Monday, March 14, 2011
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.