To make it in comedy, you need more than just good jokes. You need a unique voice, something that sets you apart from all the rest. Well, if Gilbert Gottfried didn’t have a unique voice, I don’t know who does. This actor and comedian had an abrasive style all his own, and one that has helped him create a very successful career for himself.
Wondering about Gilbert Gottfried’s salary and net worth?
I think you’ll be surprised when you find out how much this talented man was worth. He had amassed a very large personal fortune by the time of his passing, even though he was known for and made countless jokes about his frugality. So, how much did he leave behind?
Let’s find out.
Gilbert Gottfried Net Worth and Salary
Gilbert Gottfried is known for many things. Squinty-eyed, screechy-voiced persona. Dirty comedy bits. Controversy-causing, loud-mouthed style. And his voice acting for many beloved children’s movies. In short, he was a complicated and unusual man.
He was also known for being frugal, though he would even call himself downright cheap. Gilbert would do things like walk instead of paying for transportation and sneak cups of complimentary coffee home under his shirt from sets. He was known to be unbelievably frugal, but he didn’t need to be.
At the time of his death in 2022…
Gilbert Gottfried’s estimated worth was $8 million. Saved up through a lifetime of free coffees and complementary on-set catering? That’s doubtful. The truth is that Gottfried made himself into something of a legend and was able to command a very high price for his appearances and roles.
As an actor, he regularly took in 6-figure salaries from Hollywood movies during his long career. With his characteristic voice, Gottfried also voiced many animated and digital characters for films and games. He was paid between $25-$35,000 per appearance or episode.
However, he got up to $100,000 for some of the major roles he performed. Since performing a role takes only a few days to record, this represented a pretty major part of Gilbert Gottfried’s income stream.
Another income stream is probably pretty surprising…
But, if you think about it, the actor/comedian had a lot of free time on his hands, and it would be pretty smart to use that time to make some easy money. I’m talking here about Cameo, the personalized voice message service from celebrities.
This service allowed Gilbert Gottfried to charge what he wanted and record messages in his characteristic screechy-voiced persona. It’s estimated that he earned $2 million of his fortune by recording over 12,000 messages, which works out to around $160 per message.
Although Gottfried was known for being tightfisted, that was true only for his own money. With others, he was quite generous, and that included charity. He was known to give large donations to research into diseases and supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association and research into a cure for AIDS. So, it seems he was frugal with his spending, only so he could closely control where his money went.
Education and Early Life
By his strong accent, you can tell very clearly that Gilbert Gottfried was brought up in New York. Furthermore, he was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Coney Island, followed by Crown Heights and Borough Park. He later lived in Chelsea.
While he just barely missed becoming a leap-year baby, Gottfried still managed to be an oddball. He was born on the 28th of February, 1955, and named Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried. His parents were Jewish but not practicing, and he was raised secular, although he still adopted a culturally Jewish identity.
Gilbert’s father owned a hardware store, and the family lived in the apartments above it, where his mother was a homemaker. His two older sisters, Karen and Arlene (who would become a famed photographer), were a big influence on Gilbert Gottfried’s early career.
The sisters helped to raise him and keep him out of too much trouble as a kid. They also encouraged his talent and pushed him at the age of 15 to try out stand-up comedy in clubs. That’s how this famous comedian got his start in the entertainment business.
Despite getting an early taste of the comedy bug when he was 15, Gottfried’s parents still encouraged him to get an education. Though he was never an academic, Gottfried was clever and did well at school when he applied himself. He completed his schooling in 1973 at Brooklyn Technical High School.
After that, he moved on to the City University of New York, where he studied Communications. Whether or not this was useful or an influence on his later career isn’t clear. However, he did end up earning his B.A. there.
Gilbert Gottfried’s Career
Between the ages of 15 and 24, Gilbert Gottfried continued to perform stand-up comedy at clubs and open mics. And he was also booked for parties and corporate events around the New York comedy circuit. He gained a reputation for being good at impressions. Especially of old film stars.
But then, he made a character of himself. It would be this character that started to seriously increase the Gilbert Gottfried net worth numbers.
