Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried (born February 28, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and voice actor. Gottfried's persona as a comedian features an exaggerated shrill voice and emphasis on crude humor. His numerous roles in film and television include voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin animated films and TV show, Digit in the PBS Kids Go! show Cyberchase, and Kraang Subprime in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Gottfried was also the voice of the Aflac Duck until 2011. He appeared in the critically panned Problem Child in 1990.
Gottfried at the Montclair Film Festival in April 2016
|Birth name||Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried|
|Born||February 28, 1955|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, film, television|
|Genres||Satire, crude humor, off-color humor, tragicomedy,blue comedy, improvisational comedy, black comedy, insult comedy|
|Subject(s)||Religion, race relations, racism, pop culture, sex|
Dara Kravitz (m. 2007)
Since 2014, Gottfried has hosted a podcast, Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, which features new episodes each week featuring discussions of classic movies and celebrity interviews, most often with veteran actors, comedians, musicians and comedy writers. Gilbert, a documentary film on Gottfried's life and career, was released in 2017.
Early life and career (1955–1998)
Gottfried was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Lillian (Zimmerman), a homemaker, and Max Gottfried, who ran a hardware store with his own father, above which the family lived. At age 15, Gottfried began doing amateur stand-up in New York City and, after a few years, became known around New York as "the comedian's comedian." In 1980, Saturday Night Live was being retooled with a new staff and new comedians; the producers noticed Gottfried and hired him as a cast member for season 6. Gottfried's persona in SNL sketches was very different from his later characterization: he rarely (if ever) spoke in his trademark screeching, obnoxious voice and never squinted. During his 12-episode stint, he was given very little airtime and seldom used in sketches. Gottfried recalls a low point was having to play a corpse in a sketch about a sports organist hired to play inappropriate music at a funeral. Despite this, he had one recurring character (Leo Waxman, husband to Denny Dillon's Pinky Waxman on the recurring talk show sketch, "What's It All About?") and two celebrity impersonations: David A. Stockman and controversial film director Roman Polanski.
Gottfried also played accountant Sidney Bernstein in the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II.
Although not a regular, he also appeared in The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, as well as voicing the crazed dentist Dr. Bender and his son Wendell in The Fairly OddParents and the voice of Jerry the Belly Button Elf on Ren and Stimpy. Three of his most prominent roles came in 1990, 1991, and 1992, when he was cast as the adoption agent Igor Peabody in Problem Child and Problem Child 2 and the parrot Iago in Aladdin. When asked how he prepared for the role, Gottfried said, "I did the whole DeNiro thing. I moved to South America! I lived in the trees!" Gottfried reprised the role in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the television series and various related media, such as Kingdom Hearts and House of Mouse. However, the character was ultimately recast to Alan Tudyk beginning with the 2019 remake. Gottfried also voiced Berkely Beetle in 1994's Thumbelina.
Gottfried was the host of the Saturday edition of USA Up All Night for its entire run from 1989 to 1998.
Voice acting, television and films (1999–present)
Gottfried was a recurring guest star during the Tom Bergeron era of The Hollywood Squares and became the central figure in a bizarre episode that aired October 1, 1999. In this episode, the two contestants made nine consecutive incorrect guesses, six of which were to be game-deciding questions asked to Gottfried. Penn Jillette, who, with his partner Teller was a guest on the same episode, berated a contestant earlier for giving an incorrect guess by shouting "You fool!", which Gottfried himself then began to use, with most of the other stars including host Bergeron himself eventually joining in with every successive wrong guess. As a consequence, it took the entire half hour to play only one game. Appropriately, the episode became known as the "You Fool!" episode.
Gottfried has provided the voice of the duck in the Aflac commercials and Digit in Cyberchase, as well as Mister Mxyzptlk in Superman: The Animated Series. He reprised his role as Myxzptlk in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Justice League Action, and Lego DC Super-Villains. He also voiced a nasty wisecracking criminal genius named Nick-Nack in two episodes of Superboy (he also co-wrote an issue of Superboy: The Comic Book, which featured Nick-Nack's origin). On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Gottfried has made regular appearances.
In 2004, Comedy Central featured Gottfried's stand-up material for Shorties Watchin' Shorties. Gottfried was part of an online advertising campaign for Microsoft's Office XP software, showing, in a series of Flash-animated cartoons, that the Clippy office assistant would be removed. In 2006, Gottfried topped the Boston Phoenix's tongue-in-cheek list of the world's 100 Unsexiest Men. In April 2006, Gottfried performed with the University of Pennsylvania's Mask and Wig Club in their annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival. Also in 2006, he made an appearance on the Let's Make a Deal portion of Gameshow Marathon (as a baby in a large high chair, he says "Hey Ricki, I think I need my diaper changed!"), and in the Dodge Viper in the big deal (where he tells the contestants "What were you thinking?!" because neither one picked it). He also guest-starred in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy as Santa Claus in the one-hour Christmas Special. He voiced Rick Platypus in an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey entitled "That Darn Platypus".
