"Cosmo Kramer" comes unglued

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From Yahoo

Comedian George Lopez told Los Angeles television station KTLA that he thought Richards' lack of stand-up experience may have been a factor.

"The question is you have an actor who is trying to be a comedian who doesn't know what to do when an audience is disruptive," Lopez said. "He's an actor whose show has been off the air, he shouldn't ever be on a stand-up gig."

There's a big difference from someone who's actually funny and someone who's reading a script written by someone who's actually funny. And maybe we shouldn't be so surprised that he lost his cool; I seem to recall that fist-fight he got into with Andy Kaufman once.

That's pretty sad...

Richards was terrific on Seinfeld, and like almost all actors from hit shows his career was pretty much over once the series ended. Obviously saying that stuff is wrong, but the worst that happens to him is that he goes off and plays golf and counts his money.

Has anyone ever seen an interview with Michael Richards? He's the most serious unfunny person I've ever seen. Why the hell was he attempting to do stand up?

He's done some over the years. This is severely depressing.

Oh, and I think the fight on "Fridays" was staged by Richards and Kaufman. I heard that somewhere..

lunabean wrote:

Has anyone ever seen an interview with Michael Richards? He's the most serious unfunny person I've ever seen. Why the hell was he attempting to do stand up?

I have to agree with you there. Every interview I'd seen or read with him, he struck me as a very serious man with no real sense of humour which I found odd in comparison to the characters he plays. It's almost as if he was trying desperately to not be that person people had this perception of him being. I never thought he'd be the type of person to do stand up, he just didn't seem to have the temperament and mentality for it.

Either way, I agree this is very depressing for a great many reasons. I was a huge Kramer fan. I even had a poster of that painting that was made of him by Jerry's girlfriend in a Seinfeld episode.

"Once the word comes out of your mouth and you don't happen to be African-American, then you have a whole lot of explaining," Rodriguez told CNN. "Freedom of speech has its limitations and I think Michael Richards found those limitations."

Dumbass.

Anyway, is this really a surprise? Someone in Hollywood secretly harbors racial stereotypes? *gasp* No! I don't necessarily think you can judge someone by single words. In heated moments, people fall back into colloquial speech patterns that might not relfect their actual views. He shouldn't do it, but it's a bit different than saying that the Jews start all the wars. :p

[edit] - I've heard more details on exactly what he said, and it IS a bit beyond the pale, as it were. I'll take back my comments. Melvin Gibstein's got nothin' on this rant.

He's supposed to be on Letterman tonight...set your TiVo's

He obviously took lessons from the John Kerry School of Joke Burninating.

I'd like to see the whole thing start to finish, but I think once again, people are making too much out of it.
I've heard racist rants before and I draw a distinction between them and what I saw of Michael Richards' performance.
It looked like at most Richards got frustrated, ran out of material and, as Bill Cosby would say "dropped his pants".

Desram wrote:

He's done some over the years. This is severely depressing.

Oh, and I think the fight on "Fridays" was staged by Richards and Kaufman. I heard that somewhere..

Same as the fight with Jerry Lawler.

Funny thing is, people still weren't sure that it was staged. Once Lawler came on the set to play himself on Man on the Moon, though, should pretty much answer that question.

Sounds like Richards doesn't have any friends right now.
Paul Rodriguez takes at least three shots at him, some publicist (not Richards' own publicist, who is nowhere to be found) calls it a "career ruiner" and a half-dozen protesters showed up at the club demanding an apology on a Monday.

Who the hell is taking off work on a Monday to go down and protest this? Who gets so offended on someone else' behalf that they take off work to go protest?

Here's a real gem though:

The protesters also demanded an apology from the Laugh Factory. At a news conference a short time later, club owner Jamie Masada expressed remorse and said Richards will not be back at the club until he says he's sorry.

"This is one thing we don't tolerate. ... I personally apologize. I apologize from my heart," Masada said Monday.

