We talk to co­me­dian Gil­bert Got­tfried about his up­com­ing show at Massey Hall this month and what he thinks of the Don­ald

Leg­endary (and filthy) comic hosts April Fool’s Day show at Massey Hall

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Gil­bert Got­tfried got up on­stage at a com­edy club for the first time when he was 15 years old, and al­though he’s a lit­tle longer in tooth, his com­edy still re­flects the sen­si­bil­i­ties of a young male teenager. Ahem. But his unique de­liv­ery and en­dear­ing per­son­al­ity have made him a beloved in­ter­na­tional com­edy star. He’s in town this month to host a night of com­edy at Massey Hall on April 1 head­lined by the equally foul-mouthed and hi­lar­i­ous Nikki Payne.

You are a co­me­dian who holds noth­ing back. Has that ever back­fired on you?

So many times have I got­ten in trou­ble for jokes I’ve made es­pe­cially with the In­ter­net. It’s got­ten worse. I feel like the In­ter­net makes me feel sen­ti­men­tal about old-time lynch mobs. At least with old-time lynch mobs, you have to put your shoes on to go out and get your hands dirty and deal with other pole. Now they’re sit­ting in their un­der­wear on the couch typ­ing to­gether a lynch mob.

Is there any­thing you won’t joke about?

Ob­vi­ously not with all the trou­ble I’ve had, and jobs I’ve lost.

You have some ex­pe­ri­ence with Don­ald Trump as a for­mer par­tic­i­pant on Celebrity Ap­pren­tice. What is go­ing on with this guy?

I was on Celebrity Ap­pren­tice, and ev­ery­one saw him fire me. He looks mean when he’s fir­ing me, but they didn’t show the next part when he in­vited me back to his of­fice so we could lie to­gether on the couch and cud­dle for a half-hour.

How does your stage per­sonas dif­fer from the off­stage ver­sion of Gil­bert Got­tfried?

I think I’m even more an­noy­ing in real life.

Tell us about your first gig.

Well, like, the first gig was more of a none gig. When I was a kid, I started do­ing im­pres­sions of peo­ple I saw on TV and started jok­ing around. Some­body told my older sis­ter that there was some club where you could go and put your name on a list, and when they get to your name, they an­nounce you and you go on­stage. And I did that. And I con­tin­ued do­ing it. For years, I was try­ing to get up on stages, find­ing clubs that would let you. And for years, I didn’t see a penny, not

even a free soda from them.

So what kept you go­ing?

I al­ways say it was pure stu­pid­ity. It was, like I al­ways say, the younger you are the more un­re­al­is­tic you are. Now when I think of it in ra­tio­nal terms, the idea of think­ing you’re go­ing to have a ca­reer in show busi­ness sounds in­sane to me. I didn’t think in terms of the amount of work or the amount of time or how un­re­al­is­tic it is. So that kept me go­ing, a to­tal lack of re­al­ism. Tell us what’s be­hind this de­sire of yours to be the next Colonel San­ders, the Ken­tucky Fried Chicken spokesper­son. Just an­other pay cheque. If I don’t get that, I’ll gladly take the Jolly Green Giant, or Char­lie the tuna.

What can we ex­pect from your show here in Toronto on April Fool’s Day? Um, well, the April Fool’s gag is that, af­ter you see my show, you’ll be say­ing, “Oh my God, we paid money for that? I guess the joke is on us.”

Gil­bert Got­tfried

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