Dan Gross: Gottfried to play Sarcasm

Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried
Posted: October 11, 2011

LAST TIME GILBERT GOTTFRIED was in town, the comedian made global headlines over his Twitter jokes about the tsunami in Japan.

He's hoping for a little less drama this weekend while he's here for two shows Saturday at Sarcasm at the Cherry Hill Crowne Plaza.

"The funny thing about it is the news stations made my jokes bigger than the actual tsunami," says Gottfried, who lost his gig as the Aflac spokesduck as a result of his jokes. "It was 'Gilbert makes tsunami jokes' and 'Oh there was a tsunami somewhere,' " he said.

The recent author of the memoir "Rubber Balls and Liquor," Gottfried inspired the film "The Aristocrats," about a filthy joke comedians rarely tell in public, after he delivered it at the Comedy Central roast of Hugh Hefner. We asked Gottfried, who has also roasted locally raised Bob Saget, Wharton grad Donald Trump, and Joan Rivers, whether it's more fun to roast someone he's friendly with. "I'm happy to get up and f--- with anybody," he admitted.

Gottfried says Henny Youngman and Milton Berle were among his comedy inspirations.

"Now watching comedians is like going to work on my day off," says Gottfried. On the competitive nature of comics he cited a joke that he didn't write but says he has always loved.

"How many comedians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 100. One to screw it and 99 to say, 'How did he get a lightbulb? - he sucks.' "

WPST's Mike Newman and Dave Primiano will open for Gottfried's Sarcasm shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 at sarcasmcomedy.com.

Heart and Soul

Jon Bon Jovi will also be at the Cherry Hill Crowne Plaza, on Dec. 2, when the Heart of Camden Gala presents his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation with the Small Things, Great Love Award. Heart of Camden says Bon Jovi's interest in Camden began in 2000, when he began funding projects in the city.

More info and tickets on the annual gala are available at heartofcamdenorg.

Matthews at NCC

Nicetown native MSNBC host Chris Matthews will be at the National Constitution Center Nov. 3 for a program with Talk Radio 1210 AM host and Inquirer columnist Michael Smerconish to discuss Matthews' new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero."

Tickets are $10 ($7 for museum members) and can be found online at constitutioncenter.org or by calling 215-409-6700.

Read, Fast, Read

St. Joseph's basketball coach Phil Martelli, 102.9 WMGK's Debbi Calton and Daily News reporter Barbara Laker are among those in a Dr. Seuss speed-reading competition tonight at the Union League to raise money for First Book Philadelphia.

State Treasurer Rob McCord moderates the reading competition, which also features the Comcast Network's Lynn Doyle, Greater Philadelphia Film Office head Sharon Pinkenson and Free Library President Siobhan Reardon.

First Book-Philadelphia is a nonprofit that works to introduce books to children and inspire reading.

Tickets are still available for the event, which begins at 6 p.m. Visit firstbookphilly.org.

Bella Cena add-on

Giancarlo Frusone of Italian spot Bella Cena (1506 Spruce) has just opened Giancarlo's Lounge, a tapas bar next door.

The small-plates hangout is open from noon to midnight daily.

Pier show returns

Veteran broadcaster Ed Hurst has brought his "Steel Pier Show" to the Jersey Shore news-talk station WOND (1400-AM).

The longtime DJ and television host launched the show at 4 p.m. Saturday. His first guest? Tony Bennett. The crooner noted that Hurst, 85, was one of the first DJs to play his music.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.

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