Gilbert Gottfried laid to rest at emotional funeral, Bob Saget’s wife and Jeff Ross among celeb guests

Dara Kravitz, Gottfried's wife, tearfully remembered their relationship during the memorial service at the Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City


                            Gilbert Gottfried laid to rest at emotional funeral, Bob Saget’s wife and Jeff Ross among celeb guests
Gilbert Gottfried died on Tuesday after a long illness (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
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Gilbert Gottfried was remembered by family and friends at an emotional funeral on Thursday, April 7, in Westchester, New York. His loved ones paid tribute to the beloved comic, commemorating his life. Celebrities from all walks of life attended the memorial service to pay their respects to the late entertainer.

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Dara Kravitz, Gottfried's wife, tearfully remembered their relationship during the memorial service at the Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City. “Our relationship was so special that whatever I say it’s not enough,” said Dara, who wed Gottfried in 2007 after dating for 10 years.

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“I had just turned 27 and Gilbert was 42. We met at a party at Tavern on the Green. I was there because I was in the music business and he was there for the free food,” she remembered making fun of Gottfried’s legendary cheapness. “Some food fell off my plate and Gilbert picked it up and put it on his plate."

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“I loved his heart and soul, his jokes were dirty but his heart was so pure,” Dara said.

Gilbert Gottfried with and wife Dara Kravitz in 2017 (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

The memorial was attended by Jeff Ross, Colin Quinn, Susie Essman, Mario Cantone, Dave Attell, and Paul Shaffer, as well as Bob Saget's wife, Kelly Rizzo, and his three kids, Aubrey, Jennifer, and Lara. Whoopi Goldberg sent a gift in honor of Gottfried, as she could not attend the funeral. Comic writer Alan Zweibel, 'Sex and the City' actor Mario Cantone, and comedians Dave Attell and Judy Gold were also spotted paying tribute to the late legendary comedian.

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Jeff Ross, Gottfried's lifelong friend, had the audience in stitches, eulogizing his "brother" – who died on Tuesday, 12 April at the age of 67 – as a guy who "survived by his wife, and sister, two amazing kids, and over 12,000 small bottles of shampoo." He added, “What a mitzvah. What a mission in life, what a purpose to have in this world. And he wasn’t just regular funny, he was hilarious.”

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The 56-year-old "Roastmaster General" then praised Gottfried for his ability to make people laugh for half a century. Ross remembered, “He was daring and provocative and subversive and so lovable that he could get away with jokes about skulls f–king a dead person. Not so funny now, huh Gilbert?” Ross cracked a joke, which elicited laughs from the audience.

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Ross praised Gottfried for being "fearless" and "bringing light to the world's darkest secrets." Ross in his remembrance speech highlighted the March 2011 event in which Gottfried tweeted a series of provocative jokes regarding the Japanese earthquake crisis. Aflac, the insurance company, fired Gottfried from voicing their duck mascot as a result of the move.

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Ross also shared a story about how he invited Gottfried to portray Adolf Hitler on a Netflix comedy program, and the late Jewish comic happily consented — outfit and everything. “Gilbert took the pain out of our worst tragedies,” he shared, adding that the famously offensive comic “practically started cancel culture when he got fired from playing a duck.” “We broke for lunch and he was still wearing the swastika. Then we did the show and we went to the afterparty and we can’t get Gilbert to take off the swastika,” he jokingly recalled. 

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“Let me tell you something, he was the best Hitler ever! Mel Brooks once said comedy is revenge through ridicule and what better way to ridicule the Nazis than have their Führer portrayed by the loudest, most obnoxious Jew?” Ross appreciated Gottfried's love of music and played an audio clip of the two happily singing "Sunrise, Sunset" from the popular musical "Fiddler on the Roof" during another segment of the memorial. He then pushed the audience to sing the first stanza, which had several people sobbing.

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Susie Essman, a fellow comic, subsequently recounted sitting next to Gottfried in a vehicle many years ago while driving into Manhattan from New Jersey. She said that the driver, a mutual acquaintance, insisted on the known cheapskate paying the $3 toll. “The whole ride he’s moaning,” the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star remembered.

The rabbi also had a couple of humorous comments on the late comedian. “This weekend sees the confluence of Passover and Easter,” he began. “Tomorrow being Good Friday, remembering another Jew taken too soon.”

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