Charlie Gilbert, who sought the joke in every moment, 76


Teacher, actor, comedian Charlie Gilbert lived a life of creativity and fun.

He was a talented, quirky performer, and a critical thinker. He was kind, generous, sometimes exasperating. And a loyal friend.

He was born in Manhattan to Mollie and Julius Gilbert on April 12, 1944. He and younger sister Annette grew up in Riverdale, and he attended P.S. 81 and DeWitt Clinton High School.

He loved sports, especially baseball.

He lived in New York City until 1992, when he moved to Los Angeles with his first wife, Jan. He taught special education students in New York City and Los Angeles public schools for more than 20 years.

He sought the joke in every moment. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and his master’s in media studies from The New School of Social Research, and produced dramatic radio documentaries for WBAI and NPR. He also created comedic characters who appeared on WBAI shows such as the (in)famous Lamar Perdue, president of the Bullpen Car Drivers Association of America and beloved baseball gossip.

He was a regular on Fred Hershkowitz’s Thursday morning show, rotating through a number of characters hatched from his quirky brain.

In Los Angeles, he performed in theatre, student films and stand-up comedy. In 2006, he married Linda Slater, his second wife, and in 2009, they moved to Arcata, California.

He performed with Jeff DeMark and nurtured a burgeoning Humboldt comedy scene. He moved back to Los Angeles right before the coronavirus pandemic to be closer to his family.

He suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on Feb. 5, 2021, and died the following morning in San Diego.

He leaves behind his wife Linda, his sister Annette, his daughter Sarah, his stepdaughter and granddaughter, and many friends who loved him deeply.

The stage has gone dark, but if you listen closely, laughter dances across the sky as we all mourn this loss.

A memorial Zoom will be held at a later date. Send your email, name and phone number to to be contacted about the memorial.

Charlie Gilbert,