Richards did appear at the club Saturday, without incident, but that was because he had told the club he intended to apologize, according to a Laugh Factory statement Monday.

So the club absolutely won't tolerate this(what exactly?), but a promise to apologize at some future date and time meant everything was hunky dory on Saturday. Way to flip flop.

This whole thing is a farce.

I think I remember at one point that I heard Michael Richards and Ed Begley, Jr. were a standup team in the distant past. What a yuk fest that must have been. I think Richards is one of those very intense performers who can PLAY funny because of his acting abilities (remember Fridays?), but isn't a quick wit and jovial soul. I'm trying to think of a comparison but all I'm coming up with is Janeane Garofolo. When she was well and truly pissed, not very funny. When she was just doing material, VERY funny. If it ever became conversational, she'd get pissed about whatever social issue she was talking about, and goodbye, the funny.
So Richards going off like that, seems pretty in character. Going the shock route (which seems to be what he was trying to do, and then when everyone turned against him, couldn't retreat from), seems like exceedingly poor judgement.

Jakobedlam wrote:

Going the shock route (which seems to be what he was trying to do, and then when everyone turned against him, couldn't retreat from), seems like exceedingly poor judgement.

That's exactly it. It was going for the shock - he even referred to what he said as "shock", before the crowd really started turning.

He clearly miscalculated, and the worst part is that he dug himself in deeper instead of recognizing that he needed to cut his losses and make the 180 turn pronto.

I just watched it on YouTube and my g/f and I were shocked! I've watched some live comedy shows here locally and sometimes the funniest part is the hecklers, and seeing how the performer copes. I figured that was one of those things you learn how to deal with when you're starting out. You know one of the tricks of the trades, or you don't get very far especially if your stand up stinks.

To be fair the clip I saw seems to start once words had already been exchanged, and I would've liked to have seen the whole fiasco. Just to see what set him off, cause he really went nutso.

I hear he apologized on Letterman... no youtube of that yet.

Brizahd wrote:

I hear he apologized on Letterman... no youtube of that yet.

I'm guessing it will show up soon. The worst part about the apology on Lettermen is that apparently this wasn't so widely known as they had anticipated and the crowd actually started to chuckle as Richards was apologizing thinking it was a skit. Seinfeld had to interrupt and tell the crowd to be quiet because "this wasn't funny" and then it seemed to dawn on people that it was supposed to be serious. Unfortunately, Richards seemed to think this was his moment to get on his soapbox in some round about way blame his outbreak on racial tensions between whites and blacks since Katrina. Uh.. ya. I guess he thought he was Mel Gibson or something. I only caught a few clips of the whole enchange so I look forward to seeing the whole thing on YouTube or wherever it pops up.

I may just stay up and watch Letterman just to see this, nevermind the fact that I'm loaded with Jack Daniel's right now. And yes, there's an apostrophe in the name; I can see it on my drinking glass.

Video Footage of the breakdown.

YouTube link.

The worst part of all the coverage is how comfortable people have become with the phrase "the N word." I've always thought the phrase should be used with a certain amount of irony. Now people don't even emphasize it, or give it a little stumble in the cadence of their speech. Ah well.

Jakobedlam wrote:

I'm trying to think of a comparison but all I'm coming up with is Janeane Garofolo. When she was well and truly pissed, not very funny. When she was just doing material, VERY funny. If it ever became conversational, she'd get pissed about whatever social issue she was talking about, and goodbye, the funny.

I think this is a good comparison. I'm a fairly big fan of the Sam Seder (sp?) show on Air America Radio. And when she was on, two days in a row she had a Scientology group on that provides trauma counseling after disasters. They provided counseling after 9/11. Many listeners complained on the basis of two things.

#1 - Garofolo was being a hypocrite since she almost nightly referred to Christians and members of other religions as cooks and ant-intellectuals.

#2 - That was quite a jag for a show that is pretty much wall to wall politics.

