Jaybeau Jones

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What? Iago from Aladdin, quiet? The Aflac duck, quiet?

Quiet Gilbert

Last week when I heard the news of the passing of brilliant comic Gilbert Gottfried, I was crushed. Dara, Gilbert’s wife, who I got to know many years ago when she worked with MCA Records, shared the news on Dara’s Facebook.

Gilbert’s signature, loud, hysterical, outgoing personality is just one side of who he was. In person, he was not like his boisterous Disney character Iago in Aladdin. He was much more subdued and actually, quiet.

Our Dinner

Many years ago, while programming a station in Hartford, we hired Gilbert to appear on our station TV commercial. Gilbert agreed to come to town for dinner to discuss the film shoot, and appear on our morning show the next day. Meeting for dinner, was myself, Gilbert, his representative, and the station owner.

Once we are seated and got the introductions out of the way, I jump right into to the questions.  Of course, being a media geek, I jump right into to asking Gilbert what it’s like to appear on Letterman. As Gilbert begins to converse, my boss and I notice something odd. Gilbert is strangely QUIET. Was he sick? He didn’t look sick. He was intelligent, soft spoken, and…..POLITE? Where was the CRAZY, LOUD, OBNOXIOUS GILBERT? After an oddly quiet showbiz story, Gilbert and his rep excused themselves for a bathroom break. My boss leaned over and said, DID WE MAKE A MISTAKE? THIS GUY IS PUTTING ME TO SLEEP! 

That quiet little guy is about to cost my boss a talent fee of $10,000. Now we are wondering if he will be the person we expected in our very expensive radio station TV commercial.


After a night of NO sleep, it’s now 6am.  I meet the limo at the hotel to pick up Gilbert and bring him to the station to join our morning show, Ross and Robin on the air. Gilbert was still as quiet as ever, maybe even MORE subdued. I am now officially in panic mode seeing $10 grand flushed down the toilet, now wondering if this guy will ruin our morning show.

The moment of truth comes, as Ross LIVE ON THE AIR welcomes the famous Gilbert Gottfried to the mic.

Ross mentions to Gilbert that his partner Robin was out on maternity leave.

Then it happened: the loud, lovable annoying voice that we all know came through the speakers: Robin on MATERNITY?  DID SHE MENTION MY NAME ?! BOOM…the room broke out in laughter. THERE HE IS!!! The Gilbert that we’ve seen on television and in movies for years, has arrived. All he needed was his ON AIR LIGHT. The show stayed that funny for AN HOUR.

After the show, Gilbert stayed for many hours with a film crew creating Hartford’s funniest TV commercials for radio. It was the best $10,000 every spent!

Gilbert, thank you for the laughter. You will be missed.



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