Celebrities React To The Death Of Comedian Gilbert Gottfried

By Amber Baldet working for John Edwards - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3172443

Comedian and “Problem Child” star Gilbert Gottfried died on Tuesday afternoon. He was 67. 

“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,” his family announced on Twitter.

“Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor,” the post concluded. “Love, the Gottfried family.”

According to Gottfried’s publicist, Glenn Schwartz, he died from complications of muscular dystrophy, a rare degenerative neuromuscular disease that has no cure. 

The comedian was known for crude, politically incorrect, and ill-timed humor that stalled his career on numerous occasions. He was blacklisted in Hollywood after making masturbation jokes about “Pee-Wee Herman” star Paul Reubens during the 1991 Emmy Awards. 

He made one of the first 9/11 jokes on record, three weeks after the tragedy, when he shocked a crowd by complaining he couldn’t catch a direct flight from New York to California, because “they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first.” 

Gottfried broke into Hollywood with a brief stint on “SNL” and pivoted into film with a breakout role in 1987’s “Beverly Hill Cop II,” alongside Eddie Murphy. He starred as Mr. Peabody in the “Problem Child” franchise, and lent his uniquely sharp voice to villainous parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Celebrities reacted to his death with an outpouring of mournful tributes on social media. 

“Opening for Gilbert Gottfried at Carolines and Princeton Catch was one of the great thrills of my early stand up life,” tweeted comedian John Stewart. “He could leave you gasping for breath…just indescribably unusually hilarious…Damn.”

“Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander wrote, “Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift.” 

“He was a unique voice in comedy on so many levels. Unpredictable, one-of-a-kind, hilarious & irreplaceable,” added “Star Wars” actor Mark Hammill.

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