Family and friends attended Gilbert Gottfried’s funeral at Riverside Memorial Chapel in NYC on Thursday.
“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 and the couple’s three adult daughters attended. Ross described the daughters’ being there as “heartwarming.” The crowd also included Mario Cantone, Colin Quinn, Susie Essman, Dave Attell, and Paul Shaffer. While Whoopi did not attend, she sent a gift.
“The shiva tonight will be a star-studded event,” Ross said Thursday, “and the funeral was just absolutely perfect.”
Dara gave an emotional speech in which she explained how they met, according to Page Six.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”