For a performer who once claimed to be so scared of audiences that he performed with his eyes closed, Gilbert Gottfried is not shy when it comes to inciting controversy. Here are list of four most shocking statements made by the comedian, who was fired Monday by Aflac after a series of shocking tweets about the Japan earthquake/tsunami victims. Among his targets:
1. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In the 1980s, People reported that Gottfried’s stand-up routine included a bit about his first “meeting” with the former first lady that not many would deny was in questionable taste. Quipping about a cocktail party that they were both supposedly attending, Gottfried said: “I went up to Jackie O, and I wanted to break the ice. So I said, ‘Do you remember where you were when you heard JFK was shot?’ ”
2. September 11 victims. Three weeks after 9/11, Gottfried made light of the tragedy at a Friars Club roast for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, reported The New York Times. He said that he had tried to catch a plane but couldn’t get a direct flight because “they said they have to stop off at the Empire State Building.” The joke prompted boos from the audience.
3. Bindi Irwin. In 2007, Gottfried managed the feat of being censored by the subscriber-based, advertiser-free Sirius Satellite Radio during a segment on The Howard Stern Show while making an off-color remark about the late Steve Irwin’s daughter, Bindi, who was 8 years old at the time. He made a prank call to a man named “Bindi,” and during the conversation proceeded to quip: “I want to f— your big droopy yellow t—!”
4. Japan earthquake and tsunami victims. On Monday, Aflac severed ties with comic Gilbert Gottfried, the longtime voice of the insurer’s duck mascot, after he made a series of crude jokes about the Japan earthquake and tsunami via 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.'” Aflac, which does 75 percent of its business in Japan, also plans to donate $100 million to disaster relief. A “nationwide casting call” is now underway to find a new voice for its duck. Gottfried has yet to apologize.