When it comes to relevant 21st-century comedians, Gilbert Gottfried wouldn’t be the first name to come to mind. The loudmouth, who last made national headlines in 2011 when he was fired from his gig as the Aflac duck, wouldn’t even crack the top 100. But Gottfried doesn’t need a Netflix special or a credit-card commercial to be considered one of the most sought-after funnymen in America today. He has Cameo.
Since 2018, the 65-year-old comedian has earned more than $1 million by recording birthday wishes, holiday greetings, and other messages on the video-sharing website. “It’s insane that anybody wants me,” admits the comedian, who charges $150 a pop for the chance to hear his nails-in-a-blender voice. Gottfried is a little embarrassed and mystified by his good fortune. (The day before this interview, he shot 40 Cameos.) “It doesn’t make sense. You look at some of the people [on the site]