You may not be familiar with his standup, and you might not be able to remember his movies. But there's no mistaking his voice.
Gilbert Gottfried's career spans four decades and includes countless television and movie appearances, along with voiceover work, commercials, and yes, even reality TV. This January, he'll be sitting across the boardroom table from Donald Trump on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Before he takes on "The Donald," Gottfried is making a stop in Minnesota this weekend to do the thing he does best: make people laugh.
We sat down with the most famous duck voice in history before his weekend trip to New Hope Cinema Grill to chat about comedy, podcasts, and having sex with Alan Thicke.
Is this your first trip to New Hope?
Honestly, I've been to so many cities that sometimes I'll think I've never been somewhere, and then I'll get to the club and see I signed the wall. It's little things that make me flash back, so I guess I'll remember when I get there.
Congratulations on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice. How did that come about?
I figure Donald was up there at Trump Enterprises, saying to himself, "When I step down, I want Gilbert Gottfried to take over the business."
They actually asked me to do it. I think they wanted someone who would talk about that thing living on Donald Trump's head.
What's your opinion about being on a reality TV show?
I used to think that reality TV shows were horrible, and then I ended up doing Wife Swap with Alan Thicke, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I got to spend the week having sex with Alan Thicke, so it worked out.
One of the main themes of the show is going out and competing in a bunch of different business challenges. Have you had any tough jobs prior to comedy and acting that you can pull experience from?
I've had all sorts of awful jobs. I was a messenger; I did freight deliveries. I remember this one job I had where I had to test glass ashtrays that were supposed to be scratch-proof. They had me sitting in a room with this metal pencil and all these ashtrays seeing if I could scrape them. If I could, they were bad, and if I couldn't they were good. The best part is that on all of the packaging it said, "tested by a master craftsman." So I guess I have that to fall back on.
Another job you took on this year is podcast host. How have you liked that experience?
It's funny, because I barely understand what a podcast is myself. But from what I hear, the ratings are very good. I look at it like I'm talking to people who I would be interested in talking with anyways; I'm just recording it. The show focuses on more of the "Golden Age of Hollywood," where a lot of my guests are actors and directors from a past era. I actually wanted to call the podcast Before It's Too Late, but I guess the people in charge thought guests wouldn't want to come on if they thought they were close to death.
It's funny to hear some of those stories from that era, though. I had Adam West on, for example, the original Batman from the television series in the 1960s. He ended up telling me a story about how he and the actor who played the Riddler got kicked out of an orgy, which should be the plot of the next Batman movie.
Once you get through with Celebrity Apprentice, what else do you have planned for 2015?
I really don't know. Sometimes I think that my career happens in spite of me. There's no rhyme or reason, and I just wait to see what happens next.
IF YOU GO:
New Hope Cinema Grill
7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. December 12-13