In the late-70s…
Gilbert started to turn himself into the abrasive, screechy-voiced, squinty-eyed character we remember him as today. But this was just Gilbert Gottfried’s on-stage persona, one that he created and honed throughout his career. It was a character that he played, and off-stage, while still hilarious, he was a lot less aggressive and in-your-face.
In 1980, Saturday Night Live went through a period of upheaval where Lorne Michaels and the whole cast left the show. The network scrambled to keep the show going by hiring fresh new comedians. In a very lucky break, Gottfried was one of them. This was considered a big break for anyone as the show was a big hit, and of course, continues to this day to be one of the biggest shows on TV.
However, for Gilbert Gottfried, who was affectionately nicknamed “Gilly” by the cast, this was a very frustrating part of his career. The show was struggling, and he was also personally used in very few sketches. So, for most of the season, he was on SNL, he didn’t feel appreciated.
At the same time…
Gilbert’s stint at SNL did give him a good deal of national exposure, and that was enough to boost his career to another level. Bigger parts and roles started to come in, such as a recurring slot on Thicke of the Night with Alan Thicke and the lead in Larry David’s ill-fated show Norman’s Corner.
He also continued to do stand-up, taking on more and more provocative material. And he became a fairly regular guest on the Howard Stern Show, which brought his voice out on national radio. Then, Gilbert Gottfried’s acting career in movies started with Eddie Murphy’s 1987 Beverly Hills Cop II.
That was followed by one of his biggest roles as child protection officer Igor Peabody in 1990’s Problem Child, 1991’s Problem Child 2, and 1995’s TV-release-only Problem Child 3: Junior In Love. These roles brought him a fair bit of money. But, they also increased his exposure as a performer and increased his demand.
With his screechy, irritating persona now pretty much fully formed…
Voice work started coming Gottfried’s way. He lent his voice to Jerry the Belly Button Elf with the bizarre animated series Ren and Stimpy.
Gilbert Gottfried’s biggest role to date came in 1992 with Disney’s Aladdin. He voiced Iago, the irate and cantankerous parrot in cahoots with the baddie, Jafar. Gilbert continued this role in the movie’s sequel and the popular TV show that was created to continue the story after the movies.
Other significant voice acting roles included playing Digit in the children’s animated show Cyberchase, Dr. Bender in The Fairly OddParents, and Mr. Mxyzptlk in the animated Superman series. He was also hired to be the voice of the Aflac duck for the insurance company’s commercials.
Gottfried has also appeared regularly on TV shows…
Both as a character and as himself. He was often a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and also had a square on the long-running Hollywood Squares game show from 1998-2004. He appeared in the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice, where he was fired for making inappropriate jokes, and Celebrity Wife Swap, where he swapped with his old friend Alan Thicke.
TV, movie, and voice acting roles continued to come in for Gottfried…
His squawky persona was most in-demand, but so were his vicious, cutting sense of humor and his offensive jokes. He continued to do stand-up as well, where his reputation for being shocking was what drew audiences. His live special, Dirty Jokes, is a prime example.
In 2014, Gottfried began his podcast, entitled Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, because he was a tremendously humble man. This podcast was recorded weekly and featured Gottfried and comedy Frank Santopadre interviewing comedians, actors, and other personalities. And, being just drop-dead hilarious. The podcast ran until he died in 2022.
This was a man who never stopped working even though he had plenty of money to do just that. If you or I had Gilbert Gottfried net worth levels, I think we’d be out on a boat somewhere in the tropics. But not this hard-working man whose very purpose in life was to make people laugh.
While he was primarily interested in making people laugh, Gilbert Gottfried also didn’t mind shocking people. No, not one bit. And some of Gilbert Gottfried’s most offensive jokes cut to the bone and made a lot of people upset. He explored his philosophy of the importance of laughing at tragedy in the 2015 documentary, Can We Take A Joke?
Some of Gilbert Gottfried’s biggest controversies came from joking about tragedies very quickly after they happened. He was one of the first comedians to make a 9/11 joke, doing his just three weeks after the tragedy. But he also did it at the Roast of Hugh Hefner, causing a massive controversy. One audience member even yelled out, “Too soon,” possibly starting this trope.
