Image via Universal Pictures/Disney/Gravitas Ventures
The passing of legendary comedian Gilbert Gottfried has left many people devastated, and it has caused tributes to flood in from fellow performers and fans all over the world.
The star leaves behind a massive legacy of comedic brilliance on the small and big screens. From family comedy romps to eye-opening documentaries about the nature of comedy itself. Gottfried has been in something for every palette.
So if you’re looking to pay tribute to this comic genius, here are the five best Gilbert Gottfried films to enjoy.
5. Problem Child
An infamous cult classic, Problem Child, was directed by Dennis Dugan, who would later direct the popular comedy, Happy Gilmore. The film stars John Ritter as Ben Healy Jr., a down on his luck man stuck working for his father.
To make matters worse, Ben discovers that his wife is infertile. After much discussion, the couple decides to adopt a child. They visit adoption agent Igor Peabody (played by Gottfried) who introduces them to a young boy called Junior. The couple adopts Junior and thinks their life is finally turning around. However, it turns out that Junior isn’t as innocent as he first seems, and chaos soon ensues, all while Peabody tries to make sure that Junior isn’t returned to his care once more.
A unique dark comedy packed full of chaotic set pieces, Problem Child did well at the box office but got poor reviews, though has developed a cult following in the years since its release.
4. Animal Crackers
Directed by Scott Christian Sava and Tony Bancroft, this 2017 animated family comedy focuses on Bob and Horatio Huntington, two men who run a traveling circus. However, romance comes between the brothers, causing their relationship to totally break down and become bitter. Years later, Bob and his wife die in a fire, and their son, Owen, is given a mysterious box that contains animal crackers that turn the eater into an animal. However, when Horatio and his henchmen try to take over the circus. Owen is forced to go on an adventure to solve the mystery of the crackers and save the day.
Gottfried steals the show as Mario Zucchini, one of Horatio’s henchmen who thinks, incorrectly, that he is actually the main villain of the gang. A fun family film packed with great animation and memorable moments, Animal Crackers is the perfect weekend watch.
3. The Aristocrats
Released in 2005 and directed by Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, the movie chronicles the history of the infamous Aristocrats joke, a legendary comedian in-joke known for its very coarse and disgusting setup. This documentary sees Gottfried and others talk about the joke’s history as well as their relationship with it.
Gottfried’s segment is fascinating as the comedian famously told the gag at the Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner. A fascinating look at a comedy institution. The Aristocrats is a must-watch documentary for anyone who wants to learn more about comedy and its history. As well as those who want to know what makes a joke a joke.
For many millennials, Aladdin was their first introduction to Gilbert Gottfried. Hitting cinemas in 1992, the movie is inspired by the classic tale of One Thousand and One Nights. Gottfried voices Iago, the parrot sidekick of villain Jafar, and helped the film obtain status as a classic and the peak of the legendary Disney Renaissance.
Gottfried’s comic timing meshes beautifully with Robin Williams’ Genie. Adding some wonderful comedic moments to this splendid and action-packed adventure movie. Aladdin is a classic that sticks with you long after the credits roll. Gottfried would reprise the role of Iago several times after this movie, including in the film’s sequel, The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. He would also appear as Iago in several Disney branded movies, including Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams.
Released in 2017 and directed by Neil Berkeley. Gilbert is a moving documentary about Gottfried’s life that presents an intimate look at the comedian and his process. It also shows personal footage of Gottfried interacting with his family as well as frank interview segments where he discusses his successful career. However, the most fascinating moments of the film touch on the controversies caused by Gottfried’s jokes, including the infamous joke at the Hugh Hefner roast that thrust Gottfried into the headlines and sparked controversy.
An utterly mesmerizing documentary. Gilbert is the perfect tribute to a comedy legend who always followed his own path.
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5 Best Gilbert Gottfried Movies Of All Time