He appeared as Peter's horse in an episode of Family Guy entitled "Boys Do Cry" (in which Peter Griffin is enthused to learn that Gottfried is providing the horse's voice). He also guest-starred in Hannah Montana as Barny Bittmen. In January 2009, Gottfried worked again with David Faustino for an episode of Faustino's show Star-ving. In 2011, Gottfried appeared in the episode "Lost Traveler" on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Leo Gerber, a sarcastic computer professional working for the NYPD's Technical Assistance Response Unit, which producer Warren Leight said could become a recurring character. Gottfried read a section from the hit book Fifty Shades of Grey in a June 2012 YouTube video, which was created with the aim of using Gottfried's trademark voice to make fun of the book's graphic sexual content.
In 2013, Gottfried became a member of "Team Rachael" on the second season of Food Network's Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. In March 2013 he appeared on ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap. He swapped wives with Alan Thicke. He is also a commentator on truTV Presents: World's Dumbest....
On May 28, 2014, Sideshow Network premiered Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, an interview series where Gottfried and his co-host Frank Santopadre discuss classic movies and talk to "Hollywood legends and behind-the-scenes talents" who shaped Gottfried's childhood and influenced his comedy. His first guest was Dick Cavett.
In 2017 he appeared as himself in Episodes, where a contestant on a fictional TV endurance gameshow is penalised with "48 hours of Gilbert Gottfried".
On June 10, 2018 he appeared in a special segment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver where, for UK viewers only, a segment about the UK's law restricting broadcast of debates from the Houses of Parliament was replaced by five minutes of him reading "3 star Yelp reviews", along with host John Oliver telling the audience "you brought this on yourself because of your stupid law". He returned on November 18, 2018 in the show's last episode of the year to read out extracts from the Brexit agreement, again for UK viewers only. He had previously performed as "the real voice of Jared Kushner" in dubbed film clips on the show.
On July 31, 2019 he appeared on episode 170 of the Angry Video Game Nerd YouTube channel Cinemassacre. The title of the video is Life of Black Tiger with Gilbert Gottfried (PS4) - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN). Quoted from the description of the video, The AVGN is playing the most modern game he's ever played before on the PlayStation 4. But, of course it might be one of the worst games he's ever played. Life of Black Tiger is a mobile game ported to the PS4 where you play as an emo tiger fighting the wild and humanity to save his cute baby. Gilbert Gottfried guest stars as a certain game designer that's never been seen on the show before. James Rolfe invited Gilbert as a guest to be in the episode in order to pretend to be a made up developer of the game Life of Black Tiger.
In the late 1990s, Gottfried met Dara Kravitz at a Grammy Awards party. They were married in 2007 and have two children together, daughter Lily and son Max. They reside in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Gottfried was raised in a Jewish family, but he has commented on his podcast that he did not have a bar mitzvah. One of his sisters was Arlene Gottfried, a New York street photographer, who died in 2017.
Danny Gallagher of the Dallas Observer wrote that "Gottfried has one of the most original formulas in the history of comedy", adding:
Gottfried is known for speaking in a loud and grating voice, which is not his natural speaking voice. Mark Binneli of Rolling Stone described Gottfried as a "squinting, squawking mass of contradictions", noting his status as "one of America's filthiest stand-ups and one of the most successful voice-over artists in children's entertainment." Gottfried is known for joking about recent tragedies. In a July 2012 op-ed for CNN, he wrote:
I have always felt comedy and tragedy are roommates. If you look up comedy and tragedy, you will find a very old picture of two masks. One mask is tragedy. It looks like it's crying. The other mask is comedy. It looks like it's laughing. Nowadays, we would say, 'How tasteless and insensitive. A comedy mask is laughing at a tragedy mask.'
1991 Emmy Awards
At the 43rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Gottfried made "an endless series of masturbation jokes" in reference to Paul Reubens' arrest for masturbating in an adult movie theater. Viewers on the East Coast saw the entire set live, but Fox censored the broadcast for the West Coast delay. Fox issued an apology, stating that Gottfried's jokes were "irresponsible and insulting". Gottfried said that producers stated he would not be invited back, and Rolling Stone wrote that the monologue resulted in his being "blacklisted".
