Jimmy Kimmel Remembers the Night Gilbert Gottfried Bombed With a 9/11 Joke — and Then Killed

This week, the famous comedian Gilbert Gottfried passed away at 67. The Brooklyn native is known for his explosive, charismatic voice and brand of fearless comedy, as well as his brief stint on the scene. SNLvoiced the parrot Iago in Aladdinplayed the role of a shady adoption agent in I have a problem film, voiced the duck Aflac and performed standing.

Gottfried’s most famous incident occurred during Hugh Hefner’s Friar Club barbecue in New York City on September 29, 2001, weeks after the 9/11 attacks. At a shoot hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Gottfried told a 9/11 joke: “I had to catch a flight to California. I can’t get a direct flight. They said they had to stop at the Empire State Building first. ”

He was showered with boos and screams “too soon!” from the crowd, later recalling that it was “bigger than anyone has ever lost an audience.”

So to win them back, he told a long slide show of The Aristocrats—A common old-fashioned comic book joke dating from (supposedly) Vaudeville times, involves a family trying to convince an agent to book their theatrical performance. The crowd ate it all.

On Wednesday night, Kimmel recounted that night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“I organized that barbecue,” he told the guests Bill Maher. “At the time, it was right after November 11… And no one was obviously joking about that. Gilbert took the stage and said some of the craziest things. “

“I wish he could hear all the things people are saying about him — about how funny it is [he was]. He’s really one of those people who used to be a comedian,” Kimmel continued. “When he told the Nobles joke — he first told a terrible 9/11 joke, and the audience booed him, and it was, ‘Oh no, we’re going to have to save Gilbert, ‘ and then he moved on to the dirtiest joke that wasn’t well received for the first six minutes, and then the last six minutes everyone was crying. (It’s actually nine minutes and fifty seconds long.)

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