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Mum's the Word on N-Word for Funnymen

12/3/2006 2:02 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Has Michael Richards' racist rant made the n-word forbidden comedy fruit? How taboo is it, really? Is it taboo enough for the biggest, brashest African-American comics to ban it from their own acts?

TMZ contacted Dave Chappelle, DL Hughley, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer and Katt Williams through their reps, and their response was uncharacteristically laconic. Last week, comedy vet Paul Mooney, who was a writing partner of Richard Pryor, and who appeared on "Chappelle's Show," said he was forsaking the word in his comedy henceforth -- but since then, none of his younger colleagues have taken a similar pledge.

One source, who has worked with almost all of the comics, tells TMZ that Richards' screed will probably end up being a boon to all of them, providing them not just with material, but stoking interest in their acts -- and whether they'll use the word and how often. The renewed focus on the n-word and its implications will, says our source, no doubt give the word itself added piquancy on stage, "until it becomes calloused and overused again."


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whats the deal here? everybody waiting for everybody else to go first, let someone else put their toe in the water and see if they should all jump in or all run away?....these guys have made a fortune off that word and now even with Black Leaders decrying for its ouster these supposed "band of brothers" aint got the guts to take a stand---one way or the other.......why dont they be like their ground breaking, super hero who did have the guts to take a stand, Richard Pryor, even if that stand was to start using it 30 years ago----and come out and start breaking some new ground on their own?......probably because they aint all that damn funny when having to work with real comedic non insulting humor----the kind that used to be moving and gripping and be on par with new music and new theatre and new thought. These vagabounds have broke no new ground in 30 years and we've been the suckers paying for it..........

Uh we're still waiting since 2 days ago for tough guy Rock to return TMZ's calls on the whole matter....never knew what a scared bunny rabbit that man was till now......matter of fact they're all a bunch of Pryor wannabes, N word aside aint a one of em broke new ground on anything---they just repeat and replay and add to what has already been discovered by others.....

Come on who wants to go first and have a chance at breaking some new ground here on your own?

Thats what I thought..............nobody. Cause the pocketbook is what matters now---not the art.

2883 days ago

My two cents    

While I feel that Michael Richards did on stage that night was wrong, I am left to wonder WHY is it that an African American can use the N word and call ANOTHER African American the N word, BUT if any other race uses the word or calls an African American the N word, it is deemed a hateful, shameless and that person is called a, "racist". I want to know why the white man cannot discriminate against the African American, yet they can discriminate against the white man. Does the white man have the "White Man College Fund"? Do white people have the "Miss WHITE USA contest"? African Americans have the United Negro Fund and the Miss Black USA contest. So WHO is the discriminating race? I believe this country has ALLOWED the discrimination to evolve into absolute BULLCRAP. African Americans are the MOST racist race in this country. Always calling foul on some bullsh*t. Makes you wonder when the white man is going to stand up one day and start a lawsuit the next time an African American comic calls the white man a, "Cracker" or a, "Honkey" in thier comic routine or better YET, an African American starts a lawsuit against ANOTHER African American comic for using the N word in thier comic routine. Everyone, white OR black should be held to the same damn standard.

2883 days ago


Like my mama says... "If you want people to respect you, you need to respect yourself first".

2883 days ago



2883 days ago


#2, you are right on the money. I think the African-American people is more the more racist race in this country. They don't want to be called the N-word and yet, they spit the word out more than a white person does on another black person and that is okay and no foul there. Why is it okay? I'm not being hateful against the African-American people, and to be honest being from another country, I find this whole black and white thing in this country immature, but I just don't think that white people are being so racist against them. This whole slavery thing has happened hundreds of years ago, you are part of the society now so act like it. Don't always bring the color of your skin when something bad happens to you and then someone coming up in the name of Kanye West saying so and so doesn't care about black people. It's a freaking hurricane, what does color have to do with it? Oh right, because Bush didn't want to risk more life by sending people to save other lives when it's not stable enough to do some rescue . In the first place, people are told to get the heck outta there. You should go in a third world country and see what happens when a natural disaster strikes. Hell, I didn't have my government to give us a free trailer when a super typhoon hit my house. I didn't get no credit card to spend on food nor did they pay for a hotel for me to stay in. We are just thankful that we are alive and we can move on. It's life, sh*t happens.

