One of the biggest surprises of Smiling Friends' debut season with Adult Swim was a cameo from late actor Gilbert Gottfried during the finale, and the creators behind it all have opened up about what it was like working with the legend before his passing! Smiling Friends really took off with fans when Adult Swim surprisingly premiered the first season of the series over the course of a single, unannounced evening. Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel's series really made a stamp with how many notable voices were involved with the production, and the biggest came through during the season one finale.
Gottfried unfortunately passed away earlier this year at the age of 67, and one of his final roles was actually the voiceover cameo for Smiling Friends. Appearing in the season one finale, "Charlie Dies and Doesn't Come Back," Gottfried performs the voice of God that saves Charlie from Hell when he learns his lesson and becomes a better person. Speaking about working with Gottfried during a special panel for the series during Adult Swim Festival this past weekend, the creators revealed quite an interesting story about how the recording session went down.
After detailing some of the more awkward technological difficulties before actually getting started, Cusack explained that Gottfried was ready to go but his performance led to some unique challenges, "He came in, he was super nice. He was in character as Gilbert Gottfried, but kind of like a subtle, mellow one...and then we got him to do the voice in the recorder, but because he's yelling and screaming it's like peaking..." Cusack explained. "When I got the audio back it was in the red, I was like 'Oh my god, we're definitely not gonna be able to get him back.' And also, his laptop, it kept like doing that email ding noise...I was too scared to say something cause I already felt like this little kid who was like in trouble...Got the audio back and it was peaking, and also hearing these dings which is in the episode, but it's masked."
So while the audio hiccups are actually in the episode, they've been slyly hidden by the rest of production, "If you watch the episode, when God picks up Charlie there's this massive symphony playing, but that's not for the emotion...If you pull out the music you can hear the dings from the laptop and the slight peaking, but he did a great job and we're so thankful to have him on the show." Given the response to Gottfried's cameo as God, it seems like it all worked out!
How did you like Gilbert Gottfried's cameo in Smiling Friends? What did you think of the first season overall? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!