September 11 joke
During his monologue at a Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner three weeks after the September 11 attacks, Gottfried joked that he had intended to catch a plane, but could not get a direct flight because "they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first". This was one of the first public examples of 9/11 humor. Audience members responded with hisses and a cry of "Too soon!" Gottfried then abandoned his prepared remarks and launched into the venerable Aristocrats joke, winning back the audience. Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza used Gottfried's monologue as a segment in their 2005 film The Aristocrats.
Japanese tsunami jokes
In March 2011, Gottfried made a series of jokes on his Twitter account about the earthquake disaster in Japan. Aflac, which does 75% of its business in Japan, responded by dismissing Gottfried from voicing its duck mascot on March 14, 2011, and announced a casting call for his replacement as the voice of the duck. He was replaced by Daniel McKeague (who did an impression of Gottfried) on April 26, 2011.
|1984||The House of God||Paramedic|
|1985||Bad Medicine||Tony Sandoval|
|1987||Beverly Hills Cop II||Sidney Bernstein|
|1988||Hot to Trot||Dentist|
|1988||Katy and the Katerpillar Kids||X (voice, English version)|
|1989||Never on Tuesday||Lucky Larry Lupin|
|1990||The Adventures of Ford Fairlane||Johnny Crunch|
|1990||Problem Child||Mr. Peabody|
|1990||Look Who's Talking Too||Joey, The Baby Gym Instructor|
|1991||Problem Child 2||Mr. Peabody|
|1991||Horror Hall of Fame 2||Boris|
|1991||Highway to Hell||Hitler|
|1992||Aladdin||Iago the Parrot (voice)|
|1994||House Party 3||Luggage Clerk|
|1994||Thumbelina||Berkeley Beetle (Mr. Beetle) (voice)|
|1994||The Return of Jafar||Iago the Parrot (voice)|
|1994||Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Las Vegas||Burt Banner|
|1995||The Magic Gift of the Snowman||Charlatan (voice)|
|1995||Problem Child 3: Junior in Love||Dr. Peabody|
|1996||Aladdin and the King of Thieves||Iago the Parrot (voice)|
|1996||Be Cool about Fire Safety!||Seymour Smoke (voice)|
|1996||Escape from It's a Wonderful Life||Angry man on porch|
|1996||Be Cool About Fire Safety||Seymour Smoke|
|1997||Def Jam's How to Be a Player||Tony the Doorman|
|1998||Dr. Dolittle||Compulsive Dog (voice)|
|2002||Mickey's House of Villains||Iago the Parrot (voice)|
|2004||The Amazing Floydini||Magic Store owner|
|2004||Back by Midnight||Security Guard|
|2004||Funky Monkey||Dr. Spleen|
|2004||Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events||Duck|
|2006||Farce of the Penguins||"I'm Freezing My Nuts Off" Penguin (voice)|
|2007||Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams||Iago the Parrot (voice)|
|2008||Gilbert Gottfried: Dirty Jokes||Himself|
|2009||The Lindabury Story||Himself|
|2009||Jack and the Beanstalk||Grayson the Goose|
|2011||Miss December||The Police Officer|
|2013||Beecher Baby Bouncer||Himself|
|2014||A Million Ways to Die in the West||Abraham Lincoln|
|2016||The Comedian's Guide to Survival||Himself|
|2016||Abnormal Attraction||Pig Man|
|2016||Unbelievable!!!!||Major LeGrande Bushe|
|2016||Gender Bender||Dr. Montalto|
|2016||The Comedian||Trevor Friedmann|
|2016||Hospital Arrest||Jerome Carter|
|2017||80s Creature House||Grim Reaper|
|2017||Animal Crackers||Mario Zucchini (voice)|
|2019||Super Gidget||Infester (voice)|
|1980–1981||Saturday Night Live||Various characters||Cast member; 12 episodes|
|1983–1984||Thicke of the Night||Various characters|
|1987||The Cosby Show||Mr. Babcock||"Say Hello to a Good Buy"|
|1991||Night Court||Oscar Brown|
|1993–1995||Bonkers||Two-Bits (voice)||2 episodes|
|1993||Problem Child||Mr. Peabody|
|1994||Living Single||Larry Friedlander|
|1994–1995||Aladdin||Iago the Parrot (voice)||83 episodes|
|1994||Beavis and Butthead||Gus Baker (voice)|
|The Ren & Stimpy Show||Jerry the Bellybutton Elf / Adonis (voice)|
|1994–1997||Duckman||Art DeSalvo (voice)||Recurring role; 4 episodes|
|1994–1995||Wings||Lewis||Guest role; 3 episodes|
|1995||Married... with Children||Himself||"Ship Happens"|
|Adventures in Wonderland||Mike McNasty||"Pie Noon"|
|Mad About You||Spanky's Master||"The Couple"|
|Bump in the Night||Stink Bug (voice)|
|Aladdin on Ice||Iago the Parrot (voice)||TV movie|
|1995–1996||Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat||Additional Characters (voice)||4 episodes|
