We’re still trying to wade through the news that the Aflac duck’s unmistakable quack, provided so vehemently by whiny comedian Gilbert Gottfried, is about to be upstaged by a parrot in an upcoming commercial. Some TV viewers might be relieved to hear the Aflac duck silenced, but we can think of many other ad characters that deserve a silencer even more: like the Arby’s Oven Mitt, who’s been chattering on about Carbys lately, and the bouncing, singing, smiley face from Wal-Mart. (Though, thankfully, The Kaplan Thaler Group, creator of the duck, has already put a sock in its Herbal Essences "organic experience" yes-girls.) We always felt the duck was a guilty pleasure. (Come on, the Aflac duck quacking his way through a roller coaster ride. Laugh.)
And the way he’s going is so ignominious. The new spot has voiceover talent Gottfried as a pet owner who tries to return—yes, return!—his duck because he’s defective. “He just says the same thing over and over,” Gottfried complains. The duck—obviously insulted—stays mute.
Well, at least his career isn’t entirely shot. The duck’s image has been incorporated into the insurance company’s logo, the commercials are available online, even in Japanese, and, of course, he’ll be making his big-screen debut, in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which hits theaters Dec. 17.
Fret not. This duck has a lot of quacks left.