Jillette tells the New York Post that his wife, Emily, was in the hospital room with Gottfried and his wife, Dara, and she held a phone to Gottfried’s ear so the two comedians could have one last conversation. “Twenty minutes before he was officially dead, when they were going to pull the ventilator off of Gilbert, I spoke with him,” says Jillette, choking up. “I tried to make a few jokes. Then I fell apart and said, ‘I love you.’ That was it.” Gottfried died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia, a heart disease brought on by myotonic dystrophy type 2. Jillette recalled Gottfried making a lot of jokes about dying. "He had a defibrillator in his (chest). If his heart went down, the defibrillator would kick him in the chest and it would be like getting kicked by a horse," says Jillette. "He would say, ‘Horses hate me. They hate little Jews. They’re waiting on line to kick me in the chest. The horses have a newsletter about it.’” Even medical staff got a taste of his comedic sensibility. “Very close to the end, doctors wanted to see if there was brain damage,” says Jillette. “They asked him to do arithmetic to show he was lucid. Instead, he sang the theme song to Car 54, Where are You?” ALSO: Stephen Colbert pays tribute to Gilbert Gottfried, who was always game to participate in his show sketches.
TOPICS: Gilbert Gottfried, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Penn Jillette, Stephen Colbert