The comedian landed in hot water after penning a series of tweets seemingly making fun/light of the 2011 Japanese tsunami which killed more than 15,000 people.
The comic tweeted a dozen "jokes" about the tragedy including one saying, "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."
Not everyone found the humour in the tweets including insurance giant Aflac, which fired Gottfried, who was the voice behind the Aflac duck. A company spokesperson released a statement saying, "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humour and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac."
The comedian, who had also been the voice of Iago in Disney's "Aladdin", later pulled down the tweets and issued an apology saying, "I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families."
Before the comedian/actress became the household name she is today, she sparked controversy with remarks she made at a Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen.
While at the podium, Schumer referenced late "Jackass" cast member Ryan Dunn's 2011 death in a fiery car crash while addressing fellow cast member Steve-O who was also on the dais saying, "I truly am, no joke, sorry for the loss of your friend, Ryan Dunn. I know you must have been thinking, 'it could have been me' and I know we were all thinking, 'why wasn't it?'"
Some viewers understood the joke was more of a shot at Steve-O than at Ryan Dunn, but others were outraged she'd use someone's death in a joke. Schumer herself refused to apologize, arguing it was a roast where everyone was being mean to each other.
Although it took him nearly six months to respond, when he did, Steve-O came out swinging, telling a radio show, "I forgive Comedy Central for letting that no-name slut on the show in the first place. I have zero respect for that slut, but I'm not mad at her for telling a joke. Tell all the jokes you want, it's a roast, but don't be a two-faced slut." Ooookay. Schumer responded saying, "I absolutely, from the bottom of my heart, continue to not give a sh*t about this. I wish him the best luck in his comedy career.”
When the comedian hosted the Academy Awards in February of 2016, the Oscars were under intense scrutiny for the lack of diversity in their nominees, prompting the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
While everyone was excited to see how the funnyman would address the issue, one of Rock's bits caused its own controversy.
After he introduced the accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, three Asian children with briefcases in hand took the stage who he announced were name Ming Zu. Bao Ling, and David Moskowitz, perpetuating the stereotype that all Asians are studious and excel at math. Sensing the joke wouldn't go over well, Rock followed up the bit by saying, "if anybody's upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids," perpetuating another stereotype that all Asians are good with technology and electronics.
Not everyone was laughing, including Oscar-winning director Ang Lee and actor George Takei who added their names to a letter by a group of Academy members of Asian decent protesting the joke, calling it "tone deaf."
The Academy itself later issued an apology, saying "the Academy appreciates the concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive," and went on to pledge, "We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future shows be more culturally sensitive."
Kathy's no-holds-barred brand of comedy is why so many fans love the comedian, but her comments during an acceptance speech at a 2007 Emmys ceremony didn't land well with everyone.
While accepting a statue at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for best reality program for her show, "My Life on the D-List" the fiery redhead remarked, "a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus." She then held up her statue and exclaimed, "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now."
Not everyone was so accepting of her speech, with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights calling the comments "obscene" and "blasphemous." When the ceremony later aired on television, an edited version of her speech went to air with a spokesperson for the television academy saying, "Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks will not be a part of the telecast."
Griffin herself later stepped into the fray asking, "Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humour?"
Ricky Gervais is one of the entertainment industry's most outspoken and unapologetic comedians, so it's difficult to pick just one instance where people were offended by his words - so let's go with the most recent one, shall we?
An Irish couple recently took to social media to express their outrage after the comic allegedly made a dead baby joke during a tour stop in Belfast last month. The couple was particularly sensitive, having recently lost a child due to stillbirth, later telling an Irish news outlet, "I know people take things differently and I know our emotions are raw, but why joke about a baby being dead? It's just wrong."
In true Ricky Gervais-style the comic took to Twitter to defend the joke posting, "I see offence as the collateral damage of free speech. I hate the thought of a person's ideas being modified or even hushed because someone somewhere might not like to hear them. Outside actually breaking the law or or causing someone physical harm 'hurting someone's feelings' is is almost impossible to objectively quantify.'"
As if his epic Miss Universe mix-up wasn't enough, Steve Harvey put himself back in the line of fire in January 2017 with comments he made on his daily talk show.
The comedian was mocking a 2002 book entitled How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men. The host mocked the book, joking that neither white women nor black women would be interested in Asian men.
The comments failed to illicit laughs and even prompted Asian-American author and restaurateur Eddie Huang to write an op-ed for The New York Times titled, Hey Steve Harvey, Who Says I Might Not Steal Your Girl?. "Fresh Off The Boat" actress Constance Wu also clapped back at Harvey on Twitter saying, "The narrow limits of your small-brained perception of human love are gross and untrue. It's not even funny. You just sound dumb."
The comedian later issued an apology saying, "I offer my humblest apology for offending anyone, particularly those in the Asian community... It was not not my intention and the humour was not meant with any malice or disrespect whatsoever."
Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn isn't a comedian and isn't exactly known for his sense of humour and a remark at the 2015 Academy Awards did little to change that.
Whilst presenting "Birdman" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu with his trophy for Best Picture, Penn went off script, quipping, "Who gave this son of a b**ch his Green Card?" Meanwhile, the filmmaker apparently wasn't offended (he and Sean are friends and had previously worked together the film "21 Grams").
Not everyone else took the comment in jest. Mario Lopez took to Twitter saying, "Great job, Sean Penn. Ruining a fantastic moment with a Green Card joke."
Penn himself was unrepentant, later telling the Associated Press, "I have absolutely no apologies." The actor went on to say, "In fact, I have a big 'f**k you' for anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony when you have a country that is so xenophobic."
No comedian loves a heckler and sometimes there's nothing more entertaining than watching a standup comic take one down a notch, but when Daniel Tosh took on a heckler at The Laugh Factory in 2012, it didn't quite illicit the response he was hoping for. The Comedy Central host allegedly clapped back to a female heckler saying, "wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Like right now?" While the owner of The Laugh Factory came out in support of the comedian saying the incident didn't go down as reported, Daniel Tosh eventually issued an apology of sorts on Twitter saying, "All the out of context misquotes aside, I'd like to sincerely apologize," he wrote. Adding, "The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still makes jokes about them."
Tracy Morgan's trademark buffoonery has made him a fan fave on shows like "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock", but comments he made during a standup set in Nashville in 2011 were anything but funny. The comic went off on an anti-gay tirade allegedly saying being gay was a choice and even suggesting he'd stab his son if he came out as gay. An outraged fan posted Morgan's comments to Facebook which then went viral. The venue, Nashville's legendary Ryman Auditorium later released a statement saying, "The Ryman Auditorium regrets that people were offended by statements made by Tracy Morgan during his June 3 appearance. The Ryman does not control the content presented by people appearing on its stage, nor does it endorse any of the views of, or statements made by, such persons.” The comic himself later issued a statement saying, "I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”
The late Joan Rivers never did mince words, which was part of her charm, but some say the comedian went too far when, in 2014, she was asked by a photographer if she thought the United States would ever see a gay president. "We have it already with Obama," she quipped and went on to say, "You know, Michelle is a trans," suggesting the First Lady was transgender.
A rep for the funny woman later tried to explain the joke to CNN saying, "I think it's a compliment. She's so attractive, tall, with a beautiful body, great face," adding, "the most gorgeous women are transgender. Stop it already."
The First Family apparently didn't hold a grudge because Joan's daughter Melissa later revealed that after her mother passed away later that year, she received a hand-written note of condolence from Barack Obama.