Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aflac Fires Gilbert Gottfried Over Tsunami Joke Tweets

Duck'em if they can't take a joke!

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, perhaps my favorite comedian of all time, has been fired from his gig as the voice of the Aflac duck because of a series of jokes he tweeted over the weekend about the disaster in Japan.

Gottfried has never been one to shy away from controversy. He's the comedian that other comedians look to for inspiration when they want to push the envelope. But it looks like the veteran insult comic may have pushed the envelope a little too far for the insurance company, whose global market includes Japan.

TMZ reports:
The company released a statement saying, "Gilbert’s recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac ... Aflac will immediately set plans in motion to conduct a nationwide casting call to find a new voice of the iconic Aflac Duck."
Gottfried is well known for his off-color humor. You can view a classic example of it from the documentary "The Aristocrats" on YouTube. It's definitely not for everyone and totally NSFW.

If you ask me, it was only a matter of time before Gilbert's real personality got in the way of the squeaky clean Disney persona that he earned for his voice-over work in "Aladdin". He had a good run with Aflac, but honestly, the only surprise here is that it lasted as long as it did. They knew who he was when they hired him

Let's all pretend to be shocked and appalled for a few minutes, then move on.


  1. Steve while I don't think what he said was serious enough to be fired over....Coming from him he is after all a comedian...I do think that we all have to mind our P's and Q's in todays society. You never known if someone going to shoot your the bird or pull out a gun n start shooting.

  2. There was a period right after 9/11 when comedians where actually afraid to tell a joke. They held back and thought the timing wasn't right to try to get a laugh. Gilbert was one of the first to just let it rip at a public event. He just went for it, no holds barred with the Aristocrats joke I referenced above. People howled. Of course the joke had nothing to do with 9/11. This is different.

    Maybe that's what he was trying to do here. In comedy, it's all about the timing. I think it's still too soon, but I admire his guts.


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