2883 days ago


Laughing at all of YOU: I'm afraid words like "Honky" and "Cracker" are not, nor will ever be, equivalent to the "N" word in terms of causing offence.

Are you seriously going to claim that the "white folk" are somehow being discriminated against here? Seriously? When's the last time your relatives were lynched? Was your father/mother/grandparents "allowed" to go to college/ride at the front of the bus? What did they do for a living?

Actually... have just re-read your post and have decided not to bother replying to something so moronic, other than to say IT'S NOT THE SAME! IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME! A few reasons out of, say, 100 million: slavery, systematic distrimination, poverty, generational inequality etc. etc. etc.

God, there's no point arguing with "the white man" (cough). Who is that, by the way? Is there just the one? (And, for the record, I'm neither black, American nor a man. Just someone with an IQ of over 5.)

Can I just say, as a non-American, that I had NO idea how much racial tension there was in the U.S. until I started reading blogs online? And I don't mean the stories - I mean the comments! It seems like every time there is a story posted with any kind of relationship to the issue of race, all the weirdos come out of the woodwork. For a start, the U.S. is the only country I've ever been to where the idea of a white "race" is ever used. There is no such thing!

For my part, I wish the "N" word would disappear completely, forever. But the bottom line is that different groups of people using it means different things. It's not that hard a concept - get over it.

2883 days ago

My two cents    

Amps--Yes, the race card is factored into everything here in the United States. While hurricane Katrina was devastating and I feel SO bad for what happened down there, I never once bought into the fact that George W didn't come to their rescue "in time enough" just because they were black (and I am NO fan of George Bush!). Something like this never happened here...I think there was really NO one who knew how to handle it, BUT, SOME of the African American people pulled out that little race card of thiers and called foul, yet again. It is all they know HOW to do when they want thier way. THAT is when I lose respect. These two African Americans that were in the audiance the night Michael Richards went into his tirade want M.O.N.E.Y. for thier "suffering". How ironic is THAT??? I'd bet anything that these two little conniver's have sat through many comic routines that featured an African American that used the N word and they probably laughed thier little butts off...and I bet those two use the N word like no tomorrow in thier everyday language, but because a WHITE man uses it, they want to sue. African Americans want respect??? Earn it by acting just like the average HUMAN BEING and quit using your stupid lame ass race card. I am SICK OF IT.

2883 days ago


If you ever want to see why America is the laughing stock of this planet take a look at the scumbags that appear on the Def Comedy Jam, the MTV and the BET. These filthy animals, who collectivley are as funny as throat cancer, should be chained, taken to Cape Canaveral, and blasted into outer space. If these a**holes were not pathetic enough, take a peek at the guffawing idiots that make up their audiences. I rest my case.

2883 days ago


I am portuguese/dutch german jew and was raised in a mexican/indian family as the only one of not color. I have been called rascist and a bigot also honky and cracker just because of my skin color or lack of. When fellow students in school found out I was part german, they would call me a nazi. I also have 2 neices of african descent and 4 japanese step brothers too. I do not like race or gender based words , for all they do is break down relationships that should be based of trust and truth and build up discord and dissention. I have always hated the n-word, the h-word and the c-word and feel that they should indeed be stricken, and while we're on the issue, also strike the l-word and the f-word in gender bias too . We will never be able to get along if we keep descriminating against each other based on trivial items.

