Monday, November 20, 2006

On Michael Richards and His Mea Culpa

I came home early tonight and happened upon Jerry Seinfeld's appearance on Letterman. Invited to speak of the recent incident via satellite was Michael Richards. Not that it helped me understand his now infamous outburst on a comedy stage, but I appreciated his earnest and sincere apology to everyone for his inappropriate behavior.

I believed every word of his apology and wish everyone the best as we go about our lives forgiving and forgetting and trying to be good humans to one another. Michael Richards, I guess it's safe to say, provided for us tonight an example of what we should all do when we find ourselves on the wrong side of right. He wasted very little time in standing up and apologizing for the pain he caused.

As for the ill-fitting laughter heard from the audience, I wish to think that it was the result of the uncomfortable silences as Michael Richards struggled to find his words. Kudos to Jerry though, for admonishing the laughers by saying, "Stop it. It's not funny."


John H said...

Outside of some of the characters on 'The Sopranos', I can't think of any actor so enmeshed and overtaken by his most famous role. We know Jerry as a stand-up, Elaine has her own show now, and Jason Alexander has had success on broadway and in advertisments. Richards IS Kramer and vice versa. It really is hard for me to separate the two. Like I said on my blog..I want to forgive Kramer..hard to forgive Richards.

Leesa said...

I purposely didn't watch the video of his rant, but I did see his apology on Letterman.
I felt for him as he spoke, but it's hard to understand his actions.

Heidi said...

i found the rant on youtube, and it is horrible. there is no doubt in my mind richards is a racist. my ex is/was a comedian, not necessarily the best, but he knew how to handle a heckler, every comic must. that was anger fueled by hate, and it was racist hate.

i could believe perhaps the use of the word came out of his culture, certain swear words come out when you're angry. ...but he started out saying "50 years ago we'd have stuck a fork up your ..." the audience laughed nervously as often will happen when a heckler gets pegged. they didn't realize what he meant by it yet. not til he used the n-word. the person with camera said, "oh no!" then the whole audience got quiet and he kept going. that wasn't something you could apologize for and in the same breath say "I'm not a racist."

CHEZ BEZ said...

Good point, Heidi. I wasn't remembering just how detailed his words were.


Heidi said...

my husband came home and we talked about it. (said he already talked to 4 people today about it)

he brought up the idea that it's possible richards was doing an andy kaufman-esque sort of thing....and that richards was actually on a show, "fridays" with the guy who would do the heckler thing with andy. that andy would do these very un-funny thing with his 'heckler' and then apologize but act like someone was making him apologize. my hubby also mentioned that larry david and jerry seinfeld have been exploring things on the nature of reality as well.

so i watched it again. it seems possible. if you view it as if it is all staged, changes the whole thing. but it's still not funny.

greekchickie said...

I was truly shocked to hear that he did that. I never pictured him to be racist, but then again, how much of the real person do we know when all we see is a 1/2 an hour comedy on tv of them & an interview here & there?

Sigh, it saddens me that he's this way. I had a situation that happened to me this summer that made me question what I feel ~ but the more I look at the question, the more I realize I hate the person that hurt me ~ not his race.


BBLogan said...

I hope Michael Richards was sincere... I also think this may be something he can't recover from. What provoked him is irrelevant... he said some really hateful things.

I also think the Letterman audience had no idea that the incident had happened... they thought it was a skit. The news had just broke that day and many people hadn't heard about it yet.

The big questions:
* Will he make the efforts to personally evolve and rise above his rant in the long run?
* Will we forgive him for it?

It is my hope that the answer to both questions is: "yes".