun!!!! thanks guys!!!

  4. I love Gilbert! In a world of mostly almost the sames Gilbert stands far apart and above, as far I'm concerned.

  5. Gottfried is the ONLY voice of the Aflac duck. This is superior tag-team posting here. Love the thought of silently watching classic monster movies with this guy in the East Village. That is sublime.

  6. Gilbert's Amazing Colossal Podcast has quickly become a favorite. I hope you make many appearances.