Comedian Gilbert Gottfried returned to Twitter yesterday to issue a mea culpa for the tasteless jokes he tweeted about the disasters in Japan.
“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan,” Gottfried wrote. “I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
The turnaround comes on the heels of his firing Monday as the voice of Aflac’s duck mascot for the insensitive jokes.
Aflac said yesterday that despite the apology, they stand by their decision. The company does about 75 percent of its business in Japan.
The 56-year-old funnyman did have some celebs come to his defense yesterday. Joan Rivers and Howard Stern each pointed out that Gottfried did what comedians do. “We react to tragedy by making jokes to help people in tough times feel better through laughter,” Rivers tweeted.
Gottfried is known for taking punchlines a step too far. After fellow comedian Greg Giraldo died last year, Gottfried Tweeted: “If Greg Giraldo is cremated, will that be the ‘Greg Giraldo Roast’?”
And just days after 9/11, the comedian said at a roast for Hugh Hefner: “I have to fly to L.A. tonight, but I can’t get a direct flight: They have to make a stop at the Empire State Building.”