Comic Gilbert Gottfried likes to annoy the masses


Don't think Gilbert Gottfried gets excited about doing comedy club appearances.

"It always feels like too many," he responds, when asked how many club dates he performs a year.

Is stand-up comedy that grueling?

"Oh yeah, it can be at times. But I guess that lumberjacks work harder, so . . ." says the comic whose performing persona seems perpetually dour -- even when in the form of a nasty animated parrot such as Iago, whose voice he supplied in the film "Aladdin."

Actually, says Mr. Gottfried in a telephone interview in advance of four shows this weekend at the Comedy Cabaret in Fells Point, "I think I'm hated by young and old alike. I get to annoy the masses."

Mr. Gottfried says his usual character, a noodge with a grating voice and squinty eyes, is "somewhere between Pat Boone and Charles Manson . . . I guess annoying is how it comes out."

But he did not base it on anyone in particular.

"I don't know if anybody ever really works on this. You wake up one morning and say, 'Gee I've been doing this a long time,' " is about as close as he comes to describing the origin of his unique delivery.

Mr. Gottfried was in the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1980 and has been seen frequently on cable television, with one HBO and two Cinemax specials. He also has a weekly role as host of the USA network's "Up All Night" Saturday movie presentations.

In addition to "Aladdin," he was in "Beverly Hills Cop II," "Problem Child" (films one and two) and "Look Who's Talking Too."

The comic says he has been working on an hour-long "kind of sequel" to "Aladdin," which will be released to the video trade later this year under the title "The Return of Jafar." He also says an "Aladdin" series with Iago as a regular is in the works for the fall.

Gilbert Gottfried

When: 8:30 and 10:45 p.m. today and tomorrow

Where: The Comedy Cabaret, 723 S. Broadway

Cost: $15; 7 p.m. dinner available for additional $8

Call: (410) 327-8800.

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