Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried, a man Stephen King once referred to as "a national treasure," sits down in his own New York City apartment (you expected him to leave the couch?) with the Hollywood legends and behind-the-scenes talents who shaped his childhood and influenced his comedy.
Joined by co-host and fellow showbiz obsessive Frank Santopadre, Gilbert talks to comics, actors, singers, voice artists, talk show hosts, writers, show runners and other eyewitnesses to Hollywood history, including Dick Cavett, Henry Winkler, David Steinberg, Weird Al Yankovic, Billy West, Barbara Feldon, Paul Shaffer, Bob Saget, Micky Dolenz and MANY more, as they share fond memories and personal anecdotes of show business then and now (but mostly then).
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #39: Ken Berry
Description: Actor, dancer and singer Ken Berry grew up in a small Midwestern town, admiring the musicals of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and after winning several local talent contests, he found his way into show business and was soon pulling down an impressive (for the time) $90 a week! Gilbert and Frank caught up with Ken at his Hollywood home to ask about his "two years of recess" on the classic sitcom "F-Troop" and his memories of working alongside comedy greats George Burns, Don Rickles, Carol Burnett and a then (mostly) unknown Steve Martin. Also, Ken reminisces about life as a "day player" and tells us why he had the worst stage act in the history of Vegas. PLUS: "My Mother the Car"! "The Ken Berry 'Wow' Show"! Helen Hayes eats a cheeseburger! Richard Dreyfuss serenades a goldfish! And Leonard Nimoy covers Harry Belafonte!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #38: Alan Zweibel
Description: Emmy award-winning writer Alan Zweibel started out in show business by peddling jokes to Catskills comics at seven bucks a pop, before a chance meeting with Lorne Michaels led to a staff job on the hottest new show on television, "Saturday Night Live." Alan joined Gilbert and Frank at the George Burns Room at the Friars Club to talk about the earliest days of SNL, co-creating the groundbreaking "It's Garry Shandling's Show" and collaborating with everyone from Gilda Radner to Rob Reiner to Billy Crystal. Also: Alan heckles Larry David's act, "borrows from" Paul Simon, turns down "Hollywood Squares" and inspires a classic "Seinfeld" episode. PLUS: Totie Fields! Christopher Lee! The subversiveness of "Duck Soup"! Uncle Miltie gets banned! And Gilbert tries (unsuccessfully) to follow The Beatles!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #37: Chuck McCann
Description: As a young boy growing up in Queens, New York, Chuck McCann worshipped stars like Stan Laurel, Buster Keaton and Groucho Marx, and within a few years, he would find himself befriending (or working with) all of them. Gilbert and Frank phoned Chuck (one of THEIR childhood heroes) to talk about his unusual and unlikely journey from obsessed fan to celebrated screen, stage and voice performer and beloved kiddie show host. Also: Chuck hitches a ride on Hugh Hefner's jet, inspires Billy Crystal, writes a part for John Carradine and co-stars in a legendary TV flop. Plus: Hal Roach! Tim Conway! Lionel Barrymore! Chuck and Groucho hawk deodorant! Mae West "works" the docks! And Chuck asks Gilbert for a lollipop
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #36: Gary Busey
Description: Oscar-nominated actor Gary Busey has been in over 150 movies, working alongside everyone from Barbra Streisand to Steven Seagal. On a recent visit to LA, Gilbert sat down with Gary to talk about his near-death experience, his character "process" and channeling the spirit of Buddy Holly. Also, Gary hosts "Saturday Night Live," spoons Mel Gibson, jams with Rick Danko and praises Gene Hackman. PLUS: Jack Elam! Jan-Michael Vincent! Rod Steiger eats a sandwich! And Gary tells Gilbert the meaning of life.
