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Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died

Gilbert Gottfried, seen here roasting Hugh Hefner in late September 2001, has gotten in substantial hot water more than once over jokes he made that others considered "too soon."
Frank Micelotta
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Gilbert Gottfried, seen here roasting Hugh Hefner in late September 2001, has gotten in substantial hot water more than once over jokes he made that others considered "too soon."

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died at 67. A post on his verified Twitter feed says he died following a long illness.

Gottfried died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, a disorder that affects the heart, according to a statement by his publicist and longtime friend Glenn Schwartz to the Associated Press.

There was always a glint in his eye when Gottfried was just about to tell an edgy joke, for example this one from his Just for Laughs set in 2015: "Let me tell you when I was a little boy if my father bought me a baseball I would've made out with him ... and I don't want to tell you what I would've done for a G.I Joe."

Whether it was natural disasters or terrorist attacks, the phrase "too soon" was never a part of his vocabulary as Gottfried told NPR in 2011.

"There's that old saying, tragedy plus time equals comedy. And I always say like, well, why wait?"

Gottfired was also an actor, including lending his unique voice to Disney's Aladdin.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.

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