Kramer Gone Crazy
by Geraldo Rivera | Nov 21, 2006
In this day and age when you mention racism, people tend to roll their eyes impatiently, as if it was a passe, been there, done that topic. But then you hear someone like TV's Kramer spontaneously spewing vile and hateful words, and you have to wonder how deep the poison still is.
"You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!"
Apparently provoked by two hecklers who happened to be black, Michael Richards, Seinfeld's buddy 'Kramer' exploded in a tirade of racial epithets that were stunning in the intense hatred they revealed.
"Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f**ing fork up your ass."
What is he saying? This isn't a card-carrying member of the KKK or some proudly racist skinhead; this is the loveable buffoon whose antics made us laugh for a decade on Seinfeld.
One of the hecklers that Friday night at L.A.'s Comedy Club, a black guy named Kyle Doss was on Good Morning America today. "I had said, 'Yeah my friend doesn't think you're funny'. He could have responded back in a professional way and said something else...but like he responded in a hateful mean way that's totally uncalled for."
While I hate hecklers, Kramer's response exposed something sick and unforgivable. Comedian Paul Rodriquez was standing backstage during the tirade.
"I'm saying that Mr. Richards will no longer be accepted in this establishment because we do not back these hateful words. It is sad him being of the Jewish faith, so closely on the heels of the Mel Gibson incident, the audience came here expecting to see Kramer, and they got Mark Fuhrman. We are saddened by this."
Jerry Seinfeld, on Letterman last night to promote the highly anticipated release of the DVD of season seven, took the occasion to ask Richards to make an unscheduled appearance. "I know how shattered he is about this and he deserves a chance to apologize..."
When it was Richards turn to explain and apologize, it was painful to watch.
"For me to be on a comedy club and flip out and say this crap, you know, I'm deeply, deeply sorry...I'm not a racist, that's what's so insane about this."
But if you look like racist and you quack like a racist...Letterman addressed the issue in his Top Ten list of things overheard at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes...
"We never should've let the guy who played Kramer make a toast."
As more than one wag has pointed out since footage of the outburst surfaced Monday on the Internet, "Well, at least now we know why they never had any blacks on Seinfeld."