I watched on television a person who was so grateful for being given food that he called the person who gave that person food a god. He meant this to mean "a very nice person". I laughed after watching the outburst of joy. Is what was done regarded as shirk?
I belive yes. because Allah is the almighty he is the one who give us everything. If we want to praiss someone we should do that in a Limit as mentioned in this hadees
That is a clear shirk akbar, no doubt! Saying to someone "you are a God" contradicts kalimah - La ilahe illAllah.
Dalil (prove) is:
فَقَالَ أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْأَعْلَىٰ
Then he (Pharaoh) said: I am your lord, the most high. [79:24]
Also from surah Al-Baqara, ayah 258:
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِي حَاجَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي رَبِّهِ أَنْ آتَاهُ اللَّـهُ الْمُلْكَ إِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّيَ الَّذِي يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا أُحْيِي وَأُمِيتُ ۖ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Have you not considered him (Namrud) who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibrahim said: My Lord is He who gives life and causes to die, he said: I give life and cause death. Ibrahim said: So surely Allah causes the sun to rise from the east, then make it rise from the west; thus he who disbelieved was confounded; and Allah does not guide aright the unjust people.
He said kalimah of shirk, but surely he knew that he cannot cause the sun to rise from east.
Abul-‘Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah said, “‘La ilaha illallah’ affirms that He is singled out in ilahiyyah (godhood), and ilahiyyah encom-passes the excellence of His knowledge, His power, His mercy, and His wisdom. It includes the affirmation of His benevolence towards His slaves. This is because the ilah (god) is the maluh, and the maluh is the one who is deserving of being worshiped, and the fact that He is deserving of worship is due to what He possesses of attributes which necessitate that He be the one who is loved utmost and submitted to fully” (Taysir al-‘Aziz al-Hamid).
Pay attention of the word of Abul-‘Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah: فَإِنَّ " الْإِلَهَ " هُوَ الْمَأْلُوهُ ، وَالْمَأْلُوهُ هُوَ الَّذِي يَسْتَحِقُّ أَنْ يُعْبَدَ
This is because the ilah (god) is the maluh, and the maluh is the one who is deserving of being worshiped...
وَإِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ
And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [2:163]