Few actors are more polarizing in the responses they elicit than the eternally obnoxious, terminally whiny Gilbert Gottfried. Those who have heard his voice are not likely to soon forget his shrill, fingernails-on-the-chalkboard delivery; and those who have seen him are no doubt familiar with his squinty-eyed persona and overly dramatic mannerisms.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1955, Gottfried was the youngest of three children and began to refine his unique comic persona (a persona Gottfried describes as being "somewhere between Pat Boone and Jeffrey Dahmer") at the age of 15. Quickly gaining a reputation as a talented comic who was often considered an acquired taste, Gilbert toured as a stand-up comic until he gained his first taste of national exposure on the otherwise forgettable 1980-1981 season of Saturday Night Live. A period of transition in the long-running comedy series, given that producer and founder Lorne Michaels had recently departed along with the talented cast, Gottfried's involvement was short-lived as Michaels soon returned to revive the series with a new cast and writers. Moving on, as a member of the cast of Alan Thicke's equally disastrous late-night effort Thicke of the Night in 1983, Gottfried would soon turn to bit parts in films before helming his own latenight schlock-a-thon, USA Up All Night.