Gilbert Gottfried Pushed Universal Over Budget On Problem Child Because He Was That Funny

In 1990, the late and great Gilbert Gottfried got his breakout role. It was in a film called "Problem Child," which Universal Pictures later claimed was their most profitable film of the year — and Gottfried's performance certainly helped on that front, despite the studio not exactly seeing it during principal photography.

The film follows Amy Yasbeck and John Ritter as a married couple dealing with the trials and tribulations of adoption, with Gottfried lending his talents to the role of adoption agent. Director David Dugan actually revealed that he got in trouble with the studio for letting Gottfried improvise on set. He told the Hollywood Reporter on the day of Gottfried's death:

"I got yelled at — this was early on in shooting. I got called by the vice president of Universal at the time, going, 'What are you doing? You're shooting so much film!' If you normally shoot 6,000 feet of it — this is when you had film — one day, I shot 18,000 feet, and the next day, I shot 20,000 feet. Now it doesn't matter, but at that time, film cost, and it was a low-budget film. So they were yelling: 'What are you doing there? You're way over budget on film.' And I go, 'Well, we're doing a comedy, right?' And they go, 'Yeah.' And I said, 'Well, we got Gilbert Gottfried. And when I'd say action, Gilbert Gottfried does the script, and then he just starts going. You don't say cut. You just let him go. Don't look at how long it is — watch the film, and see what you think.' And so they called me back, and they go, 'All right. You're OK because he's that funny.'"

Gottfried the comedy legend

Gottfried, who is well known for being the most recognizable voice in comedy, sadly passed away Tuesday following a longterm struggle with a complicated illness, recurrent ventricular tachycardia which came on due to myotonic dystrophy type II.

The prolific comic was perhaps best known for his role as Iago, the talking parrot, in Disney's classic 1992 animated film "Aladdin." However, despite the success of the film, the role could've never defined such an iconic talent and voice. In fact, in his later years, Gottfried was able to comfortably coast on his singular talent and identity — essentially any actor's dream.

Most recently, Gottfried lent his voice talents to a perfect 30-second cameo on the new Adult Swim hit series "Smiling Friends." In the short guest role, he plays God, his face obstructed by a shining white light — but his distinctive voice is on full-display and essentially unmissable. If you're missing the comedian in the aftermath of his passing, the sweet moment will certainly warm your heart a bit.

His final project, a film called "Hassle in the Castle," is said to be his last release; however, the project is labeled as being still in pre-production on IMDB, so his involvement in the finished picture is still unclear.