The comedian was know for several film and TV roles — but none more so than the scarlet macaw Iago in the classic animated film version of “Aladdin,” which was released in 1992.
The NYC theater community’s tribute came at the end of last nights curtain call when Don Darryl Rivera, who plays Iago in the production, stepped forward to address the audience.
“Tonight, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the life of a comedy legend. A funny man with an indelible voice. The man who breathed life into Iago for the animated film, Mr Gilbert Gottfried,” said Rivera, as seen in video posted to the show’s official Youtube account.
“I along with five other actors worldwide have the distinct privilege to bring Iago to life on stage and I think one of the main reasons this character is who he is, is because of what Gilbert brought to the animated film: his comedy and that voice.”
Rivera also revealed that he once had the pleasure of meeting former “Saturday Night Live” and “Problem Child” star at the show.
“The curtain had just come down, and up comes Gilbert from the wings and he put his arm around me and we snapped a few photos,” Rivera said. “But then, I pulled out this, the “Aladdin” VHS, and his eyes lit up like it was the magic lantern itself. He signed it for me and it’s still one of my most treasured possessions.”
Don Darryl Rivera and the cast of Disney’s “Aladdin” pay tribute to the late Gilbert Gottfried who died on April 12, 2022.YoutubeGilbert Gottfried originated the role of Iago in the 1992 animated version of “Aladdin” as well as several spinoffs. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty ImagesThe production’s official social media accounts also paid tribute to the late entertainer.
“We dedicate tonight’s performance to the incredible Gilbert Gottfried,” the Twitter tribute read. “Thank you for your voice, your talent and your influence in Agrabah.”
Gilbert Gottfried voiced Iago in the 1992 animated classic “Aladdin.”Courtesy Everett Collection