Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards Kamakazi Comedy Routine, Or How To Destroy A Career In Just Three Minutes.

The dreaded foot in mouth disease strikes again. A few months ago it was Mel (how dry he was) Gibson who spewed a mouthful of anti-Semitic bilge at a cop in an alcohol fueled rage. After justifiably being skewered by the Jewish community as well as the general public at large, Gibson admitted he had a problem with alcohol(does 'ol Mel have a firm grasp of the obvious or what?) and promptly entered a rehab facility.

Now it's Michael Richard's turn to jam his foot into his over sized mouth. Believe it or not,he out did Gibson in the racist epithet hurling department. Last Friday while on stage at the Laugh Factory , Richards was being heckled by Kyle Doss, an African-American. He suddenly became ballistic and screamed at Doss ," Fifty years ago we'd have you hung upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass." Richards then called Doss the N word a number of times as an audience member filmed his vitriolic tirade. Since that night, Richards has been receiving an avalanche of well deserved fallout.

From all of the commentary on the various news and entertainment shows, the Richards incident will undoubtedly make Mel Gibson's racist remarks seem mild in comparison. The tape itself can be viewed on TMZ.Com and I have to tell you, as I watched the footage I wanted to cringe. How those kind of comments can be said in a public place in this day and age is totally beyond me, because behavior such as this will not and cannot be tolerated.

But, it happened and it's the sort of episode that can't just be erased. So now Richards has deservedly had his feet held to the fire and been made completely accountable for the ugly words he shouted in a nightclub full of people expecting to be entertained. Instead, they were repulsed(some even walked out of the club in disgust) by racist slurs uttered by someone who really should have known better.

Despite a sincere, heartfelt apology from a very contrite Richards on The David Letterman Show ; he said via satellite," I'm not a racist. That's what's so insane about this.", forgiveness seems to be very slow in coming. Especially from the African-American community,who have taken extreme offence at Richards ballistic performance and I don't blame them for one second. On that evening his supposed comedy routine was by turns racist, vulgar and most importantly not funny at all. The audience was there to laugh and instead came away from the comedy club disgusted and angry, because his rage was all too real.

Log onto TMZ. com to see the tape; this was not an act. Richards really does have a lot to live down. I don't feel sorry for the man in the least, but I do have compassion for him. All one has to do is look at him when he appeared on Letterman, to see a deeply sorry and truly apologetic man.

The truth of the matter is, the black community may not ever fully except Richards apology because they believe that he was saying what he really felt, that deep down he really is a racist in his heart. Especially after he spat out the N word the first time. Richards didn't stop, but keep screaming the racially changed word over and over during his so called comedy act. Plus, he claimed to have gone back to the Laugh Factory the next night to apologize. But from all accounts none was given. The general consensus is that Richards waited too long to make amends.

Since then, he has hired publicist Howard Rubenstein as a crisis expert(or spin doctor to be exact) in an attempt to salvage his severely damaged career, because there are a lot of people who would get a huge kick out of witnessing Richards do a crash and burn number. These are the very same people, by the way, who once loved him as Kramer on SEINFELD.

Only time will tell if Rubenstein can repair the career train wreck engineered by his client. Sometimes the public forgives and other times they don't. Right now as far as Richards is concerned, whose career at this moment is hardly red hot, time is a commodity he can well afford.

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