Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Here is a news story in several parts and it is not yet finished. Then again, how many stories are?

Meet Gilbert Gottfried. Chances are you have seen him somewhere. He is a comedian (among the most crude). He is an actor. He has also appeared on "Hollywood Squares." Mr. Gottfried has a very distinct voice: a persistent, grating, screech-like tone.  Perhaps that is what he is best known for.

Did you know he provided the voice the Aflac duck? A rather fitting choice for one of the most annoying mascots around. See one of their commercials here.

Last month brought tragic natural disasters to Japan. As with any large event, Twitter was positively abuzz. A new trend (#prayforjapan) immediately rose above the rest. Although, not all the tweets were positive or in good taste. Gottfried himself, a joker through and through, thought it was a good time to test some new material:
  • "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now."
  • "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."

He had a dozen tweets in total (which were later taken down). These quips did not fly for the voice of Alfac duck and Gottfried's professional neck was on the line. Alfac fired him on March 14th.

So, this morning I open to my browser's (Chrome) homepage (CNN) and I this picture catches my eye:

(Sorry, I am unable to copy the larger version of the pic, which appears in a slideshow within the article. Besides, now you are treated to the same picture and same size that caught my eye this morning.)

The attached report? You guessed it: auditions for the new voice of Aflac. I suppose the title of this post gave that away eh? You can find that story here. The best/worst part about the article is that there is some audition footage attached. Seriously, did some of these people know they were auditioning for the Aflac duck? Did they really practice and put this date on their calenders? There might be a useable sound or two among this bunch, but it is mostly laughably bad.

Gottfried was quick to apologize after being fired. Good for him. That does require some decency and thoughtfulness. If Aflac's casting department cannot find a better flock of voices (than those is said video) I really think they and Gottfried should let bygones be bygones and get back to quacking (which in this case is work).