Gilbert Gottfried reflects

By ROB TURBOVSKY  |  April 27, 2011

Do you want to say something nice about Gallagher?
Uh, yeah. To me, I'm like one of those people who . . . I'm not a tremendous comedy fan just because I've been in comedy for so long. So, I have a very difficult time watching any comedian, so I don't really look at one in particular and go, "Oh, that guy, I don't like." I always wonder why some people got those reputations. Gallagher and Carrot Top seem very popular for comics to say they hate and to put down, and I never really understood that. Why? If you do something different from them, you're better?

Is part of that driven by critics rather than fans or even comics? Does the media create this idea that Richard Pryor is classy and art, and Carrot Top is trash, and if you're a serious person, that's how you should feel even if you don't know their acts?
It's a hard one to judge there. The media constantly fascinates me, because lately with the Japan tweets, the Japan jokes I did, it's weird. I kind of think millions of years from now when aliens land and dig up our civilization, they're going to see all of these records of me and the tsunami, and they'll figure, "Well, he must've caused it."

The media was fascinating me because aside from them waiting outside my building, they were writing about me like I was the number one enemy of the planet. They were so outraged about my comments about Japan, and then, overnight, I turned on the TV, and every single news show is talking about how Chris Brown was on Good Morning America and got angry backstage and threw a chair. Japan was forgotten at that point. Japan was lucky to get mentioned after funny sports bloopers.

You think they were looking for something to be outraged about?
Oh, definitely. Look, early on, two people who were the most offended, shocked, and outraged were TMZ and Perez Hilton. And, then, my favorite of the media was that I got picked as "The Most Provocative Celebrity of the Week," by Showbiz Tonight. I beat out Charlie Sheen. I wiped Charlie Sheen off the map. And, as an expert opinion, to say what it was wrong what I said and how she was shocked and offended, they brought in Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife Camille to comment. To call the media a circus is to give them too much credit.

When you were writing those Tweets, what was the thinking? That it was a very raw nerve?
I don't know. There's a part of me that gets very annoyed when people try to act more upset or holier than they really are. It's like how people will wear ribbons on their lapels about certain diseases or events. I like when I can offend people like that, but the other part that people all seem to forget is that during any tragedy or disaster, there are always jokes that come out about it. If the people who wrote about it looked around the office they were working in, they'd find people e-mailing each other the latest bad taste jokes.

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