‘Kramer’ sorry for racist rant
Richards — who spent years playing wacky neighbour Cosmo Kramer in the hit sitcom — begged forgiveness for the volley of abuse he directed at two black audience members at the Laugh Factory on Friday.
The 57-year-old said in a recorded interview with chat-show host
David Letterman he had flown into a rage after being heckled.
“I was at the comedy club trying to do my act and got heckled and I took it badly and went into a rage,” Richards said.
“I’m really busted up over this, and I’m very, very sorry to those people in the audience, the blacks, the Hispanics and the white, everybody who was there and took the brunt of that anger, and hate and rage and how it came through.”
Amateur video footage released by the tmz.com celebrity news website showed Richards’ erupt during his stand-up routine, uncorking a three-minute string of swear words at the hecklers.
Richards exploded when the two black audience members apparently began to heckle him, saying: “Shut up! Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your arse.”
He paced across the stage taunting the men for interrupting his show.
“You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now mother-f***er.
Throw his arse out. He’s a nigger!” Richards shouted before repeating the racial insult over and over again.
Seinfeld ‘sick’ over incident
Richards’ former co-star Jerry Seinfeld voiced dismay over the outburst in a statement released to entertainment television show Extra on Monday.
“I am sick over this,” Seinfeld said. “I’m sure Michael is also sick over this horrible, horrible mistake. It is so extremely offensive. I feel terrible for all the people who have been hurt.”
The sound track from the video carries a chorus of gasps from the audience.
Members of the crowd are then seen leaving in droves while one of the targets of Richards’ tirade shouts back abuse. Richards then leaves the stage before an unidentified compere offers apologies to the audience.
Angry audience members demanded an apology as owners of the
Laugh Factory banned the comic from further appearances.
Laugh Factory co-owner Paul Rodriguez told a news conference today that Richards had been banned until further notice, saying he had been allowed to perform on the Saturday following the incident because they believed he would issue an apology to the audience.