Can comedians do and say whatever they want?

I wasn’t home the other day when news of this broke. Well apparently there is a big “to do” over it. I hadn’t heard until the “ladies” of The View were talking about it this morning.

I’ve written about this subject before. I’m not fond of comedians. I just don’t find people trying to be funny, funny. I like slapstick comedy and movie comedy but as far as stand up comics or one liners, I don’t care for it. Leno, Joy Behar, Joan Rivers, Letterman or any of them. I don’t find the humor but I’ll laugh my butt off at Archie Bunker and The Big Bang Theory. I think people who are trying NOT to be funny are more funny than people trying too hard.

Also, what I really find offensive is whenever one of them get into hot water just like Gilbert Gottfried is now, they play the “I was only kidding” card. Or “comedians can get away with it.”

I personally don’t know this man but I don’t think he meant anything bad. I do think he was offensive but I found him offensive before. He’s playing the voice of a duck for Pete’s sake. I think if the people who hired him thought he was moral, they didn’t do enough checking before hiring. This guy is pretty vulgar and was off-color before. He made fun of the 911 attacks and many other things. THIS IS WHAT THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE DO.

I also find the exception here is this guy is only doing a voice over. He’s not selling his face. I’ll bet a lot of people don’t even know what he looks like. If it were say, um…the Mayhem guy or Sally Field doing the osteoporosis drug where they are showing themselves I might feel different. Don’t you find it a little different being it’s only his voice?

Do you think he deserves to be fired? Do you think comedians can do and say whatever they want and how do people draw the line?

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6 Responses to Can comedians do and say whatever they want?

  1. SKL says:

    Yeah, I don’t find that brand of humor funny either. And also, I would never have known they used a guy of any note for their duck voice. I think the biggest issue here is that the Japanese, a huge customer base for Aflac, are going to hear that an Aflac spokesman (duck or otherwise) made fun of their losses. If he gets fired, at least the Japanese won’t hold it against Aflac. Now generally in the USA, you don’t have to have any particular reason to fire somebody. As long as you aren’t firing him based on race, sex, etc., and he doesn’t have a contract preventing it, you can boot him. If there is a contract, then you have to find a good reason – but I think embarrassing the company in this way is a good enough reason. I think Aflac needed to fire him in order to save its business, and I don’t blame them (nor feel sorry for him).

    Now in general, I do think we as consumers of entertainment need to separate entertainment from ideology. I mean, if my favorite singer has a hit bleeding-heart liberal song, I may not buy that song, but I probably won’t start a boycott against him. Same thing if he says in an interview that he voted for Obama. He’s entitled to his opinion and that’s not why I like him as a singer.

    But there is a line beyond which I will boycott and maybe encourage others to do so as well. If an entertainer fundraises for a cause I consider immoral, for instance. That’s when I’m likely to say “you’d be better of sticking to your art.”

    I won’t ever watch a movie that involves that fugitive child rapist Polanski, and I don’t understand why anybody would knowingly support him. And I know nothing about Justin Bieber, but since he recently stated that he was pro-life, I am more likely to give him a chance. So yes, I do get affected by what celebs do and say, even though generally I believe they are entitled to their own opinion and I don’t care to know it.

    If a Toyota’s PR dude made some crass public comment about Katrina or 9/11, how many Toyotas would they be selling in the USA?

  2. Laura says:

    I had a similar discussion when that guy… geez, I can’t even remember his name… hosted some awards show. WOW, shows how important that moron was, when I cant’ remember the name OR the show. Gervais. Ricky Gervais. Hosted some awards show. I still don’t remember which one.

    But everybody thought it was so funny that he was absolutely trashing the celebs that they were there to celebrate. He trashed the movies, he trashed them.

    To me, that’s a form of bullying. Those celebs are a captive audience. If they got up and walked away, how badly would their reputation suffer – “oh, they couldn’t take a little ribbing, they’re stuck up” kind of a deal.

    I do enjoy some comedians. Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall have me breathless everytime I listen to their stuff. Jeff Dunham and his puppets (we had Achmed the Dead Terrorist on here not too long ago), absolutely kills me (no pun intended). But I think the difference is that they don’t “prey” on people. Foxworthy riffs on Rednecks because he is one, because he’s related to them, and because about 3/4 of what he says is true. Same with Engvall. Dunham makes up characters. But they’re not nasty, they don’t prey on others’ misfortunes for their own gain. And I think that’s the difference between those comedians and Gervais and Goddfried.

    As much as I hate to see Goddfried go – purely because I loved that stupid duck, he cracked me up – I understand why Aflac did it. They have a massive market share to protect.

    Also, I read somewhere that perhaps there was an ulterior motive here – that Goddfried wanted out, but his contract hadn’t expired yet?

  3. tokyo5 says:

    The Aflac duck commercials are on TV in Japan too…so it was a surprised when the news here said today that the voice of the Aflac duck was mocking the tsunami tragedy!

    My post about it:

  4. Nikki says:

    I have never cared for this guy, in anything he’s ever done. He’s just annoying and not funny at all. I thought what he said was disgusting and extremely insensitive. I do think because they are up on a stage “being funny” they think they can take jabs at people or situations and get away with it. I have always thought there is some truth to every, “just kidding.”

    I don’t know if being fired would do any good. He’s loaded and someone else will hire him. And I’m fairly certain they didn’t hire him because he has any kind of morals, he has a distinct voice. That’s it. Like you said, if his face was being shown, I can see them actually firing him.

    I like SOME stand up. I can watch Daniel Tosh all day, in fact we do watch a lot of his stand up. My favorite stand up comedian was Richard Pryor, and I enjoy Lisa Lampanelli. I don’t like a lot of them though, only a very few.

  5. Gilbert Gottfried has a really distinct voice which is why Aflac chose him to voice the duck. However, they got the whole package when they signed him. A little research would have unvailed that Gottfried is known for pushing the envelope. Whether you think it’s funny or not, it’s the type of humor he’s known for. Aflac got what they paid for.

  6. Phyllis says:

    Aflac had every right to fire this guy even though they should’ve been smart enough to check into his background and reputation for offensive statements before hiring him. His comments were in very, very poor taste. Just because people are comedians doesn’t give them the right to say things like this. I also don’t like listening to the monologues of Leno, Letterman, However, I really do find Greg Ferguson absolutely hilarious because he doesn’t prey on bad situations ( at least on any of his shows that I’ve seen ).

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