Gilbert Gottfried has had a lot of careers, from comic to actor, and now he has taken up podcasting.
Gottfried, known for his unique vocal intonation and hard-hitting, sometimes controversial jokes, has an affinity for classic show business which he parlayed into “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast,” where he and comedy writer Frank Santopadre chat with stars of yesterday and today, from Dick Cavett and Joe Franklin to Penn Jillette and Weird Al Yankovic.
The hourlong (or so) interviews are fascinating and hilarious, and a real lesson about the show biz of yore.
amNewYork spoke with Gottfried.
How did you become a podcaster?
It’s kind of like my book and DVD. Everyone else had a book and DVD, so I figured, damn it, I want one. And I don’t know if I even wanted the book or DVD or the podcast, but I saw everyone else doing it.
Why a podcast about classic show biz?
It was like, what am I interested in? What I was always interested in was not current show business, I was fascinated by old show biz because I grew up watching old movies on television and they used to have old movies all the time. And these old variety shows that are gone. … [The podcast] was originally going to be called the “Before-It’s-Too-Late Show” but then we thought it might be hard to get guests on if you’re telling them, “Well, I want to interview you because we think you’ll be dead by the end of the week.” And there has been times when I made out a wish list of people I want to call and then I have to constantly cross out names cause someone has died.
Any interesting stories to share from recent podcasts?
I interviewed Roger Corman, a B-movie director. He talked about how one time he was supposed to play tennis that day, but it was raining, so he decided to make a movie. Boris Karloff owed them a day’s work, so he hired Boris Karloff and a totally unknown Jack Nicholson to be in this movie called “The Terror.” And he says, to this day, no one involved in that movie has any idea what the plot was.
How has the response been to the podcast?
I get a lot of messages, a lot of tweets that say “I didn’t know who you were talking to but I was really interested and it was a great, it was really funny. I didn’t know all the names that were being brought up, so I looked all of them up.” So it’s kind of a fun homework assignment.
What’s planned for your shows at Carolines?
Nothing, I’m going to do dramatic recitals and play the banjo. I think eventually I’ll have to become like any other performer and do an album of standards. Like every hard rocker hits that age where he starts doing Gershwin songs or something. So yeah, I’ll be there.
If you go: Gilbert Gottfried will be at Carolines on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and 10 p.m., 1626 Broadway, 212-757-4100, $38.25
Streaming: “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast” is streaming at gilbertgottfried.com, iTunes and other streaming services.