The tragic passing of beloved actor and comedian Gilbert Gottfried on April 12, 2022, shocked and saddened the entertainment world. Gilbert was beloved for decades thanks to his unique comedic mannerisms, colorful personality, and one-of-a-kind voice. Now that he's gone, the world of comedy is faced with a massive void that will be hard to fill.
One of the biggest hallmarks of Gilbert's stage persona was his voice, which became so iconic that it's likely you'd recognize the tone even if you didn't know who he was. With that being said, was the voice that everyone knows Gilbert for actually his real voice? Keep reading to find out!
Believe it or not, Gilbert Gottfried's real voice was different from the one that fans know and love.
It may come as a shock, but Gilbert's signature performing voice wasn't his actual voice at all. The star worked tirelessly to keep his signature tone of voice when out and about in public, but there are a few instances of him slipping up.
One instance when Gilbert let his real voice shine through was during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show. In the interview, Gilbert's actual voice can be heard right around the 1:15 mark, and it's a far departure from the squawky voice that made him famous.
After playing a sound clip from Aladdin, Howard Stern proceeds to play the audience a part of a voicemail from Gilbert, referring to the change in vocal tone as "off-the-air Gilbert."
"Yeah, Gary, it’s Gilbert. I’ll probably be there tomorrow, but if you can call me up… and tell me exactly what’s going on tomorrow. And who’s going to be there," the late comedian says in the clip.
He continues with, "If worse comes to worst, if I could just call in. OK, I’ll just talk to you whenever."
Howard and his team are taken aback by the comedian's real voice, which they call "serial killer Gilbert." Howard even goes as far as to say that he sounds like "Gilbert Manson."
Gilbert, always a good sport, jokes that he sounds like "a very quiet man" and calls himself "Bruce Dern."
Why does Gilbert Gottfried squint? He addressed it in the past.
Another signature element of Gilbert's stage persona was his constant eye squinting. It may have looked like the comedian had vision issues, but that actually wasn't the case. In a 2005 interview with AV Club, Gilbert was asked about his squinting and whether it came up as a result of his nervousness to perform.
Gilbert candidly replied, "No. I don't know, maybe. I don't make any conscious decisions one way or the other."
Although his persona may seem like a result of careful planning, Gilbert admitted that he didn't "consciously" formulate the way that he performed on stage, adding that he didn't "know where it all fell together."
Regardless of its origin, Gilbert's comedic style coupled with trademarks like his voice and his squint made him the enduring star that he will continue to be, long after his death.