|1996||Are You Afraid of the Dark?||Roy||"The Tale of Station 109.1"|
|In the House||Mr. Comstock|
|Adventures from the Book of Virtues||Additional voices|
|Escape From It's a Wonderful Life||Angry man on porch|
|Big Bag||Himself||Troubles the Cat segment|
|1996–2000||Superman: The Animated Series||Mister Mxyzptlk (voice)||2 episodes|
|1997||Bear in the Big Blue House||Large Possum (voice)|
|1998||Cosby||Cellmate||"Fifteen Minutes of Fame"|
|Noddy||Jack Frost||"Jack Frost is Coming to Town"|
|1999||Dilbert||Accounting Troll (voice)||"Hunger"|
|Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||Himself||Episodes 503 and 506|
|Timon & Pumbaa||The Woodpecker (voice)|
|2000||Clerks: The Animated Series||Jerry Seinfeld, Patrick Swayze (voices)|
|2001–2005||The Fairly OddParents||Dr. Bender / Wendel (voices)||3 episodes|
|2001–2003||Disney's House of Mouse||Iago the Parrot (voice)||7 episodes|
|2002–present||Cyberchase||Digit, Widget (voices)||Daytime Emmy [Nominee]|
Outstanding New Approaches - Daytime Children's
Daytime Emmy Awards 2009
|2002||Son of the Beach||Noccus Johnstein||"Chip's A Goy" and Hamm Stroker's Suck My Blood|
|Celebrity Deathmatch||Himself (voice)||"Gottfried in the Arena"|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Comic||"Last Laugh"|
|2004||Home Movies||Tonko the Parrot (voice)|
|The Tonight Show with Jay Leno||Various sketches||8 episodes|
|VH1's Celebrity Paranormal Project and I Love Toys|
|Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments||Himself||Part I: 100-81|
|2005||Billy and Mandy Save Christmas||Santa Claus (voice)|
|2007||The Emperor's New School||Additional voices||Season 2, Episode 11|
|Family Guy||Peter's Horse (voice)|
|My Gym Partner's a Monkey||Rick Platypus (voice)||"That Darn Platypus"|
|2008||Hannah Montana||Barney Bitman||"(We're So Sorry) Uncle Earl"|
|VH1's I Love the New Millennium||4 Episodes|
|The Comedy Central Roast: Bob Saget||Himself|
|The Replacements||Himself||"A Buzzwork Orange"|
|Back at the Barnyard||Barn Buddy (voice)||"Barn Buddy"|
|Big & Small||Small (voice)|
|Sesame Street||Denny the Distractor||"Hurry Up, You're Running Out of Time"|
|The View||Horny the Dwarf||Joy's Month in ReView|
|The Weird Al Show||Himself|
|The Comedy Central Roast: Joan Rivers||Himself|
|Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy||Himself|
|2010||'Til Death||Tommy||Guest starred|
|The Comedy Central Roast: David Hasselhoff||Himself|
|Robotomy||Tickle Me Psycho (voice)||"The Playdate"|
|2011||The Comedy Central Roast: Donald Trump||Himself|
|The Roast of Facebook|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Leo Gerber|
|2012||The Comedy Central Roast: Roseanne Barr||Himself|
|The Burn with Jeff Ross||Himself|
|2013–2014||TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest...||Himself|
|2013||Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off||Himself|
|Celebrity Wife Swap||Himself||"Gilbert Gottfried/Alan Thicke"|
|MAD||Linkong, Father, Crash (voices)|
|2014||Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||Ranginald Bagel (voice)|
|The Celebrity Apprentice 7||Himself|
|Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends||Himself|
|Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas||Mr. Greenway (voice)|
|Last Comic Standing||Himself|
|Big Brother 16||Otev (voice)|
|Newbridge Tourism Board Presents: We're Newbridge, We're Comin' To Get Ya!||Himself|
|Anger Management||Dudley||Guest starred|
|2014–present||Akame Ga Kill Abridged||Generic Male Friend (voice)||Online web show|
|2014–2016||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Kraang Subprime (voice)||6 episodes|
|2016||Mighty Magiswords||Prohyas' Stomach (voice)||Guest starred|
|Sharknado: The 4th Awakens||Ron McDonald||TV movie|
|2017||The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel||Strip Club MC||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Justice League Action||Mister Mxyztplk (voice)||3 episodes|
|Last Week Tonight with John Oliver||Jared Kushner (voice)||Season 4, Episodes 10 and 19|
|Sharknado 5: Global Swarming||Ron McDonald||TV movie|
|Episodes||Himself||Season 5, Episode 1|
|The Untitled Action Bronson Show||Himself||Season 1, Episode 7|
|2018||The Last Sharknado: It's About Time||Rand McDonald||TV Movie|
|The Tom and Jerry Show||Genie (voice)||Episode: "Meanie Genie"|
|2019||The Late Show with Stephen Colbert||Himself/Redaction||Episode dated April 18, 2019|
