Kobe Bryant: Ari Shaffir, Comic Who Mocked NBA Icon's Death, References Death Threats, Calls Critics 'Not Really Intelligent People'

Ari Shaffir has once again addressed the comments he made about Kobe Bryant not long after his death on Jan. 26. On an episode of his podcast, Ari Shaffir's Skeptic Tank, that was posted Feb. 6, the comedian offered up his thoughts on the legions of people who criticized him in the wake of his remarks. While Shaffir had previously offered up an apology via Instagram, his tone took a bit of a turn on his podcast.

"I'm gonna be lookin' for a f—ing studio these next two weeks," Shaffir said at the end of the episode. "I would say reach out to me, but too many death threats to random people I worked with eight years ago comin' at my f—ing Instagram and Twitter. I'm used to my death threats. I don't care about 'em. The other people, it's just like, aw, s—, they're not involved. Some random people who have some association with me on a website from six years ago are getting threatened."

Shaffir then asked his fans to promote the episode, titled "Aloha Oe Vey." It's also when he took aim squarely at his critics.

"I can't really promote this on Twitter," Shaffir continued. "I had to make it private, and Instagram, there's no comments, tweet this out for me if you don't mind. You'll take some abuse, but those aren't really intelligent people, anyway."

Shaffir's comments came in a video he tweeted hours after Bryant and eight others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 — including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

"Kobe Bryant died 23 years too late today," the video of Shaffir's joke on Bryant 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 blowback was immediate, and just days later the New York Comedy Club had to cancel a number of shows due to an onslaught of death threats. Shaffir's initial apology came two days later, where he wrote that "every time a celebrity dies I post some horrible sh— about them," adding that he does it "to destroy gods."

Just this week it was also announced that Shaffir's upcoming comedy special was also canceled, which was going to be taped for a Netflix special. The comic did the show anyway, though it was under a fake name.