He also was blacklisted from the Emmys in 1991…
This was after making several masturbation jokes about Peewee Herman’s recent arrest. Likewise, tweets in 2011 joking about the recent Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami got him fired from his long-standing voice role as the Aflac duck.
Gottfried’s style of comedy was loud, in-your-face, and cut right to the quick. He showed no fear and was happy to make jokes about politics, sex, race, and religion without mercy.
Partner and Family
While he was a confirmed bachelor for decades, Gottfried finally got married in 2007 at the age of 52. He married his long-time girlfriend, film producer Dara Kravitz, with whom he also produced several pieces of work. On top of that, they produced two children, a daughter and a son named Lily and Max, respectively.
Home and Real Estate
Gilbert Gottfried was born and raised in New York City and lived his whole life there. He grew up in Coney Island but eventually moved to Chelsea, where he lived for most of his career.
With a big net worth behind him, Gottfried was able to make some big real estate purchases. For example, he easily bought an apartment for himself and his family in 2004 for a cool million dollars. In 2017, he sold the apartment for $2.5 million, making a sweet $1.5 million in profit.
Death and Legacy
Gilbert Gottfried suffered from a muscle-wasting disease called myotonic dystrophy, though he kept the condition private. However, this led to a weak heart, and he eventually died of heart failure on the 12th of April, 2022. For many, it was “too soon.” But, with his significant net worth, the wife and children he left behind have plenty of financial support to help them through their lives.
Gottfried was an incredibly fearless comic. He adopted a persona that was aggressive, jarring, and abrasive so that he could essentially play the asshole and say the things that no one else would. His style was all his own, and his voice and mannerisms are instantly identifiable whether as a comedian, actor, or disembodied voice.
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Gilbert Gottfried Net Worth Summarized
Gilbert Gottfried was a comic, actor, TV personality, voice actor, and podcaster with hundreds of credits to his name. He passed away from health problems in 2022 at the age of 67, leaving behind a wife and two children. Also, Gilbert Gottfried’s net worth was as much as $8 million at the time of his passing.
He was known to be a very abrasive, shocking comedian who pushed boundaries. That made him one of the most significant and memorable comics and one who is an example to those in the business today. Most of all, Gilbert Gottfried enjoyed making people laugh and did this without pause until the day he died.
Until next time, may you find your success story.
1 What is Gilbert Gottfried famous for?
Gilbert Gottfried is famous for his comedy performances, voice acting roles, and controversial jokes. He has lent his voice to some of the most iconic animated characters in films, cartoons, and TV shows, and his work has entertained audiences across generations.
2 How much does Gilbert Gottfried earn?
As of 2021, Gilbert Gottfried’s net worth is estimated at $8 million. His salary per project may vary from $25,000 to $35,000 per episode, depending on the type of job.
3 What is Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast about?
Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast, called “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!” features interviews with comedians, actors, and other entertainment personalities. The podcast is known for its insightful conversations, hilarious anecdotes, and celebrity guest appearances.
4 What famous movies has Gilbert Gottfried been in?
Gilbert Gottfried has appeared in several movies, including Problem Child, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Dr. Dolittle. He is known for his eccentric commentary and risqué jokes that have often landed him in controversy.
5 How does Gilbert Gottfried’s marriage affect his career?
Gilbert Gottfried’s marriage to his wife, Dara Kravitz, has not affected his career. He continues to perform in comedy shows, lend his voice to animated characters, and make cameos in movies.
6 What is the controversy surrounding Gilbert Gottfried?
Gilbert Gottfried has been involved in several controversies throughout his career. He has been criticized for making controversial jokes about natural disasters, the September 11 attacks, and the Holocaust. However, he has also received support from his fans and colleagues, who admire his comedy and outspokenness.
7 What causes does Gilbert Gottfried support?
Gilbert Gottfried supports several charitable causes, including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He has also participated in several charity events and benefits throughout his career.
8 Is Gilbert Gottfried married?
Yes, Gilbert Gottfried has been married to his wife, Dara Kravitz, since 2007. They have two children together, a son and a daughter.