|SpongeBob SquarePants||Himself (cameo)||"SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout"|
|Sal (voice)||Episode: "The Hankering"|
|1999||Disney's Arcade Frenzy||Iago the Parrot|
|2001||Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge||Iago the Parrot|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Iago the Parrot|
|2006||Kingdom Hearts II||Iago the Parrot|
|2010||APB: All Points Bulletin||Joker Ammo|
|2014||Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham||Mister Mxyzptlk|
|2018||Lego DC Super-Villains||Mister Mxyzptlk|
|2019||Angry Video Game Nerd||Fred Fuchs||Episode: "Life of Black Tiger"|
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Some of the names here will be familiar only to die-hard fans; others, like Murphy, defined what was funny for generations of viewers.
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- Itzkoff, Dave (March 10, 2013). "Vulgarity's Abrasive Master, but Not at Home". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- "Sideshow Network". Archived from the original on July 1, 2014.
- "Abnormal Attraction (2016)". IMDb.
- "Brexit Update - UK Version: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)" – via www.youtube.com.
- "Life of Black Tiger with Gilbert Gottfried (PS4) - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)" – via www.youtube.com.
- "Discussion of: What It's Like Being Married to Gilbert Gottfried - 'NYT' takes a look at Gottfried's marriage ahead of 'Celebrity Wife Swap'". Newser.com. March 11, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- Gallagher, Danny (August 25, 2017). "Gilbert Gottfried Talks About the Voice that Made Him a Comedy Icon". Dallas Observer. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Melendez, Angel (August 25, 2017). "Gilbert Gottfried on Showbiz Stupidity and Hollywood Legends". Miami New Times. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Mark, Binelli (July 18, 2005). "Gilbert Gottfried: The Annoying Guy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Gottfried, Gilbert (July 12, 2012). "If you don't want to hear an edgy joke, don't listen". CNN. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Koseluk, Chris (September 17, 2009). "Emmy timeline". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Kuklenski, Valerie (August 21, 1991). "Blue Sunday at Emmy Awards". UPI. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Halle, Howard (December 15, 2005). "What's eating Gilbert Gottfried?". Time Out. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- DiGiacomo, Frank (August 7, 2005). "Why Have a Night Like This in Times Like These?". The New York Observer. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Ebert, Roger (August 12, 2005). "The Aristocrats". Roger Ebert.com. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- "The 10 Worst Gilbert Gottfried Tsunami Jokes". BuzzFeed.
- Cina, Mark (March 14, 2011). "Gilbert Gottfried Fired as Aflac Duck After Japan Tweets". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- "The Aflac Duck's New Voice Comes From a Minnesota Sales Manager". Yahoo. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "NODDY - Jack Frost Is Coming to Town". KET. June 6, 1999. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Gilbert Gottfried bio". IMDb. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- Rhodes, Joe (May 31, 1991). "Another Pop Culture Moment". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- Macarthur, Kate (January 1, 2001). "Slim Subway spokesman has expanding influence". Advertising age. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- Stenger, Richard (April 12, 2001). "Microsoft's 'Clippy' headed for the trash". CNN. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- Gentilviso, Chris (August 18, 2010). "25 Worst (We Mean Best) Infomercials - Shoedini". Time. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- Steinberg, Dan (June 25, 2012). "Brian Orakpo, Gilbert Gottfried do Eastern Motors jingle - DC Sports Bog". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- Paper, Baltimore City. "Eastern Motors with Gilbert Gottfried". citypaper.com. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- Brokenbough, Aaron (January 29, 2015). "Snoop Dogg and Gilbert Gottfried star in Eat24's Super Bowl commercial". Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.