Nerd alert: comic legend Gilbert Gottfried is interviewing other comic legends in his apartment as they sip wine and presenting it to you in the form of a podcast. Also record setting alert: the podcast debuted at number one on iTunes, trailed by NPR, Grantland, and Empire podcasts respectively. As of this writing it was still number one in TV & film, and ranked seventh most popular podcast overall. Way to fucking go, Gilbert Gottfried! Here’s a reason why you should listen: Gottfried’s first guest is Dick Cavett, TV legend whose autobiography audiobook is required listening for any serious pop culture fan.
A stand-up since the 1970s, Gottfried was an SNL cast member in 1980, though he rarely used his distinctive blaring yell. He’s mastered stand-up, done tons of voice-over work, and owns one of the finest moments of Hollywood Squares– and thus television – history. Watch the “YOU FOOL!” segment, marvel at how young-looking Tom Bergeron is, and note how Gottfried manages to crack up Whoopi Goldberg, Bruce Villanche, and Penn and Teller.
A master at downplaying his success and longevity in the business, viewers may have been surprised to see Gottfried in a strangely touching appearance on AMC’s wonderfully strange show Small Town Security . The show chronicles the lives of small private security firm JJK Security in rural North Georgia. The show is a hoot and perpetually surprising in that it upends every obvious stereotype about Southerners living in small towns and features real characters (albeit in a pretty predictable reality show format). And Gottfried made an appearance with the flimsiest of premises – he was in town doing show at a comedy club that JJK receptionist attended, and she asked him to be on the chief’s cable access show. Gottfried ended up hosting the entire cable access show by himself, which was funny and within the context of Small Town Security, tender and almost loving of him. Gottfried filled in when he was really needed. That’s a true mensch.
Like a proper talk show host, Gottfried has a sidekick, the lovely and talented Frank Santopadre, who’s moonlighting from his job writing jokes for The Joy Behar Show.
Through there are only two episodes in the can, Gottfried makes a lot of promises to interview “Hollywood legends and behind-the-scenes talents who shaped his childhood and influenced his comedy… comics, singers, voice artists, talk show hosts, writers, musicians, show runners and other eyewitnesses to Hollywood history, including Paul Shaffer, Marty Allen, Dick Cavett, Billy West, “Godfather” actor Gianni Russo, Joe Franklin, Sara Karloff, illustrator/cartoonist Drew Friedman and many more, as they share their memories of show business then and now (but mostly then).”
Listen to the first two eps of Gottfried’s podcast on Sideshow Network.