Also, we apologize for the first minute or so of audio. It sounds rough but it clears up and get MUCH better. You're not going to want to miss this ep!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #35: Bob Zmuda
Description: Writer, comedian and producer Bob Zmuda has had a busy career, performing, writing and producing comedy specials, co-creating the charity Comic Relief and collaborating with the late (??) great comedian/performance artist Andy Kaufman. Gilbert and Frank rang up Bob at his house in Lake Tahoe to talk about (among other things) his early days as half of the comedy duo Albrecht & Zmuda, his role in bringing the Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon" to the screen, his controversial new book about Andy's life, and his theory of how his old friend and collaborator pulled off the greatest hoax in comedy history. Also, Eddie Murphy takes a phone call, Tony Clifton (or was it Jim Carrey?) invades the Playboy mansion and Garth Brooks (almost) portrays Bob on the big screen. PLUS: The ventriloquist team of Dick & Stinky! Andy gets a woody! Larry the Lobster gets a reprieve! Gilbert gets the axe at SNL! And a surprise guest crashes the podcast!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #34: Susie Essman LIVE @ NYC Podfest '15
Description: Although Susie Essman is best known to audiences for playing the acid-tongued Susie Greene on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," she began her career as a stand-up comic, opening for people like Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Belzer and a young Gilbert Gottfried. For our first live episode (as part of the annual NYC Podfest) Gilbert and Frank sat down with Susie to talk about her obsession with Turner Classic Movies, her favorite "Curb" moments and how comedy saved her from a life of crime. Plus: Peter Lorre! Margaret Hamilton! Susie roasts Jerry Stiller! Larry David pens a pilot for Gilbert! And the curse of the "Shiksa Goddess"!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #33: James Karen
Description: Character actor extraordinaire James Karen has appeared in over 80 movies, over 100 television shows and a staggering 5,000 TV commercials. In a career spanning nearly 7 decades (!), he's worked with Frederic March, Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Gene Hackman, Steven Spielberg, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford and Will Smith, to name but a few. Gilbert and Frank phoned James one recent Saturday night to cover a VERY wide range of topics, including his film debut in the immortal "Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster," his years-long friendship with the legendary Buster Keaton and his experience sharing a townhouse with Marlon Brando, Wally Cox and Maureen Stapleton. Also, James "sells" Craig T. Nelson a haunted house, a Boy Scout uniform leads to an acting career and a controversial "Jeffersons" episode nearly torpedoes a plum TV pitchman gig. PLUS: James parties with Clark Gable and Louis B. Mayer! Gilbert gets a one-cent residual check! Moe Howard recites from "The Tempest"! And James teaches a teenaged Michael Douglas to drive!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #32: Tom Leopold
Description: Veteran comedy writer Tom Leopold started out as an actor, working opposite James Mason, Robert Preston, Ted Knight and Wayne Newton before going on to create comedy material for legends Steve Allen, Bob Hope and Mary Tyler Moore and write on hit series like "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" (scripting the memorable "Babu" episode, among others). Tom sat down with Gilbert and Frank to talk about early acting roles on "Gunsmoke" and "Mannix," his days on the "National Lampoon Radio Hour" with Christopher Guest and Bill Murray and his years-long friendships with pals Paul Shaffer, Richard Belzer and Harry Shearer. Also: George Chakiris vs. George Maharis, Chevy Chase hitches a ride with Paul Lynde and 80-year-old Georgie Jessel phones his mom. PLUS: Stubby Kaye! Gert "Goldfinger" Frobe! Donald O'Connor's coat! Tom brunches with Jerry Lewis! And the return of Perfecto Telles!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #31: Danny Bonaduce
Description: Actor, comedian and radio host Danny Bonaduce started in show business at age four and achieved fame at age ten as smart-alecky Danny Partridge on the hit sitcom "The Partridge Family." But within a year of the show's cancellation, he was homeless, battling substance abuse and piling up arrests. Gilbert and Frank dialed up Danny at his home in Seattle to ask him about his early roles on shows like "Bewitched" and "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," his four years as a Partridge and his long, VERY strange trip from tabloid celebrity to reality show "train wreck" to top-rated shock jock and radio show host. Also: Danny meets a young Richard Pryor, bangs up Sonny Bono's Porsche, runs afoul of an angry chimp and dukes it out with Donny Osmond and Greg Brady. PLUS: Ray Bolger! Mick Jagger! Whit Bissell! Shirley Jones sends Danny to his room! And David Cassidy displays his hidden "talent!"
