Who said there wasn’t such a thing as a free lunch?
One of the recurring themes among friends and family at Gilbert Gottfried’s laughter and tearful memorial service at the Riverside Memorial Chapel on Thursday was the legendary frugality of standup.
His wife Dara recalled that on their first date she only dressed up for Gottfried to order a rice pudding to share. “I thought it was a bit strange,” she admitted. “He couldn’t order two rice puddings?”
Comedian Jeffrey Ross joked at the funeral, “Again, Gilbert, you left us the check!”
But it wasn’t the only time Gottfried’s famed cheapness came to the fore at a Manhattan dinner.
Comedian and comedy chronicler Jeffrey Gurian — a close friend and collaborator of Gottfried — told us that before Gottfried married Dara in 2007, “the joke I remembered at the time was that Gilbert’s idea of a special date was to have a girls to buy a second drink.”
Gurian added that while writing his 2012 tome Make ‘Em Laugh for famed New York comedy club The Comic Strip, “I interviewed all the big stars that came out of that club,” including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock , Ray Romano, Lewis Black, Colin Quinn, Jim Gaffigan, Susie Essman and many more.
But: “Gilbert was the only one who insisted on being taken out for lunch.” And apparently Gottfried chose the upscale pastis in the Meatpacking District as a meeting point.
Pastis – one of the best restaurants in town – was “expensive, very trendy and so noisy at lunchtime that I could barely conduct the interview,” Gurian told us. “Gilbert was just constantly ordering things off the menu and even asking for things they didn’t have.”
When the interview finally began, Gottfried protested that “he had never been to the club. He said he only came for lunch.”
Comic strip owner Richie Tienken was also eating – and taking the bill. “I thought Richie was going to have a heart attack!” Gurian said. “But I finally got Gilbert to admit that it actually was him [to the Comic Strip]. It was one of my greatest Gilbert memories.”
Gurian told us in memory of his friend: “Gilbert was so loved by everyone who knew him. Such a unique voice in the comedy world. Gilbert and I have been friends for over 40 years and as you can imagine the funeral was a laughing stock. Even the rabbi was funny.”
At the service, Essman recalled once driving with Gottfried from New Jersey to Manhattan, and Gottfried reluctantly spent money on the toll by taking out three dollars, kissing her, and telling his hard-earned singles, “Goodbye, boys. ”
Dara said at the service, “I loved his heart and soul, his jokes were dirty but his heart was so pure.” She also said at the service of how the couple met, “I had just turned 27 and Gilbert was 42. We met at a party at Tavern on the Green. I went there because I was in the music store and he was there for the free food.”
She also joked, “Some food fell off my plate and Gilbert picked it up and put it on his plate.” The couple had two children, Lily and Max.
Also in attendance were comedy writer Alan Zweibel and comedians Mario Cantone, Dave Attell and Judy Gold.
Gottfried, who starred in films like Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop II and Disney’s Aladdin, died on April 12 at the age of 67 of a heart abnormality.
https://pagesix.com/2022/04/16/when-cheap-gilbert-gottfried-had-lunch-at-pastis/ When “cheap” Gilbert Gottfried ate lunch at Pastis