Gilbert Gottfried's funeral was 'cathartic,' Jeff Ross says: 'Gilbert would have loved it'
The love for comedian Gilbert Gottfried was strong Thursday as family and friends attended his funeral at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City.
"It was cathartic but there was also a sense of relief," comedian Jeff Ross, who delivered the eulogy, told People. "As I said at the funeral, Gilbert had been sick, he was tired, and he had perfect timing. He knew it was his time to get off the stage." He added, "Gilbert would have loved it."
The magazine reported that Kelly Rizzo, the wife of the late Bob Saget, and the couple's three adult daughters attended. Ross described the daughters' being there as "heartwarming." The crowd also included Susie Essman, Mario Cantone, Colin Quinn, Paul Shaffer and Dave Attell. While Whoopi Goldberg did not attend, she sent a gift. Sarah Silverman was on hand for the shiva.
"The shiva tonight will be a star-studded event," Ross said Thursday, "and the funeral was just absolutely perfect."
According to Page Six, Gottfried's wife, Dara Gottfried, gave an emotional speech in which she explained how they met.
"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 reportedly said, noting he rightly had a reputation for being cheap. "Some food fell off my plate and Gilbert picked it up and put it on his plate. I thought it was a bit odd but I've always been a bit attracted to odd people. He looked incredibly sweet and a bit lost and I felt bad for him so I was nice to him and then he asked for my phone number and the rest is history."
The two dated for 10 years before marrying in 2007.
“I loved his heart and soul, his jokes were dirty but his heart was so pure," she said of the star of Aladdin, Problem Child and dozens more projects. "Our relationship was so special that whatever I say it's not enough."
The Gottfrieds are parents to 12-year-old son Max and daughter, Lily, who's 14 — a job that he took seriously.
"He was the best father and loved our kids more than anything in the whole wide world," his wife said. "He would paint Lily's nails and put little notes with monster drawings in Max's lunchbox. He was so proud of the kids."
Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to a rep for Gottfried.
Gottfried's family announced his death on Tuesday. In a statement, his publicist noted that he died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia as a result of type II myotonic dystrophy, a rare cardiovascular condition that can cause an irregular heartbeat.
His fellow comedians immediately began to pay tribute to him, and they've continued in the days since. Howard Stern spent 10 minutes of Wednesday's episode of his SiriusXM show remembering Gottfried, who appeared on The Howard Stern Show 122 times over the years.
"I have a really fond place in my heart for Gilbert," Stern said in between clips from Gottfried's visits. "I thought he was great. He was always funny. Yeah, he was terrific, really terrific. And he was a master of his craft."
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