PEORIA — Being on the phone with Gilbert Gottfried is an adventure. Dennis Anderson, the Journal Star's executive editor, and myself, recently headed off into uncharted waters when we arranged a podcast with Gottfried in advance of his appearance at the Jukebox Comedy Club, 3527 W. Farmington Road, next Friday and Saturday.

After all, Gottfried is the veteran comic who's not only likely to say anything but might render comments in that trademark screeching, obnoxious voice we've all come to know.

The podcast got off to a rollicking start with Gottfried's failure to recall being in Peoria (for an engagement at the comedy club) three years ago. That was until Anderson reminded him that he took a selfie at the site of the Richard Pryor statue in Downtown Peoria.

That led to Gottfried's recollection of a "close" relationship between Pryor and actor Marlon Brando. When Anderson asked if the comedian ever worried about saying the wrong thing, Gottfried, soon to be 64, noted, "At this point, I don't have that many jobs to lose anymore."

As for receiving criticism, the comic had his own take on the ferocity of many comments made online and in social media: "The internet makes me sentimental for old-time lynch mobs."

Gottfried is no stranger to podcasts. He's been doing his own since 2014 when Dick Cavett was his first guest. Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast is an interview series with co-host Frank Santopadre. The pair discuss classic movies and chat with Hollywood legends. "We've had Dick Van Dyke, Bruce Dern and Carl Reiner as guests," he said.

"At first, I thought nobody would be listening but it's caught on," said Gottfried, acknowledging that many of his guests are quite old. "We thought about calling it the 'Before It's Too Late Show,'" he said.

Among Gottfried's many movie credits are appearances in the "Sharknado" series. "I've been in three of them. There's no real sense to any of them. I was killed in the first one but in the second, I'm alive again," he said.

As for his proudest movie moment, Gottfried said it may have been the work he did in "Beverly Hills Cop II." "I was fighting with Eddie Murphy over parking tickets. We improvised every scene," he said.

Many will recall Gottfried's voice as Iago the parrot in "Aladdin," the 1992 animated Disney hit and later in the "Aladdin" TV series. "Disney records you while you read the script and then animate it to your voice," he said.

He admits to being less than thrilled with "Gilbert," the documentary film on his life that was released in 2017. "It wasn't my idea. I hated the idea of revealing anything about myself. I hated being followed by the camera and I hated watching the movie, but everybody liked it," he said.

As for how he prepares for his stage act, Gottfried didn't exactly echo the old showbiz "show must go on" line: "I don't have a plan when I go on stage. My fantasy is the owner of the club coming back to tell me just before I go on that there's been a fire and the show is cancelled."

Gottfried will perform at 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26 at Jukebox Comedy Club. Tickets are $25 to $35 at 673-5853 or

Steve Tarter covers county and city government for the Journal Star. He can be reached at 686-3260 or Follow him at Twitter@SteveTarter and