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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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76.

Mary    

Richards probably won't get much work following his fit . I really don't believe Seinfeld or anyone else wants to be associated with him. He probably had to convince Seinfeld to allow him the apology spot on Letterman. Richards won't run out of money as long as Seinfeld is in syndication. I suggest he invest in a good shrink. HE WAS NOT TELLING RACIST JOKES. HE WAS IN A RAGE!
He is a dangerous racist. DANGEROUS!

2894 days ago
77.

Kramer    

Richard is too whacked out to even communicate his apology clearly. I think Richard actually is a real life Kramer which is why it was such a natural part for him.
What he needed to say was that the heckler pissed him off to such an extreme that he felt an overwhelming need to get revenge on that person for ruining his already bombing act. The racial slur, although a very bad choice, seemed the best way at the time to really get back at the guy. If it were a woman he could have called her a slut, etc. etc. He may or may not be a true racist, but it's completely natural to make the most hurtful comments to someone you want revenge on. I know there have been times in the past I have called my wife some very regrettable names just to hurt her. People expect more professionalism because he was a star on Seinfeld, but it was his inexperience at standup and probably the self realization that he really isn't funny in that medium that set him off his rocker. I'm not defending him, he was wrong for doing it, but his apology was truly pathetic, and not well thought out.

2894 days ago
78.

cj    

I actually commend Mr. Richards for having the guts to show his true colors. At least we now know how he feels about black people. I don't blame him for saying what he said. We know how white people feel toward us, they just don't have the guts like Michael did to stand in front of an audience to shout out their true feelings. If we black people want these derogotory words to stop, then we need start making changes withing our community. We need to stop calling each other nigger. I can't understand why it is okay for us to call each other nigger but then when a white person says it we throw the race card. We need to stop tripping and focus on the more serious stuff. Let's be real America.

2894 days ago
79.

Michael X. Maelstrom    

Al, I'm white, and I understand. As much as is possible for a White. Don't be so sure all white people don't understand or don't care.

I think at this point in time about 40-50% of your country knows on some level how you feel.

The integrated part combined with the educated part.

Not personally of course, because it's very difficult to walk in another man's shoes, but they empathize and understand as much as is possible or as much as we are each personally capable of. Which for human beings, is quite a bit more than we're given credit for (at least in media).

I think the difference is only this: People of different races that grew up with eachother or who have friends from other races, KNOW 1st hand that we're ALL _just people_ with the same sorts of plans, dreams and hopes. Not identical of course, but far more alike than we are different.

People that _don't_ have friends from other races, they're usually the ones that don't know, so they tend to see things in widesweeping stereotypes., or whatever they see on TV (or the web, or movies, et cetera) to form their opinion.

It takes time, but people can't stay segregated from eachother (on a personal level) forever, there's a finite amount of space in the U.S and the population is growing so the undeniable math says that more and more integration is going to happen.

The more integration we have, the more personally-educated we'll finally be on how dumbass it is to attack someone because of something as superficial as their skin color or country or continent of ancestral origin.

For Michael Richards, the man was in that comedy free-association headspace where inhibitors are turned somewhere between down and off, and he was attacked by someone in the audience, he reacted with the first thing that came to mind with his inhibitors off, and fired a wad of dumbass crap based on the first thing he saw (the guy attacking him's skin color).

Doesn't make him a racist, makes him an idiot maybe for not knowing better and not having more control when he's in front of an audience.

But I don't like double-standards.

The guy may be famous as Kramer, but that doesn't make him any better than any of us, most of us when pissed off say stupid crap. and most of us (at least the better people amongst us imo) feel bad about it after it spews out.

Our friends forgive us, and we all forgive OURSELVES, so I think we should forgive him too.

Particularly since he didn't try to hide (unlike some other people who have made public idiots of themselves lately) he straight out apologized, made no excuses (and I personally think he has more of an excuse than most people do, because of his style of comedy where his inhibitors are turned down, it doesn't justify it, but it does explain part of the recipe for disaster) and point is, he asked to be forgiven.

I see no evidence of a history of racism from him, so based on the evidence in front of us (conspiracy theories aside) I think he's as sincere as you or I would be after we'd fragged up and deserves to be forgiven.

Just as we forgive our friends, just as our friends forgive us, and just as we forgive OURSELVES when we get out of control and say stupid things that we regret.

regards,
michael x maelstrom.

2894 days ago
80.

