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Audience Laughs at "Kramer," Seinfeld Pissed

11/21/2006 12:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

In one of the most awkward moments in the history of late night television, a shamed Michael Richards appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to apologize for his racist, hate-fueled rant. It wasn't meant to be funny, but the audience laughed anyway.

Richards agreed to appear on the show, even after Letterman took a comedic jab at "the guy who played Kramer" on the Top Ten list, at the request of his good friend and former co-star Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry was there to promote "Seinfeld" Season 7 on DVD.

As Richards began explaining the "nasty things" said about "Afro-Americans," the audience couldn't help but chuckle. Seinfeld, immediately scolded the crowd, saying "stop laughing, it ain't funny." But the crowd couldn't help themselves.

The confused fans continued to chuckle, and Richards seemingly blamed Letterman for the awkwardness. "I've already heard you make some jokes about it and that's OK, but I'm really busted up about it."

Richards admitted that he may have acted without thinking. "I'm hearing your audience laugh ... and I'm not even sure that this is where I should be addressing the situation."

428 COMMENTS

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46.

Critic    

WF -
Let me get this straight - the "rude" Letterman audience owes Richards a "huge apology"????
After reading your posting I am exsaspirated and exshausted!

2840 days ago
47.

Tricia Anderson, RN    

Richards was finally funny! I am American-black, and I know if a black man
used the n-word, that brother would get on BET and they give the dude
the BET comedy award of the year! A white boy says it, they want to ream him
a new one? That Doss, the heckler, wants it BOTH ways, he insulted Richards,
where was HIS apology? DOUBLE STANDARD, BABY! Kramer was NEVER
funny until now---Richards has NOTHING to be sorry for! I also enjoy
"All this & rabbit stew" and "Song of the South"...and I am as black as
the ace of spades, I am a black woman, proud, too, and HONEST about it!
Clap and cheer for the black woman, world! Our soldiers are dying in Iraq
so stupid 'brothers' can say stupid things, or stupid white men for that
matter. Richards, right on!

2840 days ago
48.

ThugGolfer    

I think being a racist is the least of this guy's problems. He's clearly not a "balanced" individual. I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out in coming weeks that he is undergoing or has undergone treatment for mental illness and instablility. It's too easy to say he's a bigot and dismiss the incident as a "racist rant". I think the man is really sick.

2840 days ago
49.

ROCCO    

see keep playing that card because that is your safe haven....... it was a racist moment but it was an act of adrenaline not an act of hate....... keep playing the card thats why we'll never get along......

2840 days ago
50.

Robert Humhries    

Some of you just don't get it. The "cracker" comment was made to
Richard well after he started his tirade....Richard isobviously racist....
if he isn't, what is racist?...His comments weren't a "mistake? " he said what he felt...."50 yrs. ago you would be hanging upside down with a ....up your ass??..All it took to get him going was "you're not funny?" That
word has a history and power unlike any other...he went for the jugular
in response to a very mild heckler....he showed his true feelings

2840 days ago
51.

L    

First of all the person by the name of LYNN that posted the comment "GET OVER IT" is an idiot that can't spell or form a complete sentence. Second of all what he said was inexcusable. The things that he said and the way that he said them were deeply rooted in hatred towards blacks. It really is obvious that he meant every word that he said. No one deserves to be degraded and put down like that in front of a room full of people. I'm referring of course to the one person in the audience that all of his racist comments were directed toward.

I was a big fan of the Seinfeld sitcom and "Cosmo Kramer" was my favorite character. After seeing the way he acted on stage and the extremely racist comments he made I can't look at the show the same way. I don't know how anyone can watch that show, see Kramer and not think about how the person you are seeing on TV is a racist. I know this will hurt the entire Seinfeld show as a whole. I hope that Jerry Seinfeld is pissed off because of the racist comments that Michael Richards made are seriously going to hurt the sales of the Seinfeld DVD that is coming out this week.

2840 days ago
52.

