It took two weeks but Joe Rogan finally got around to responding on Ari Shaffir, who has been under fire ever since making jokes about Kobe Bryant’s death.
Many feel that Rogan — a friend and colleague of Shaffir’s — should’ve cut him loose.
A few days ago, Rogan finally addressed the controversy with his podcast guest Jim Norton where they discussed the style of comedy Shaffir was evidently going for, and how it went horribly wrong.
“He needed to know that there are consequences for just saying ridiculous s— that you’re not supposed to say when people die,” Rogan said.
Shaffir had become known for making jokes on celebrities shortly after they pass away, which is basically a meta-commentary on the concept of “too soon” jokes. This time around, he picked the wrong figure to come after.
“It was so stupid, but it’s also what you said earlier, that you gotta keep ramping it up,” Rogan said. “When you do outrageous things to get people to be like ‘Oh, look at Jimmy, he’s crazy,’ you get caught in a trap and you keep doing it more and more outrageous.”
Sharrif said this about Kobe:
“Kobe Bryant died 23 years too late today,” his video began. “He got away with rape because all the Hollywood liberals who attack comedy enjoy rooting for the Lakers more than they dislike rape. Big ups to the hero who forgot to gas up his chopper. I hate the Lakers. What a great day!”
The backlash was swift as he was dropped by his management company and a New York Comedy club was forced to cancel some shows due to threats reportedly related to Shaffir’s joke.
“Every time a beloved celebrity dies I post some horrible s— about them,” he wrote in the apology post. “I’ve been doing it for years now. I like destroying gods. And right when a famous person dies they’re at their most worshipped. So as a response to all the outpouring of sympathy on social media, I post something vile. it’s just a joke. I don’t really hate any of the people.”
He has since disabled commenting on his Instagram posts.