Vikki Sanders    

The difference here is that, unlike comedians who make fun of all the races in their routines, Richards actually was talking to someone(s) in the audience in particular and *issed off to boot! I think that is when your true colors come out, I definately think the man has some underlying prejudices going on! I feel sorry for the black people who thought he was a friend of theirs! I bet they won't be talking to him any time soon! As for the "apology" don't bother!

2894 days ago
81.

Mia    

FYI..I am glad that he had enough courage to apologize but he really has issues. He was stumbling over his words while making the public apology, uncertain of what to say. But like someone stated earlier, why apologize for stating what he really felt because that was really what he felt which is sad and disgusting that in 2006 we are still dealing with racism. And FYI while calling someone a "cracker" is definitely a racist term, it is no way in close to comparison to call someone a nigger. Blacks were lynched and "forks stuck up their a**" while being called the "N" word. Whlie they both are wrong, the N word has a much more powerful and hurtful effect. Its just really sad that racism has always been an issue for the 26 years that I have been on this planet, I honestly feel like its something that will still be here 26 years from now..When are we going to get over it people?

2894 days ago
82.

black brit    

Cracker... nigger... not the same. When was a cracker ever hung upside down (or by the neck, for that matter) by a group of niggers and had a fork stuck up his ass for good measure.

And this wasn't said as a joke either. It was an impulstive reaction to a heckler. Hecking has nothing to do with an audience having manners - heckling is a professional hazard for comedians. Any good comedian makes an art of countering hecklers...

2894 days ago
83.

Tina    

It amazes me how America can just act like a forced apology should do .The fact is that this man said a far worse thing then the imfamous N word he said 50 years ago we would have hung you upside down and stuck a fork in your ass refering to the lynching of many Blacks in the south back in the day. he also said that is what he gets for interrupting a white man. I am sorry that is not just being frustrated that Rascist and that can come out of you if it wasnt in you in the first place. Just like Mel Gibson he has deep seeded issues with race just because they are a celeb in hollywood it doesnt make them tolerant of all people. He is a racist plan and simple not all bigots walk around in white hoods.

2894 days ago
84.

Cliff Johnson    

To the comments number 19, 23, and any others who feel that this is about white and black, because its not. Racism lives, only
in the minds of people who wants it there. 911 was real, and at that one time in history, all americans stood together. and for one brief moment I saw people, not white people, not black people, just people helping people. To all of the people in the United States, and to all of the people of this world. Let 911, be the day that all racism ends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

2894 days ago
85.

Al    

I believe in forgiveness and I believe that everyone can change, but Richards outburst revealed what was apparently not too deeply rooted in himself. The reaction of most of the comments I've read concerning Richards tirade tells me that racism is very much alive and active even approaching 2007. To say publically that "we had you tied up witha fork up your a__ ", and to scream out the n word repeatedly and to still have some sit there and laugh at it, paints a picture that I see many still refuse to see. America is just as racist as it was 40 years ago it's just hiding behind political correctness.

2894 days ago
86.

Steve    

It makes me sick to see all the ignorant comments on this board saying how Richards actions were ok, and to see all the pure racist comments on this board as well. Do you people have an education, a real job? or is your situation in life that worthless that you have to take your anger out on another people... This is why the Founding Fathers wanted a voting system where only the elite could vote for a President because they felt the masses were too dumb or uneducated to vote for such an important position... and they were right.

2894 days ago
87.

Vikki Sanders    

Lets face it, the guy isn't much of a stand up and he couldn't handle "bombing" infront of an audience.It's alot different when you have a talented writer feeding you all your dialog! Is his ego really that big that he thought the success of Seinfeld was mainly due to his acting? Get real ! He proved already that he couldn't make it on his own, some "curse!" that's just an excuse thay all used instead of admitting that seperately, thay just aren't very good, the guy can only play "Kramer" he has no other charecters in him, maybe he wasn't really acting when he took on his Seinfeld role to begin with! He is a DORK! He's a racist alright, he's hung himself for sure! Happy Swinging Richards!

2894 days ago
88.