Rick James    

You're surprised to hear those kinds of words spoken in that kind of tone?
You wonder why black males are so angry all the time?
Wanna know what it's like to walk in a store and have someone follow you around even wearing a suite and tie? How about coming home from work and being stopped on the street by police and have to show ID? It's always there. I see it, I smell it, I hear it, I know it, and it will never go away. While my son fights and my die in a war that he did not start, to defend someone else's liberties, who will fight for mine?
Try being black in America.

2840 days ago
53.

Ms. Black Lady    

Americans are an overall dumb bunch of folks! You will allow any flighty superficial thing to take your focus off the realities at hand. Which one of us, black, white, hispanic or otherwise, hasn't expressed bigoted views against another race? All of you who say you would never do so are lying primarily to yourselves! Micheal Richards made a horrible, gruesome mistake--he lost his self control and publicly expressed emotions that most people keep to themselves. He has apologized, and I am a black woman who choses to accept his apology. We each have the option of perpetuating the anger and biterness that his comments can promote, or we can opt to extend the forgiveness he has asked for and move on. I choose to forgive and move on! Hey you Americans--there's no general fear of God, parents are failing to raise their children to take any responsibility, materialism has overtaken core values, an arrogant halfwit is running the country, young people are dying at war, AIDS is rampant, our deficit is in the trillions, terrorism is at our doorsteps--IT DOESN'T MATTER A HILL OF BEANS WHAT MICHAEL RICHARDS SAID THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY!!

2840 days ago
54.

Not Specified    

I don't know what it's like to be a Celebritiy but I could image it's like selling your private life away for money, and he has plenty to regret because Richard's career has had it. The world is becoming fed up with dealing with people and there unforsaken ways. I personally am sadden that the person in the audience called Richard a Craker in response to his awlful behavior that only shows how they are both from a low level. It seems no one wants to be equal and everyone wants to be superior to the other. I hope blindly for equality. For everyone out there I think you should, "look at who you hang out with, the places you go, and what you do for others, and think how you are able to judge those things, because those things define you and make you who you are."

2840 days ago
55.

caprice    

Wow!!!! It's great that Michael has so many followers. Nice to know that I live around so many aXX holes and racist!.

2840 days ago
56.

Cory    

Apologizing is not going to take away what he said. Kramer needs some serious help to freak out like that in front of all those people. What an idiot! And the guy that told him all he did was Seinfeld, is right. People know him by Kramer.

2840 days ago
57.

Donald    

Isn't Kramer Jewish? He should know better.

2840 days ago
58.

Al    

This is a sad testimony to the continued state of American culture. I also have a sneaking suspicion that a lot more white people feel this way than let on.

2840 days ago
59.

Clement Barker    

There will be those who will say that the black person in the audience called Richards a cracker, but remember that he only did so in retort. It's too bad though, that while we are trying to show Muslims and others all over the world what a wonderful and tolerant people white America is, how quickly that facade breaks down in face of a little stress and the true racist hypocrite emerges.

2840 days ago
60.

Teleka Patrick    

I think that it was unfair for Richards to have been called a "cracker". However, let's note that the "cracker" slur came after he made fun of lynching and putting forks up African-American people's behinds. Secondly, the term "nigger" is a historical term which immediately conjures up images of slavery and years of discrimination and oppression. Not to lessen the slight, but the term "cracker" pales in comparison. Richards used the term "nigger" with abandon, compared to the three or so uses of "cracker", which as aforementioned, was done defensively. I also find it terribly disgusting that the audience laughed. It is very sad that people find it better to allow African-American people to be humiliated rather than to have a racist person be humiliated. Anyone who cannot see the difference between Richards attack and the comparatively mild response of the African-Americans must be either blind, or must not have watched the video. Or, he or she may simply be biased. I think the African-Americans should be commended for walking away in the face of the insults. It is very telling that Richards continued to rant and rave even after they left. Someone else had to come to the stage in order for him to stop and step down. To use the tea bag analogy, a person's essence is revealed when he or she is put in hot water. I think Richards has given us conclusive proof of who he really is.

2840 days ago
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