2883 days ago

M. Miller    

How come it is ok for the Blacks to heckle the whites and get away with it? Everytime a white calls them the 'N" word or anything else they scream RA CE and start suing and getting Jesse Jackson on TV etc. - that RACE CARD is getting pretty tiresome for us whites. How about Miss WHITE America - did the whites scream at their MISS BLACK AMERICA - hey - that's racism - not allowing white to compete - Start counting how many BLACK only things are out there - are the WHITES screaming. NO but they should be. I think Kramer did nothing wrong - those jerks in his audience were asking for trouble by heckling him. How come the Media is not reporting THAT?

2883 days ago

M. Miller    

I have a Black neighbor - every day she calls her little boy and yells at him to "GeT Your Black Ass in here NOW" The blacks don't mind calling themselves "Black" or the oops "N" word so why do they scream if a WHITE calls them by that name?
It's all their looking for attention and trying to find something to sue for so they don,'t have to stand in line to cash their welfare checks.

2883 days ago

My two cents    

Kris-How I knew some radical would come out of the woodwork here...that didn't take long.

You are correct: The N word should disappear FOREVER, however, I believe too that the discrimination should stop AS WELL. Everyone should be treated the same, and that also means that a black person should not be "politely" asked to stop using the N word in thier comic routines...they should be held to the VERY SAME STANDARD as the white, chinese, romanian or turkish comic!!! If the black man can call a black man the N word, why the hell can't anyone else? It is a vulgar term no matter WHOS mouth it comes out of! I have heard over and over again from the black man that it is socially ACCEPTABLE to call another black man the N word. WHERE IN GODS EARTH DOES THIS MAKE SENSE??

As for slavery, you are probably right. My family probably DID sit in the front of the damn bus, but this was GENERATIONS ago. It is damn time to let it go, but most African Americans WON'T let it go just so they continue to get preferential treatment. Most of them use the race card over and over again.

Let me remind you ALSO of the riot in Los Angeles several years ago, when Rodney King was beaten by the LAPD. The stupid ass jury let those piece of sh*t cops OFF and the African Americans caused a riot on a scale that I still cannot even believe and they in turn beat nearly to death, Reginald Denny, a white man in retaliation. Not only THAT, but they burned thier own neighborhoods and acted like complete and UTTER ANIMALS and stole the goods from thier neighbors businesses who were African American. What did Reginald Denny do in the end? He FORGAVE the black men who beat him nearly to death..openly AND in public. So your grand idea of slavery is the reason they can act that way is NOT something I even believe in. The African Americans that were slaves, or discriminated against so many years ago are all nearly dead now, however, thier relative INSIST on keeping it alive. Thier are LAWS against discrimination damn get over it and get on with your lives. As for poverty for the African are kidding me with that? There are PLENTY of human beings from every single race that live in poverty.

Another thing, Kris, using the N word is used with different meaning from different groups and it has a different meaning? You want to elaborate on that one? Who has the genius IQ here?? The N word is the N word...period. The meaning is the same.

2883 days ago


#6 what about using terms like "cracker bastard" is that offensive enough. I heard Chris Rock on stage and he used the term "cracker" and I have heard the term "cracker bastard" used before. Much laughter followed the use of these terms. I don't think it funny!

2883 days ago


I think that the entertainment industry needs to lessen their promotion of the negative stereotypes of blacks. Unfortunately, it sells.

The African American community needs more new role models. It needs to start at home, but the entertainment industry needs to help move it along.

2883 days ago


It's not JUST ABOUT THE WORD!!! daaamn ppl, I wish dumbasses and dumbass pundits can all finally wake up and REALIZE that little has to do with JUST the word and EVERYTHING in which the word was placed in context!! He didn't just use the word but used it in a way only a IGNORANT piece of sh*t of a man would! ALSO, he went ranting referencing LYNCHING.....HELL-O? the dude seriously needs to be beat up. It's not that he used the word, the context in which he used it was completely over the line and why are we penalizing black people now for using it? thats SOO NOT an excuse!

2883 days ago
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