As you know, shrill-voiced comic Gilbert Gottfried stepped in it by tweeting various alleged jokes in the wake of the horrible earthquake in Japan.
But let me remind you that his “inappropriate” cracks after 9/11 actually helped us get through that crisis.
In October of ’01, at a roast of Hugh Hefner that I happened to be at, Gottfried made jokes about not being able to get a direct flight to NYC because the airline said they’d have to stop at the Empire State building first.
This drew cries of “too soon,” but the reality is that the time was just right and I remember joining those who were shrieking with laughter, needing the guffaw to lift us out of our downtrodden misery.
Gilbert punctured the elephant in the room and made it OK to laugh again, especially when he segued into a brilliantly grisly version of the famed “Aristocrats” joke, his over-the-top rendition ultimately becoming the centerpiece of the documentary about that same gag.
Gilbert had us laughing for the first time after 9/11 even more than Mariah Carey‘s Glitter did.
The only problem with his Japan jokes are:
(A) Because they were tweeted rather than delivered live, their tone didn’t go over at all. You couldn’t see his half-smile/half-grimace nor hear his whiny voice making it deliverable.
(B) They were about people faraway, not about ourselves.
(C) They weren’t that funny.