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News / Life / Entertainment

Michael Richards tells all in memoir

By Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News
Published: June 22, 2024, 5:21am

“Seinfeld” star Michael Richards opens up in a memoir that delves into his success as Jerry Seinfeld’s irrepressible neighbor Cosmo Kramer and the racial slur that effectively ended his career.

While the 74-year-old slapstick comic doesn’t get to his 2006 racist meltdown on a comedy club stage until late in the book, he blames it on anger, according to excerpts published by the Daily Beast.

“What the hell’s the matter with me?” he wrote. “Anger. Anger was the matter with me. I f—ed up.”

While performing stand-up at the Laugh Factory comedy club in Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago, Richards infamously lost his temper when a Black audience member heckled him. The racist tirade that ensued cost the comic his livelihood.

“I have no defense,” Richards writes. “I blew it.”

According to Richards, he wanted to apologize to the man he insulted by repeatedly using the N-word after his set, but that person had left the club.

That wasn’t his first mistake on a Los Angeles comedy club stage.

In “Entrances and Exits,” which hit bookstores Tuesday, Richards recalls walking into the crowd while performing at “The Comedy Store,” rifling through a woman’s purse for laughs and spilling her medication. She sued the venue.

Richards claims he’s not nearly as outgoing as the “Seinfeld” character he played for more than 170 episodes. At a party hosted by Billy Crystal, Richards said he jumped into a pool fully clothed and stayed underwater for a long time.

“The truth is I liked it better down there than with everybody up on the patio,” he recalled.

The Southern California native said he turned down two offers to host “Saturday Night Live” and declined being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But one thing he wanted was an Emmy Award, which led him to submit his own name and pay the $800 application fee he said “Seinfeld” producers didn’t pay in 1993. He went on to win best supporting actor Emmys three of the next five years.

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