The voice of the Aflac duck for 10 years has been fired.
If you’re not familiar with Aflac, it’s an insurance company whose spokes-animal is a duck. Aflac sponsored my favourite NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards, for a long time and featured Carl in amusing commercials alongside the duck. The duck drove Carl’s racecar, that kind of thing. And all the duck would ever say was “AFLAC!” And it was given voice by comic Gilbert Gottfried.
Gilbert’s known for riding the line on good taste but he’s been tweeting jokes about the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Jokes like, “I just split up with my girlfriend but like the Japanese say, there’ll be another one floating by any minute now.”
Three-quarters of Aflac’s business is done in Japan. The company acted swiftly and fired Gottfried for his tastelessness. Any comic will tell you that in comedy, timing is everything. Gilbert forgot that when bodies are still washing up on beaches it’s too early to start cracking wise. I don’t recall any smile-worthy tsunami jokes about Thailand. Hundreds of dead and thousands of homeless simply aren’t funny.
Aflac will be holding auditions for a new duck voice. Meanwhile poor judgment has also claimed the job of the press secretary to the Governor of Mississippi after she quipped that Otis Redding’s Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay isn’t a big hit in Japan right now. Rapper 50 Cent caused an uproar when he tweeted that he had to evacuate his ho’s from Hawaii and Japan. Too bad “Fitty” doesn’t have a boss. It would be nice to see that nauseating, tone deaf creep tossed out on his pampered behind. But I digress….