Gilbert Gottfried Does Bill Pullman’s Rousing Independence Day Speech
Do you have a soft spot for rousing speeches, like the one Bill Pullman’s President Thomas J. Whitmore delivers in Rolland Emmerich’s Independence Day? Do you also like obnoxious comedian Gilbert Gottfried? There has to be some crossover between these two seemingly disparate groups, and for those of you who fall into that strange segment of this very specific Venn Diagram, you’re in luck, because you can now watch that bit of moving oration delivered with Gottfried’s very distinctive vocal tones.
I’m not a fan of Gottfried, I never have been, but even I have to admit that this video is really damn funny. This is such a serious, dramatic moment from the movie, a call to arms for the human race to rise up together to fight off the invading aliens that have been wrecking up the joint, that hearing those shrill, grating, though familiar tones deliver the speech is kind of perfect. Juxtaposing those two thoroughly dissimilar elements, especially when you throw in the stirring patriotic music, creates such a jarring scenario that it’s almost impossible not to laugh your ass off at this. Pullman’s speech is so earnest and passionate, and somehow avoids being totally cheesy and corny (it really should come across that way, but doesn’t), but when the guy who voiced the AFLAC duck delivers these words, all of that changes completely.
Granted, as fun as this is initially, it does wear out its welcome before too long. There’s only so much of Gottfried that you can take, and as my threshold is rather low, I have to admit that making it all the way through this video is something of a chore. Still, it is kind of brilliant, and if you close your eyes, you can envision the screechy parrot Iago from Disney’s Aladdin delivering this speech, and it’s funny in an entirely different way. He does really sell this video and get super into it, but then again, when was the last time anyone asked him to pretend to be the fake President of the United States?
The audio comes from Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. I have no idea if this is something that he does on the regular (it feels like I would have encountered it somewhere before, I spend a lot of time on the Internet), but perhaps since this thing has blown up in a rather large way he might consider doing more in the future.
Here’s the actual speech, how Emmerich staged it in Independence Day, if you’re interested in reliving such a thing. If nothing else, this may help fill that empty spot in your should until Independence Day 2 opens sometime in the future.