Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Maybe it was the pretzels making him thirsty?

Just in time for the release of the DVD box set of the 7th season of Seinfeld, Michael Richards (who played Cosmo Kramer) used racist taunts at the crowd during his stand-up comedy routine at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood.

He was being heckled during his routine and clearly decided to commit career suicide by yelling back at the hecklers (who were black) "Fifty years ago, we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork in your ass", he went on using the N-word over and over and then said, "that's what happens when you interrupt the white man". People were literally walking out as Richards went on and on.

Even worse for Richards, there is video of this incident!!!

The Seinfeld camp reacted quickly as this footage was all over the internet. Seinfeld star Jerry Seinfeld first released a statement about the incident, saying, "I am sick over this. I'm sure Michael is also sick over this horrible, horrible mistake. It is so extremely offensive. I feel terrible for all the people who have been hurt."

Then on Monday night, Seinfeld was on The Late Show with David Letterman in order to try and protect the Seinfeld show legacy. The first segment of the interview was them talking to Richards from LA.

It was one of the most bizarre moments I have ever witnessed on television as Richards offered up a rambling, unpolished apology that may actually make things worse for him. First of all, he couldn't decide whether the correct term was black, african american or (my personal fave) afro-americans. Secondly, you knew the excuse had to be forthcoming. Was it going to be drugs, alcohol or perhaps even the twinkie defense. No, it was anger management. He has this "rage within him" that caused him to go off like that.

What helps make that segment even more bizarre is that the majority of the Letterman audience clearly was unaware of the scandal and thought it was a comedic bit by Richards with the help of Seinfeld and Letterman. They were actually laughing as Richards was struggling to apologize until Seinfeld finally blurted out for them to stop laughing.

It will be interesting to see how this whole incident effect television history when it comes to the show Seinfeld. In some ways, it is a really bizarre twist to what many consider as one of the greatest sitcoms in the history of television.

My top 5 non-regular Seinfeld characters.
1. Newman
2. Jackie Chiles
3. Lt. Bookman
4. Shaky the Mohel
5. J. Peterman



Blogger JMacK said...

Ya, makes you wonder about that episode where he lies on the tanning bed before going to meet his black girlfriends parents as he doesn't want to look pale.

3:05 PM  

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