Kobe Bryant: Ari Shaffir Returns to His Sports Podcast, But Doesn't Acknowledge Video Mocking Lakers Legend's Death

Ari Shaffir recently came under fire for mocking the death of Kobe Bryant in a video, and now the comedian has returned to his sports podcast for the first time since getting backlash for his jokes, but he did not acknowledge the controversy. Shaffir hosts the Punch Drunk Sports! video podcast in YouTube, but for his first episode back after publicly joking about Bryant's death, he did so via Skype, while his guests sat together in a studio.

The day that Bryant's death was reported, Shaffir took to Instagram to joke about it, saying, "Kobe Bryant died 23 years too late today," later adding how 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!" he continued.

After catching heat for his comments, Shaffir was dropped by his management agency, which led to him issuing an apology, as well as an explanation for his his video.

"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."

Notably, as Shaffir stated, it's long been documented that this is a regular comedy bit of his, to ridicule the deaths of celebrities, be they actors, sports figures, politicians, or other comedians.

Many of his fellow comedians and podcasters have since commented on Shaffir's situation, with Joe Rogan: "He needed to know that there are consequences for just saying ridiculous s— that you're not supposed to say when people die."

"It was so stupid, but it's also what you said earlier, that you gotta keep ramping it up," Rogan also 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."


Artie Lange also weighed in on Shaffir's joke. "I've had my moments on Twitter and I've said some stuff out load that has been hard to defend." Lange said. "That was rough. Kobe Bryant had some issues, he was acquitted, but his beautiful daughter was killed and seven other people... that was bad and it was so soon."

Finally, Lange said that he has "no problem with Ari, but that was a wrong move."