Monday, March 14, 2011

Ruffled Feathers

I'll make this quick.

You're not gonna believe this but Gilbert Gottfried said something completely inappropriate.

I know, right?

Now I'm not talking about the time a few weeks after 9/11 when he said that he couldn't get a direct flight into New York City because all the planes were scheduled to connect at the Empire State Building. Or his infamously horrific telling of the legendary Aristocrats joke that followed it. Or that time during the roast of George Takei that he got up in front of a standing-room-only crowd and did 20 minutes of cracks about "faggots." No, I'm talking about just a couple of days ago when he rattled off a series of jokes about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on Twitter that included, "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, they'll be another one floating by any minute now," "I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said 'is there a school in this area.' She said 'not now, but just wait.'", and "I fucked a girl in Japan. She screamed 'I feel the earth move and I'm getting wet.'"

What makes this last infraction against civil and polite society stand out is that it just got him fired from his job as the voice of the Aflac insurance duck. If you follow the logic, it goes something like this: Aflac hired one of the most gleefully loutish and obscene comics on earth -- a guy who's made a career out of defying good taste and who'll go to any length to offend and instigate -- then suddenly grew a conscience and cut him loose only when the people he was threatening to piss off happened to be valued customers (since Aflac does a lot of business in Japan). It almost goes without saying that while it's absolutely the company's decision who it wants to be associated with, it's interesting that Aflac apparently never concerned itself with whether Gottfried's material throughout the years might be offensive to its gay, black, Hispanic -- basically anybody he's ever mercilessly ribbed at one time or another -- clientele.

Aflac should've known what it was getting into when it decided to make Gilbert Gottfried the voice of its corporate mascot -- reacting with righteous indignation now is either disingenuous or ridiculously ignorant.

By the way, Gottfried's jokes -- while tasteless -- were fucking hilarious. And that's what a good comic is supposed to do: make us laugh, even through our pain.


Nicole said...

See, I've never found him funny. His shrill honking makes me want to carve out my own eardrums, and being offensive doesn't equal innovative, in my mind. My friend saw Gottfried Saturday night, and tried to tell me some of the jokes yesterday morning...I didn't get them.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

I think you have no idea how profound your last statement is. And it's not just the role of comedians/comics. I spent some time as a chaplain at an inner city hospital trauma center and, believe me, it was the inside humor that got us through many a horrific night.

Anonymous said...

Hired a Jerk and then Lost Work. Call AFLAC.

Anonymous said...

you said I only did 10 minutes of faggot jokes in your link Spaz -- no sushi for you, homo!


Anonymous said...

North American techtonic plate to Japan: "Sorry, my fault"

Thanks, I'll be here all night

TheReaperD said...

You mean there was someone he hadn't offended yet? How'd he miss that one? He's probably one of the few people on the planet that would have had any chance of making George Carlin flinch... for one second before he spit up his drink in laughter.

Chez said...

Shit, you're right, Gil. That's what I get for being too lazy to go back and read my own copy. Thanks for stopping by. That duck was ridiculous anyway but I'll bet the free insurance was nice.

Kermit said...

Gottfried doing Grouch "towards the end" on the Dick Cavett show while he was on Stern was absolutely brilliant. The guy is just wrong. BUt somehow right.

The Groucho bits:

kanye said...


Stephen said...

Here's to you...

Jester said...

Amusing/ironic add-on: Gottfried isn't even the voice of the duck in Japan. They use another actor there with a very low-key, mellow voice. The culture rewards cute mascots rather than brash ones.

Anonymous said...

Made a twitter follower out of me. Screw aflac (and japan for that matter) keep them coming Gilbert!

Buy american!

Benoit from Ottawa said...


"Screw Japan"???

"Buy American"???

Not anymore!

Anonymous said...

Chez, you are an idiotic simpleton if you think those pathetic excuses for jokes are "fucking hilarious".

If there is no need for taste in jokes, and we are supposed to laugh though our pain... how about we do it at HIS expense?

My tasteless Japan joke:
Hey Gottfried: Japan called, they have found some of your relatives' possessions in the tsunami debris.... of the Miyagi Auschwitz museum!

You see? There is a line where he should have kept his z-list mouth shut.. Some things are just not funny.

Chez said...

Ah, more words of wisdom from the mind of the ever-popular "Anonymous." Thanks for making the effort.

Capt Clown said...

If you wanted to make any sense of it (if there's any sense to be found), it's possible that Twitter/social media offensive comments come at you more unrequested than other avenues.

A comedian makes jokes on a televised roast... You don't have to watch it.

With Twitter forwards/pass alongs etc, people who have no business being exposed to offensive jokes stumble onto them.

It's the difference between looking for a prostitute and having those asshole guys in Vegas try to force hooker postcards in your hand as you're trying to walk by with your wife.

Second possible logical point: I read that AFLAC does more business in Japan than the U.S.

...Meaning, those weren't random offensive jokes, they were pointed offensive jokes directed at their target demographic.

PS - Why they would pay a celebrity to say "AFLAC" in the first place when any shmoe off the street could do the same thing for cheaper is beyond me.