Sam wasn't too happy, the listeners weren't too happy and for quite a while there she just flew off the handle about the whole issue. It was ugly and I think in part lead to her not being on the radio any more.

Not the same thing as flying off the handle and being racist. But to your point about the kind of person that's funny with material, but not so funny in general. I think you're right. She was given a chance to rebutt her own "hecklers" and she flew off the handle at them in a different fashion that drug the show down.

What surprises me, oddly, isn't the the content of his tirade per se, but just that he flew that far off the handle. Was "F**k you" somehow insufficient?

Maybe many comedians go through the roof once in their noobiness stage, but they don't get as much publicity as "fallen angel" Michael Richardson. Or maybe heckling is the fireproof test for every comedian, and Richardson has failed miserably.

People like celebrities falling flat on their faces, but there's more than just being on tv and famous. Elaine (can't remember her real name) is happily and richly married, Jason Alexander plays in theater like he did before Seinfeld. This is only failure when the only measurement of succes is fame and buttloads of money, which sadly for many people is the case.

It's very interesting watching the video of the show- alternately blanked and beeped words, and you look at the crawl on the bottom, and it says the actual words. Why was this guy funny, again?

Prederick wrote:

What surprises me, oddly, isn't the the content of his tirade per se, but just that he flew that far off the handle. Was "F**k you" somehow insufficient?

I agree. I saw the video and what he did was indeed a career ender. Granted the video I saw never showed what the hecklers were saying and doing, but man he just went nuts. If he had any sense left in him he would just disappear with the money he has, and never show up again.

All the reports basically say the same thing. What he recieved was, at worst, mild heckling. The reports i've read all say that nothing more hurtful than "You're not funny" was said. Que Kramer losing his sh*t in an absolute Supernova of crazy. I mean, you listen to the guy, and when he reacts, he's not joking. He's angry, he means it. Later on in the video I think it dawns on him what happened, and he tries to make it sound like it was just a shock routine, but he's lost already at that point.

Moreover, this video's on YouTube now. It's all over the internet. It will spawn a plethora of YTMND pages and probably become a minor meme. He will not live this down anytime soon, if ever. He didn't shoot himself in the foot, he blew his whole face off, and over one tame heckler.

:ike I said, I just can't believe he went that far.

If being heckled causes that type of meltdown, he should never appear in public again for his own good. What a dick.

Like Funken said, now he'll just have to go off and cry into his pile of money.

Prederick wrote:

Moreover, this video's on YouTube now. It's all over the internet. It will spawn a plethora of YTMND pages and probably become a minor meme. He will not live this down anytime soon, if ever. He didn't shoot himself in the foot, he blew his whole face off, and over one tame heckler.

Like I said, I just can't believe he went that far.

I agree. He really lost any chance of recovering from this, and I believe that's why he just walked off stage. I think what it came down to is, he got frustrated, it got the better of him, and he just couldn't think of any way to combat the heckler than dropping to the one thing he definitely knew about him... his race. Very poor choice, and I believe in the end he'll suffer much more over the incident than the person(s) it was directed at, and much more so than all the protesters who decided to jump on the victim bandwagon.

It never ceases to amaze me how celebrities go on tirades like that and their first response is, "I'm not a racist."

"I was seizing the opportunity to point out the inherent racism in society"

It's the one time, ONE TIME, I actually paid attention to ANYTHING that Sinbad had to say and, >shudder<, agreed with him. Today, however, Sinbad returns to the lower tier. Even better was the audience chuckles during his Letterman apology.

Scaphism wrote:

Who the hell is taking off work on a Monday to go down and protest this? Who gets so offended on someone else' behalf that they take off work to go protest?

From the news stories I've seen I would call it white guilt. Half of the blacks I've seen interviewed don't know who Richards is, and almost none are surprised that some rich Hollywood type is a racist.

At best this should invoke the response, "Oh look, Kramer is a monumental racist, interesting. Page 2"

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