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #30: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Description: Screenwriter/Producers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have written some of the most offbeat and imaginative movies of the last three decades, including Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon and the new Big Eyes (opening this week). Gilbert and Frank dropped by Scott and Larry's hotel as the boys prepped for their MOMA premiere to talk about everything from the success of their critically reviled debut film, Problem Child (featuring a certain shrill-voiced comedian) to their attempts at a Marx Brothers biopic and an It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World sequel. PLUS: Margaret Keane's existential crisis! Kelton the Cop demands a cameo! Gallagher vs. Gallagher II! "Ed Wood & Bela Lugosi: A Love Story"! And Scott and Larry meet the King of Pop!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #29: Henry Winkler
Description: Manhattan-born Henry Winkler overcame a difficult childhood to carve out a memorable acting career that would see him work with everyone from Gene Kelly to Katherine Hepburn and portray one of TV's most indelible characters, Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli. Gilbert and Frank dialed up Henry at his L.A. home to talk about his struggles with dyslexia, the genius of a young Robin Williams and Henry's enduring friendships with Ron Howard and John Ritter. Also: Henry helps discover Marlee Matlin, meets John (and Julian) Lennon and explains the mysterious disappearance of Chuck Cunningham. PLUS: Fonzie parts the Red Sea! Sly Stallone paints his windows black! Henry turns down "Grease"! And Gilbert "sings" the "Lords of Flatbush" theme!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #28: Micky Dolenz
Description: Gilbert and Frank visit the George Burns Room at the historic New York Friars Club, where they're joined by actor, singer and musician MICKY DOLENZ for a fun and fascinating look back at "Monkeemania" and his own unlikely journey from 1950's child star ("Circus Boy") to 1960's pop/rock icon. Also, Micky drops in on a "Sgt. Pepper" recording session, makes movies with Jack Nicholson and Frank Zappa and hits the town with fellow "Hollywood Vampires" John Lennon, Keith Moon and Alice Cooper. PLUS: Lon Chaney Jr.! Micky's mom meets "The Creeper"! The Monkees take on "Faust"! Harry Nilsson quits his day job! And Sgt. Bilko sings "Yesterday"!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #27: Steve Cox
Description: Writer, journalist and pop culture expert STEVE COX is the author of more than twenty books on film and television, including books about Johnny Carson, The Three Stooges, The Addams Family, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, It's a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz. This week, Steve joins Gibert and Frank for a lively (and then some) conversation about Larry Fine's lady-killing, the unappreciated comic timing of Fred Gwynne and "Grandpa" Al Lewis, and Abbott and Costello's influence on Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. PLUS: A Munchkin suicide hoax! Mayor McCheese cleans up! Buddy Hackett enjoys a strawberry malted! And Frank goes to a Stooge funeral!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #26: Frankie Avalon
Description: Former teen idol Frankie Avalon broke into show business as a child prodigy and was soon receiving 12,000 pieces of fan mail per week and working alongside Hollywood greats Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Groucho Marx and John Wayne. Frankie joined Gilbert and Frank for a look back at his humble beginnings in South Philly, his years as a teen heartthrob and his decades-long friendship with onscreen love interest Annette Funicello. Plus: The Duke makes Laurence Harvey cry! Buster Keaton meets Houdini! "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine"! Dueling Draculas! And Cesar Romero and Arnold Stang hit a strip joint!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #25: Bob Saget
Description: In one of our more...er..."free-spirited" episodes, Gilbert's old pal BOB SAGET drops by the historic Friars Club to plug his New York Times bestseller "Dirty Daddy" and to look back on his early days in the biz, his 8-year gig as a wholesome sitcom patriarch and his friendships with Rodney Dangerfield and Don Rickles. Also, Bob starts his own hate society, dreams about Buddy Hackett and Buddy Ebsen and grills Gilbert about his most memorable "casting couch" experiences. PLUS: Sam Kinison as the Messiah! Gilbert as "Weezie" Jefferson! Asian Elvis! Perfecto Telles! And the first joke Bob ever wrote!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #24: Roger Corman
Description: Legendary B-movie king ROGER CORMAN has produced and directed over 400 films, giving early career breaks to actors like Robert De Niro, Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Charles Bronson and Dennis Hopper and helping to launch the directing careers of Ron Howard, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Peter Bogdanovich (among others).
Gilbert and Frank phoned Roger in his Hollywood home to learn more about his life and fabled career, including where/how he first met longtime friend and collaborator Jack Nicholson, why the Hell's Angels threatened to murder him AND take him to court, and why "a monster should always be bigger than a leading lady." Plus: "The Beast with (not quite) a Million Eyes"! Roger experiments with LSD! Peter Lorre messes with Boris Karloff's head! The "acceptable level of insanity"! And the enduring mystery of "The Terror"!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #23: Brian Koppelman
Description: This week, music producer-turned-filmmaker BRIAN KOPPELMAN ("Rounders," "Runaway Jury," "Oceans 13") joins Gilbert and Frank to talk about everything from signing Tracy Chapman and Eddie Murphy to their very first record deals to working with celebrated actors John Turturro, Martin Landau and John Malkovich. Also, Brian trots out a Gilbert impression, names all four "Sweathogs" and heaps praise on "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." PLUS: Al Pacino channels Paul Anka! The "Death Wish" muggers make it big! And Ol' Blue Eyes demands a slice of pie!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #22: Bela Lugosi Jr. & Sara Karloff
Description: This week on "Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast," "Son of Dracula" BELA LUGOSI, JR. reminisces about visiting the set of "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" and points out what the film "Ed Wood" got wrong about his famous dad. PLUS: Karloff dances on "The Red Skelton Show"! Lugosi passes up the role of a lifetime! Sara meets the "Son of Gilbert"! And Bela Jr. takes a stand for The Three Stooges!
