Comedian Michael Richards, the actor most famous for his portrayal of Kramer on the sitcom Seinfeld, made headlines in November of 2006 when he verbally assaulted a couple hecklers with a vitriolic and racist tirade that included multiple uses of the “n” word. An audience member captured the incident on video with a cell phone and submitted it to TMZ. Richards later made an awkward public apology on The Late Show with David Letterman and that’s about the last time anyone heard from him. Until now.
Seinfeld co-creator Larry David’s HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm has featured the cast of Seinfeld throughout this season and last night’s episode included a segment in which Michael Richards is upset at Leon Black (a black man) and in an obvious spoof of his comedy club tirade he starts yelling at him. Before I say too much, watch the video clip:
Richards yells, “I’m so pi$$ed off I could put this hat up your a$$…You made a chump out of me…If only there were a horrible name that I could call you that would make you as angry as I am.” At this point he realizes there are dozens of people around recording the incident with their cell phones and he gets frustrated and leaves.
I think that if I read this scene ahead of time I would have said that it was fine and possibly even a healthy thing to do, but watching Richards actually act it out was really disturbing to watch – and not in a good way. Maybe it was because it was Richards himself making light of it? I don’t know – what do you think?
PS – It should be noted that I am a huge Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fan. Also, I’m the first to defend shows like Family Guy for dispensing with etiquette for the sake of humor.
Here is the original comedy club video of Richards ruining his career – I should warn you the language is quite offensive:
And here is his apology, as covered by the Today Show: