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Interview with Gilbert Gottfried 5/24/10
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who has appeared in everything from Saturday
Night Live and The Cosby Show to Aladdin and Hollywood Squares, also
voices the animated character "Digit" on Cyberchase, the children's math cartoon
airing on PBS. Gilbert talked with us about his role on this
GILBERT GOTTFRIED/CYBERCHASE Q&A
Q: You have an interesting trend in your career of portraying
birds ≠ how did that come about?
A: I've played a parrot in Aladdin, a duck in the AFLAC
commercials, wore a bird costume in the Jack and the Beanstalk DVD release
and I play a cyberbird in Cyberchase. I guess you could easily say ≠ my
career is for the birds!
Q: How did you formulate your voice and character for Digit
when you first started the show? How did you see his relationship to the Cybersquad?
A: The voice of Digit just came naturally to me. And, to me,
Digit is the voice of the audience at times since he's the one who becomes
easily frustrated, questions things and eventually works it all out.
Q: What are some of your favorite Cyberchase episodes as
A: My favorite Cyberchase episodes are the ones that center
around Digit! In one of the new episodes this summer I actually have to
play Digit imitating Hacker, who's played by Christopher Lloyd. I asked
producers, "So you want me to laugh like Christopher Lloyd?" You'll see
how that turned out.
Q: How do Cyberchase fans, young and old, react when they run
into you in NYC?
A: Parents are always coming up to me and telling me their
kids are big fans of the Cyberchase. They go on to tell me how their kids
especially enjoy working out the math and logic problems. Of course, I'm
always thinking to myself, ≥If they only could have seen my report cards
when I was in school!≤
Q: Well then, when your kids get older, are you worried that
you won't be able to help them with math?
A: I can't keep up with them now and my daughter is three and
my son is one.
Q: Good thing Cyberchase is around to help math-phobic parents
A: Yes, very good thing. They have all these activities for
parents and kids on the website. So the kids learn, the parents learn,
and I learn. It's a win for everyone.
Q: What can fans expect to see in this summer's premiere
episode, ≥The Hacker's Challenge?≤
A: Well, Hacker is of course wreaking havoc in cyberspace, and
this time he's threatening to turn Solaria into cybercode. Digit and the
CyberSquad have to go on these problem-solving team challenges and solve
Hacker's number puzzles to save Solaria. It's kinda like Survivor meets
Q: How do Digit (your character) and his team solve one of the
A: I don't want to give too much away, but I can say that Digit
and his team travel to a place called the Lost Lagoon and need to solve a
puzzle by catching fish. And a wild river raft ride ensues. And Digit
gets wet. Very wet.
Q: What can you tell us about Cyberchase's newest villain?
A: His name is Ledge. In one episode he turns everyone into
Hacker. And in another, he takes on Hacker, forcing Hacker to join forces
with the CyberSquad. The audience actually thinks Ledge is a friend of
the CyberSquad at first, so there's a little trickery going on.
Q: When does all this Cyberchase summer fun begin?
A: The new season premieres on June 25, and there are new
online math challenges related to the episodes that begin the same day on
Q: Anything else we should look forward to this summer?
A: Well if you really want to see more of me, you can find
some behind-the-scenes videos on the Cyberchase Facebook page.
The Cyberchase Summer Challenge, featuring eight straight weeks of
episodes and online games to keep kids engaged in math all summer long,
premieres Friday, June 25 on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings) and
online at http://pbskidsgo.org
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