This guy's career is toast

And rightly so.

"I'm not a racist. That's what's so insane about this," Richards said, his tone becoming angry and frustrated as he defended himself.

He's got to be kidding, right? How can he expect anyone to believe this after spewing the kind of venom he did?

At one point, however, Richards grew flustered and expressed second thoughts about appearing on the program when his use of the term "Afro-American" caused some audience members to laugh.

"I'm hearing your audience laugh and I'm not even sure that this is where I should be addressing the situation," he said.

Don't waste your breath apologizing pal, you're finished. Whatever comedy career you had left is over and done now.

What an idiot. And a hateful one at that.


Paul Hue said...

My take: Michael Richards lacks experiance as a standup commedian, but
because of his fame he gets gigs that far exceed his abilities. It
appears that he got heckled because he is a very poor standup, certainly
due to lack of practice and preparations, which means lack of respect
for the artistic form and for the audience. Lack of practiced experiance
caused the heckling, and left him unable to handle it in an entertaining
manner. He went off on an unrestrained improvisation, which at the time
to him must have seemed "edgy" and "courageous", but instead fell flat.

I do not believe that Kramer is a racist, and the mostly white audience
proved yet again that white America in general no longer tolerates
racism by white folks: they walked out on him.

I see this a lot with beginning commedians: they think that because they
are funny that they can just get up on a stage and "be funny". It is
like a guy who is very good playing basketball at the park, but wants to
jump into a serious game with a real team, without practice. Or maybe a
good sax player who fiddles around at home, then jumps into a serious
jam session at a jazz club, without sufficient practice. Kramer gets
comedy gigs that exceed his ability, due to his fame. Left to his own
abilities, he would discover at much smaller gigs that his
standup-without-practice doesn't work, and he would learn how to handle
hecklers (the first rule of which is: perform a good standup routine).
He would only get major gigs if he developed sufficient standup skills,
which he has not.

He is a trained actor of a certain sort, and has very courageous faith
in his instincts and raw inspiration. Add to this super fame and riches,
which involves dozens to millions of people every day praising every
move you make, effectively rendering your every action the standard of
acceptability. What's funny? Whatever that Kramer guy says!

Normally something like this would get pounded down in an improv class,
or at a small standup gig. I think he was trying to be funny, and was
trying to assume some white southern racist charactor from bygone days.
He's an artist, and it takes courage to attempt that. But I don't think
you'll find many people who find this funny.

Nadir said...

Richards let the heckler get the best of him and he lost his sense of humor. Hopefully he has some talent as a comedy writer because it is likely that his public career is over.

At least Mel Gibson is rich enough and popular enough to bounce back from the drubbing his reputation has taken. Richards may not have that luxury.

See also:

Nadir said...

Actually, Paul, as Letterman points out, Richards has done standup for a long time. For whatever reason he let the heckler get the best of him and instead of turning the joke back on the heckler, he turned himself into the joke... a very bad, racist one. You're right about one thing though - this was an amateur mistake.

Paul Hue said...

If Richards has done standup extensively, what I saw was very poor even prior to the heckling. I am not certain that Richards is racist, as opposed to simply very daring and totally disconnected from normal society. I found it very unfunny. Preventing and handling hecklers is a major challenge, and he showed no ability to do either. Preventing hecklers comes from commanding the room and filling it with engaging entertainment; handling hecklers involves turning their input into act. Some comedians attack and humiliate hecklers, and even people who are not heckling, but who dare shout up supportive words; I highly disfavor that approach.

Paul Hue said...

I'm learning some new facts about what Richards said after the show off-camera, and I can't say anything in his defense. I'm watching Seinfield now, and this is interfering with my enjoyment.

Paul Hue said...


Here's a claim that Richard, a Jew, did something similar a few months ago in a standup, but assumed a virulent anti-semitic persona. Interesting that all four Seinfield actors, and the behind-the-scenes genius Larry David, are all Jews, in a nation that's about 1% Jewish. NYC, where Seinfeld was set, is 25% Jewish.

Paul Hue said...

NYC is also 25% blacks, but blacks never got any juicy roles on Seinfeld. The Elaine and George charactors were goys, but the actors are chosen people. Julia Dreyfus is an heir to the Dreyfus investment fortune, I believe.