Blog Post Gilbert Gottfried

Creative vs. Culinary

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As a kid, my main interests were drawing and acting a fool. Zero interest in studies and my grades showed it. I struggled the whole way, did my time, but was still short a half credit by the end of my senior year. They insisted I’d need to attend another round of summer school. Hilarious.

With a GED and a dream, I set off trying to ruin my life in every imaginable way.

After a couple jobs in construction, one of my sister’s suggested waiting tables, so I went out and got my first job in a restaurant/brewery called Hops Grill & Bar. This was more my speed. 

I quickly became one of the top servers, while still acting a fool, and now with direct access to lots of alcohol (at work and the Irish pub down the street that rarely carded). I was offered management within a few weeks, often, but declined every time. Told them I was on a path to filmmaking and restaurant management just wasn’t in the cards for me. 

That was before I started doing LSD all the time, even at work. I was having fun and making tons of money. Then one night I did Ecstasy. Liked it. Night night, termite. 

There’s a reason Ecstasy’s not called Meh. 

For this introductory biographical post, let’s fast-forward through the next 20+ years so I can get back to work on developing a thousand different components of this career path I’m on. 


Three basic things have defined the majority of my adult like: entertainment dreams, the hospitality industry, and partying my ass off the entire time. Women have come and gone while almost never being the priority. They love that. (They don’t love that.) 

To save time, I won’t go into the struggles. It’s been a rough way to live, but I’ve been mostly happy. I’ve had down times, and I honestly believe I’d be dead if it wasn’t for wanting to make art. I also think I’d be dead if I’d made art and money successfully, because I’ve done tons of damage while broke. 


My world is pretty much the same, but I’m way different. I got a tattoo in 2008 that represents standup comedy, filmmaking, painting and writing. There’s also a ’59 Wingtip Cadillac in it. That represents how much I like boats. 

For a long time, I’ve tried to focus on one creative pursuit because the whole world seemed to be saying you can’t be good at multiple things. I went through the worst time of my life in 2020 (unrelated to a worldwide pandemic, although of course I was impacted by it), but I finally peeled myself off the ground and here I am. 

I’ll write about my life until the day I die, and I’ll show what I write to the world, so you’ll eventually see how much shit I’ve learned these past few years, from who, how, etc. Most importantly, though, the one thing I’m focusing on now is doing every damn thing I want. 


I used to get a job running a restaurant, consulting, washing dishes — whatever I was in the mood for — work six months to two years, and then return to standup comedy, write screenplays, a book. Eventually, I’d go broke again and start all over.

Every time, I thought I was working on the thing that would finally start my career in entertainment and get me the hell away from bars and restaurants. Fucked up rollercoaster. 

Now I’m setting up my life to do all the creative things I want, and leverage my experience in hospitality to support myself. 

Everybody and their mother says I should be running my own place, but first I’m producing a series called 86 Sense: How to Run A Restaurant (And Why You Shouldn’t Do It)

If I’m not able to turn this work into financial success (on my own scale!), I’ll finally open a restaurant.

If I do have success with all this, I’ll still probably open a restaurant, but I’m not runnin’ that bitch. : ) 



Mat Freeman is an author, artist, performer and producer (and a recovering restaurant consultant). He's developed podcasts, a YouTube game show, and performed standup comedy for over 20 years.

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