Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Feast of Saint Gilbert

My Fellow Comedists,

This weekend is the feast of Saint Gilbert. Gilbert Gottfried turns 55 this weekend. Probably best known now for his voice work in Aladdin and as the AFLAC duck, he is a master stand-up. Indeed, Gilbert Gottfried is a throwback. He does something no other comedian does anymore...he tells jokes. It's not narrative or observational stuff, it's good old fashion jokes. And there is no one in the world who can take a joke and stretch it, milk it, work it in a way that fellow comics who know the joke are rolling on the floor at the way he takes twelve minutes to get through a four line joke like Gilbert Gottfried. Yes, the voice and the squint are obnoxious, but that's the point. When he gets laughs it isn't because he got a cheap laugh off his personality which will often leave you feeling uncomfortable.

He carries the torch from Milton Berle. Berle had the biggest book. There was not a joke written that Berle didn't know and didn't do. Jack Benny said that when you steal a joke from Berle, it isn't stealing, it's repossessing. In the same way, Gilbert Gottfried is encyclopedic in his knowledge of jokes.

Happy birthday, Gilbert Gottfried.

Live, laugh, and love,

Irreverend Steve