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Throughout his career, Gottfried touched the lives of many fellow comedians and lent his iconic voice to roles in "Aladdin," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," the Aflac duck and more. The comedian's longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz said in a statement that the comedian died of recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II.
After Broadway's Tuesday night performance of "Aladdin," the cast remembered Gottfried in a sweet tribute delivered by Don Darryl Rivera, who plays Iago. The late actor was the first to play Iago in the classic Disney film.
"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," Rivera began. "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 went on to share a personal story of meeting Gottfried for the first time after he attended the Broadway production. The Iago actors embraced and took a few photos with one another before Rivera went to get his "Aladdin" VHS tape to show the late actor. "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," Rivera told Tuesday's audience.
He concluded, "On behalf of the entire company here at 'Aladdin,' Mr. Gilbert Gottfried, Thank you for the laughs."
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On Twitter, Jon Stewart recalled how opening for Gottfried was "one of the great thrills of my early stand up life."
"He could leave you gasping for breath…just indescribably unusually hilarious…Damn," he added.
Kelly Rizzo, wife of the late "Full House" star Bob Saget, shared a photo of her husband and Gottfried hanging out with comedians Norm Macdonald – who died September 2021 – and Jeffrey Ross. Rizzo said Gilbert and Saget "had a special friendship."
"Bob loved Gilbert so dearly," Rizzo tweeted. "As he did with everyone in this photo. And sending my love to my wonderful friend Jeff as Gilbert’s loss is beyond painful for him. Thinking of Dara his amazing &strong wife right now. Much love & support to his family."
Bob loved Gilbert so dearly, they had a special friendship. As he did with everyone in this photo. And sending my love to my wonderful friend Jeff as Gilbert’s loss is beyond painful for him. Thinking of Dara his amazing &strong wife right now. Much love & support to his family. pic.twitter.com/P5QLoK9vjc
— Kelly Rizzo (@EatTravelRock) April 13, 2022
Jason Alexander wrote that "Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily."
"What a gift," he continued. "I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me. My best wishes and sympathy to his family."
Bill Burr shared a memory of the first time he saw Gottfried perform live, recalling how the comedian did a bit about Jackie Kennedy.
Rest In Peace Gilbert Gottfried! First time I saw him live he did his Jackie Kennedy bit: “Jackie do you remember where you were…” in front of drunk Bruins fans at Nicks. #RIPGilbertGottfried https://t.co/9w0offZEZG
— Bill Burr (@billburr) April 12, 2022
Dane Cook described Gottfried as "never not funny."
"He was a lovely guy, always friendly & made many people happy," Cook added.
Seth MacFarlane shared a clip from his 2014 film "A Million Ways to Die in the West," in which Gottfried parodied President Abraham Lincoln.
"Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh so hard that day on set, I could barely do my job," MacFarlane wrote. "A wholly original comic, and an equally kind and humble guy behind the scenes. He will be missed."
Kathy Griffin shared a photo of Gottfried taking a selfie with fellow now-deceased comedians Bob Saget and Louie Anderson.
"Gilbert would be the first one to make a joke about this picture today," Griffin wrote. "The first. And he would not hold back."
Viola Davis wrote: "What a unique and awesome comedian, actor you were! Always captured my attention. Rest well!"
"CODA" star and deaf actress Marlee Matlin wrote she was "so sad to read about the passing of Gilbert Gottfried" and shared a memory of a time the comedian played a prank on her.
I am so sad to read about the passing of Gilbert Gottfried. Funny, politically incorrect but a softie on the inside. We met many times; he even pranked me on a plane, replacing my intepreter @655jack(they're like twins). Sending love to Dara & his children. RIP #gilbertgottfried pic.twitter.com/R4mxWBRsNo
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) April 12, 2022
"Funny, politically incorrect but a softie on the inside," she wrote. "We met many times; he even pranked me on a plane, replacing my interpreter @655jack (they're like twins). Sending love to Dara & his children."
Judd Apatow wrote that Gottfried "could put you into convulsive hysterics."
"Nobody was funnier than @RealGilbert on a roll," he continued. "He was also the sweetest man."
Al Franken described Gottfried's death as a "big loss to the world of comedy."
"A truly lovely man, loved by all in comedy," he continued. "May his memory be a blessing to his family, his friends & all he made laugh!"
Posting this to laugh while I cry. That time I got to Gilbert Gottfried with Gilbert Gottfried at COMICON, back in the #AMJoy days. What a great and funny guy. Rest in peace and deepest condolences to his family. 😔😢 pic.twitter.com/p89vfJnVMO
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) April 12, 2022
Tiffany Haddish simply wrote: "This is a sad day."
MSNBC's Joy Reid shared a video of herself performing her Gottfried impression for the comedian at Comic-Con.
"Posting this to laugh while I cry," she wrote. "What a great and funny guy. Rest in peace and deepest condolences to his family."
Meghan McCain wrote that Gottfried's death came "way too young, way too soon."
"I really wish God would stop taking all the people who make us laugh and happy," she wrote. "Love and light to his family and loved ones."
ABC sitcom star Lydia Cornell wrote that Gottfried is "in the Great Comedy Club in the beyond with all his friends."
Contributing: Edward Segarra
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gilbert Gottfried death: Bob Saget's wife Kelly Rizzo shares tribute