Bloomberg Businessweek is one of the publications that carries the story of comedian Gilbert Gottfriend [probly don’t recognise the name but if you’re old you would probly recognise him from the ‘The Problem Child’ movies with John Ritter as well as being the voice of Iago from the Aladdin movies] who was fired this week after Tweeting inappropriate jokes about the Japanese crisis…

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Aflac Inc., the biggest seller of supplemental insurance, fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of its duck mascot in the U.S., after comments he made about tsunami victims in Japan, the firm’s biggest market.

“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,” said Michael Zuna, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement today from the Columbus, Georgia-based insurer.

[rest of the article here]

which i think is great! earlier this year my buddy Dunc gifted me and tbV with tickets to go and watch Jeff Dunham [the ‘Achmed the dead terrorist’ ventriloquist comedian] who we used to really enjoy. we have all his dvds and were really looking forward to the show at Grand West. If it had been easier to walk out than the place where we were seated i think i would have. Jeff spent most of the show making bitter biting comments about his ex-wife. Very very awkward and almost completely not funny, just a little bit freaky. When he mentioned that the divorce happened two years previously i could not believe it cos the way he was speaking it sounded like it had just happened. It was just completely horrible and i lost a lot of respect for him that nite.

then a good mate of ours gave us a Ricky Gervais standup comedy video which was very edgy and hectic in terms of content [altho very funny for the most part] but near the end he went for a routine that basically was hitting the topic of child abuse and as much as a bunch of the stuff he’d done before was close to the line, it just suddenly crossed into a place of JUST DON’T GO THERE!

and that is the point of this blog. there is a line. i’m sure it looks different to different people, but there are some things you really should never joke about. ever. an international crisis that has just seen thousands of people die and hundreds of thousands lose everything is one of those things. so is child abuse. and rape. and the holocaust. and i’m sure a whole lot more. some things are just not worth the laugh.

which is why in this ‘freedom of speech’ [is it still freedom when your freedom starts encroaching on another persons?] society we live in, it was refreshing to see Aflac Inc. show some integrity and immediacy in terms of firing Gottfried and hopefully sending out a message that there are some things that will not be tolerated, even in comedy.

at the other end of the spectrum, doing a lot less harm, except maybe to himself, we have charlie sheen whose latest warlock plan is to marry a tree. according to, he said: “I’m going to marry a tree because the other type of marriage didn’t work so I’m going to marry a tree.” []