Next, we get into the Halloween spirit by celebrating the lives of two of the screen's greatest horror icons, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. First, "Frankenstein's Daughter" SARA KARLOFF looks back on her father's most indelible and unforgettable roles, from The Monster to The Mummy to The Grinch, and tells us why her father always referred to this time of year as his "busy season."
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #21: Alan Thicke & Shecky Greene
Description: This week on "Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast," Gilbert's old boss ALAN THICKE joins us for a look back at the late, lamented talkfest "Thicke of the Night" and reminisces about everything from his short-lived disco career to scripting variety specials for Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin and Flip Wilson. Also, Alan and Gilbert swap wives, John Lennon praises commercial jingles and Paul Lynde drives into a ditch! Next up, comedy titans clash as we extend a peace offering to legendary funnyman SHECKY GREENE in the wake of the much-publicized Gilbert-Shecky Friars Club feud! (it was just like the Begin-Sadat summit)
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #20: Weird Al Yankovic
Description: The man with the #1 album in America, the wildly inventive Weird Al Yankovic joins us to talk about everything from the history of novelty records to why he's forbidden to make eye contact with Prince. Also, Gilbert flashes Marge Simpson, prays to a statue of Red Buttons and loses a part to 3' 9" Billy Barty. PLUS: Dueling Crazy Guggenheims! Irving Berlin vs. Mad magazine! "Disco" Art Fleming! And Weird Al's "Mount Rushmore of Comedy"!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #19: Adam West
Description: To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman (and to coincide with this week's New York Comic Con) Gilbert and Frank tracked down the caped crusader of their childhoods, the legendary ADAM WEST, who shared memories of everyone from Gary Cooper to Jackie Gleason and joked about some of his more "challenging" gigs ("Voodoo Island" anyone?). Also, Adam duets with Dino, makes history with William Shatner and pays Gilbert one of the greatest compliments of his career. PLUS: The origin of the Batusi! Liberace gets tough! Adam turns down the part of James Bond! And the Riddler goes to an orgy!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #18: Jay Thomas
Description: Emmy-winning actor JAY THOMAS is best known to audiences as doomed hockey star Eddie LeBec on "Cheers" and tabloid talker Jerry Gold on "Murphy Brown," but he's also a show business renaissance man, having worked as a stand-up comic, disc jockey, sportscaster and reality show host. Jay stopped by Gilbert's apartment on a late summer evening to share some hilariously candid anecdotes about everything from stealing Bill Cosby's jokes to getting kicked out of a "West Wing" audition. Also: Jay looks back on the infamous "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?"! Joe Piscopo runs afoul of the mob! Jay runs afoul of Rhea Perlman! And The Lone Ranger "rides" again!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #17: Barbara Feldon
Description: "Agent 99" herself, the funny and utterly charming Barbara Feldon invites Gilbert and Frank to her Manhattan townhouse to share warm memories of "Get Smart" co-stars Don Adams, Ed Platt and Bernie Kopell and gives us her take on the Steve Carell feature film version. Also, Barbara looks back on working with everyone from Dean Martin to Bruce Dern and tells us how she managed to win $64,000 on a quiz show. Plus: Gilbert channels John McGiver! A live rendition of the "99" song! Barbara auditions to be a stripper! And the worst TV movie ever made!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #16: Danny Aiello
Description: Gilbert and Frank return to the legendary New York Friars Club to talk to the candid and colorful Danny Aiello about his uphill journey from Greyhound bus dispatcher to Oscar nominee. Also, Danny shares his memories of goofing around with Paul Newman, sightseeing with Rodney Dangerfield and singing backup for Bette Midler, and tells us why he's embarrassed by his role in the classic rom-com "Moonstruck." PLUS: Uncle Miltie meets Jack Ruby! Danny jokes about his notoriously fiery temper! Robert De Niro learns to throw a baseball! And the Pete Best of "The Godfather"!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #15: David Steinberg