Larry    

TO JAN,

I DON'T HAVE TO GET OVER ANYTHING MA'AM. I KNOW THE HISTORY. TRY READING ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE SOMEDAY. A LOT OF WHITE PEOPLE JUST DON'T KNOW. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST YOU DAY AFTER DAY. YOU DON'T GET RACIALLY PROFILED. YOU DONT KNOW BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T LIVED IT. YOU HAVE NOT HAD YOUR GRANDMOTHER OR GRANDFATHER TELL YOU STORIES OF HOW THEIR FRIENDS OR OTHER RELATIVES WERE LYNCHED OR KILLED IN OTHER WAYS BY COWARDLY WHITE PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR COLOR. YOUR ANCESTORS WHERE NOT SLAVES. I BET YOU COULD TELL ME EXACTLY WERE YOUR ANCESTORS COME FROM RIGHT?? MOST OF CAN'T. FOR YOU TO SAY GET OVER YOURSELF IS IGNORANT. WE ARE TRYING TO GET OVER YOU PEOPLE. BLACKS AND OTHER MINORITIES EXERCISE EXTREME PATIENCE WHEN IT COMES TO YOU ALL, WE COULD EASILY HATE ALL OF YOU. WE DON'T THOUGH. UNLIKE YOU FOLKS, WE ARE TAUGHT TO BE FORGIVING EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW MOST OF YOU ARE STILL RACIST AS HELL. YOU HAVE HIJACKED EVERYTHING RIGHT DOWN TO IMAGE OF JESUS. YOUR WHOLE EXISTANCE ON THIS PLANET IS A FARCE TO SAY THE LEAST. THEY SAY TO THE WINNERS GO THE SPOILS. I GUESS IN YOUR CASE ITS TO THE MURDERS GO THE SPOILS. WHITE PEOPLE TRY TO ACT LIKE THE MORAL AUTHORITY ON EVERYTHING. WHAT A JOKE!! IF WE HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR EXAMPLE I GUESS WE WILL ALL MEET IN HELL. CUZ IF HEAVEN REALLY EXISTS, THERE ARENT GOING TO BE A WHOLE LOT OF YOU ALL THERE. WE ARE ALL GOING TO BE JUDGED BY WHO EVER GOD IS. I'M JUST SAYING, WHITE PEOPLE AS A WHOLE SHOULD GET READY TO GET THE ULTIMATE TAN.

2894 days ago
89.

whatever    

To Larry
You're not seriously attempting to debate an issue with diatribe like this are you? Please define your definition of white. Are you saying that “a lot” of black people are more informed on history than “a lot of white people”? Obviously you have the ability to read minds and can tell us all about (at least the white people whom could never have experienced anything remotely like what you have felt) “WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST YOU DAY AFTER DAY”. Yet, with all your expansive knowledge of history you conveniently have neglected every incident of hatred against any “white” human being. I find it amazing that you can speak for another human being, in fact large groups (both black and white your labels not mine) from your obviously vast experience with other cultures and ethnic histories, and would love to hear your justification for this. The absurdity of you tirade is akin to the same hatred that you are attempting to combat. I completely agree with your methods of debate. Instead of providing insightful unbiased opinion to promote thoughtful discourse, it’s better to label, stereotype, insult, and berate entire groups of people based on purely subjective emotional speech. AND OF COURSE TO SHOUT YOUR MESSAGE SO YOU CAN BE HEARD! Even though such measures are generally considered to be extremely rude. Based on this eloquent rebuttal. How could any intelligent being, black, white, or other less significant minorities (your inference not mine) no matter how ignorant they could be, ever dispute the validity of your viewpoint.
Your highly presumptuous, I mean deeply intellectual, statement: “WE COULD EASILY HATE ALL OF YOU. WE DON'T THOUGH. UNLIKE YOU FOLKS, WE ARE TAUGHT TO BE FORGIVING EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW MOST OF YOU ARE STILL RACIST AS HELL” displays your considerate, open minded, unbiased attitude in spades. No pun intended.
Furthermore, your depth of religious insight adds even greater weight to your case by basically condemning any white person to hell. An absolutely brilliant means of getting your point across.

What further could I possible add to such a wonderful thought provoking passage?

P.S. This is sarcasm not racism and has absolutely nothing to do with your ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual preference but a most likely vain attempt to move the conversation into something of substance.

2894 days ago
90.

Whatever    

Why is jackoff Seinfeld and turds for brains Richards pissed at the audience for laughing? Who the heck wouldn't laugh! An afro American? What is that? I know an afro is a hairstyle and an American is a resident of the USA, but put the two together and you sound uneducated and like a huge bigot. His apolgoy was funny as hell! He is the new posterchild for the sissy kkk members.

2894 days ago
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