Gilbert Gottfried is basically a professional loudmouth—but ask him how he met Dara, his wife and the mother of his two children, and he clams right up. "Open up a little, Gil!" urges the 43-year-old Dara, who met Gottfried, 58, in the late 1990s at a Grammy Awards party and married him in 2007. The two appear on Celebrity Wife Swap tomorrow, with Dara switching places with Tanya Callau, wife of Alan Thicke. Gottfried was reluctant to do the show, but eventually saw a spin on reality TV as what the New York Times calls "a necessary evil for maintaining a showbiz career."
"To the public, Kim Kardashian is a much bigger name than Robert De Niro," he acknowledges. It's a big change for the normally private Gottfried; when he and Dara first got together, only his closest friends knew about the relationship. "He looked sad and lost and childlike. I thought he was adorable," Dara recalls of meeting her husband, who she describes as a doting dad. (His kids are clearly not off-limits in the joke department: "I only beat them when I’m on crystal meth. I’m proud of that," he tells the Times.) After getting to know the comedian (and former voice of the Aflac duck) better, "I knew I'd never find anyone else like him," she says. Jokes Gottfried, "Most people are hoping that they never find anyone like me."