Description: Showtime recently aired "Quality Balls," a documentary about the life and surprisingly controversial career of legendary comedian, director and host of Showtime's "Inside Comedy" series, David Steinberg. Lifelong Steinberg fans Gilbert and Frank rang David up to talk about his friendships with Jack Benny and George Burns, his 140+ appearances on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" and how his standup act landed him on Richard Nixon's infamous enemies list. Also: the Smothers Brothers get hate mail! David directs Gilbert in an episode of "Mad About You"! John Candy does Doc Severinsen! David saves Tony Randall's life! And the Mount Rushmore of Jewish comedians!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #14: Bill Persky
Five-time Emmy winner Bill Persky has led a charmed life in show business. Handpicked by comedy legend Carl Reiner to write (and eventually produce) "The Dick Van Dyke Show," Bill and partner Sam Denoff scripted many of the series' most memorable episodes, including "Coast to Coast Big Mouth" and "That's My Boy." Later, the duo would create the groundbreaking sitcom "That Girl" and write comedy specials for Bill Cosby and Mary Tyler Moore and Bill (now flying solo) would go on to produce and direct hit shows like "Kate & Allie" "Welcome Back, Kotter" and "Who's the Boss?". Bill sat down with Gilbert and Frank to talk about his journey through the golden age of TV comedy and working with EVERYONE -- including Steve Allen, Bob Hope, Tim Conway, Julie Andrews, Gene Kelly, Peter Sellers, and Orson Welles (to name but a few!).
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #13: Drew Friedman
Description: To kick off the launch of his new book, "Heroes of the Comics," Gilbert and Frank are joined by their favorite illustrator, the incomparable DREW FRIEDMAN. While sitting and admiring Drew's work adorning the walls of Manhattan's Society of Illustrators, we managed to cover everything from Drew and Gilbert's days at "National Lampoon" to Gilbert's Lon Chaney, Jr. obsession to the time a 15-year-old Drew paid a visit to the home of the legendary Groucho Marx. ALSO: why Drew is Howard Stern's favorite artist..."The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant"...Jerry Lewis kvells over Drew's portrait...and the triumphant return of Milton Berle's schlong!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #12: Mike Reiss
Description: With an epic marathon of 552 (!) episodes of "The Simpsons" launching this week (on cable channel FXX), Gilbert and Frank decided to sit down with someone who's been there from the very beginning (way back in 1988), writer, producer and former show runner, Mike Reiss. Mike joined the boys in Gilbert's Chelsea apartment to share a few "dark secrets" behind TV's longest-running prime time series, including the true story behind Itchy & Scratchy, how Groundskeeper Willie became a national hero, and why Marge's bouffant is so tall (bet you don't know the story behind that one.)
Also, Mike recalls writing fake "letters to Santa" for Johnny Carson and working on one of our all-time favorite sitcoms, "It's Garry Shandling's Show." You want more? How about Michael Jackson's sound-alike, hookers in helicopters and Raymond Burr does Tiny Tim?
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #11: Billy West
Description: "Man of a Thousand Voices" Billy West has lent his unique talents to projects such as "Ren & Stimpy," Matt Groening's "Futurama," "Looney Tunes" cartoons and of course, "The Howard Stern Show," where he won over longtime listeners with his savagely funny impressions of Larry Fine, former Stern show writer Jackie Martling and late Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Gilbert and Frank rang up Billy at his home in Hollywood to compare notes on some of their favorite essential topics, including Bud Abbott, Gale Gordon, Peter Lorre, Al "Grandpa" Lewis, and the racism of Dick Tracy cartoons. PLUS: the true story behind the voice of Dr. Zoidberg! Billy jams with The Beach Boys! Jewish Frankenstein! Angry Munchkins! And Gilbert sings the theme song from "Problem Child"!
Title: Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast #10: Penn Jillette
Description: Gilbert and Frank return to the famed New York Friars Club to sit down with Gilbert's old pal, magician-illusionist-comedian-provocateur Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame. In an amusing (and highly informative) hour, Penn shares some fond memories of Johnny Carson, George Carlin and Jerry Lewis, explains how his love of jazz inspired the hit 2005 documentary "The Aristocrats" (a movie he co-conceived and co-produced) and reveals the real, no-"Bullshit" story behind the death of legendary showman Harry Houdini. Also -- the story behind the near-death of Gilbert Gottfried!