Comedy Central Roast

March 21, 2011 by Post Team 

Comedy Central Roast, Amid the meteoric rise / fall of Rebecca Black this week, people have overlooked this. But for the first time in a while, Gilbert Gottfried is in the news.

Most fans may know Gottfried as the voice of the parrot Iago in Aladdin films, Mr. Peabody in Problem Child, and numerous Comedy Central roasts. But the concert was worth it (or at least his voice) most well known is its role as the voice of the Aflac duck (AFLAAAAAAC!!) In numerous commercials. Gottfried got the job in 2000, and worked steadily for Aflac … until last week.

Gottfried was dismissed by Aflac to make distasteful comments on Twitter about the recent tsunami that devastated Japan. Gottfried highly publicized comments included:

* “Japan is well advanced. They’re not going to the beach. The beach comes to them.”

* “I left my girlfriend today. But as the Japanese say,” You’re going to be another floating at any time. “[Sic]

* “I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. He said, ‘is there a school in this area.” She said’ not now, but just wait. ”

You get the idea. Gottfried later apologized via Twitter account, saying he meant no disrespect, and his thoughts were with the victims and their families.

At the risk of saying something politically incorrect, I’m actually a big fan of Gilbert Gottfried. I like his delivery over the top, adult humor, and even your own DVD Dirty Jokes. He even referenced in a flagrant insubordination earlier called “If Voldemort Played Gilbert Gottfried.”

While I’m not defending what he said Gottfried, his sense of humor tends to be on that line between funny and offensive at times. For example, in the Comedy Central roast of Joan Rivers, who made a joke about Howard Stern co-host Robin Quivers, and how she was sexually abused by her father as a child, and how she “did not stop talking of it. ” He added: “It was so ugly that her father closed his eyes and fantasize about your sister.” It’s something that makes you laugh, but I feel dirty because of it. That’s the kind of comedy Gottfried does.

While subscribing to the theory that anything can be funny if the joke is told right, I think certainly Gottfried’s comments fell under the “too soon” category for most people, myself included. If Gottfried wanted to make light of such a tragic subject, I should have waited for the wounds to start healing. People are dying, and millions of lives are being affected by the worst of what is happening in Japan. After a certain amount of time can get away with jokes about tragedies like this? Sure. But Gottfried crossed the bounds of good taste, with what he said.

But one thing puzzles me about this: If you hire an actor to perform in their advertising, you have to know what kind of comedy he does, or you’re an idiot. Aflac had to know the tilt of Gottfried of dirty jokes, bad taste. Of course, none of the jokes were about national tragedies. But if you want your brand has a clean, why hire a comedian who tells jokes dirty? Gilbert Gottfried, of course, has one of the most recognizable voices in America. But so is Fran Drescher. She could easily have done the ads (which would suck, but you get my point.)

A few people have asked over missing Gilbert Aflac with comments posted on Twitter, and how it’s wrong to punish someone for something he said in an account of personal media. This is something we’ve discussed with people before, and I firmly believe that people should consider before posting anything online: His Twitter account is a public forum. For the most part, the Internet is a public forum. If you say something on a website, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time, is easy prey for someone to grab and use against you. That goes double for someone like Gilbert Gottfried, because while some may debate how famous it is, is a public figure. Do you think he is because he likes Twitter? Of course not. Like most celebrities, he uses it as a marketing company. As much as I like comedy, Gottfried should have known better than to publish something distasteful about a hot topic its more than 60,000 fans could see.

Interestingly, Gottfried also has some heat to make a joke about 09.11 shortly after the attacks. I do not know what the joke was, but it was Comedy Central Roast of Hugh Hefner. The crowd was about to light before he hit the now famous “Aristocrats” joke. It is clear that the roast was “too soon” too.

But how far does “too early” to extend, right? There is no single answer, as the humor is subjective. It’s different for everyone. Some people believe (perhaps rightly) that you should NEVER make a joke about something like 9 / 11. But humor is not part of the healing process? This is how some people deal with tragic circumstances. I’ve heard of firefighters and police officers joking sick to make horrible scenes a little more bearable.

I guess if you are not involved with the situation, its limits are not as extensive. For example, Michael Douglas can make jokes about his battle with cancer, but I’m not sure anyone else can at this time.

Perhaps part of it is to measure their audience and how they react force. As you certainly cannot tell the tone, inflection or intent through a Tweet, Gottfried’s comments much more likely to gross out what they were intended. Moreover, Gilbert Gottfried is we are talking about …

[Source: image via DVDMEDIA.IGN.COM]

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