What did Michael Richards say at Laugh Factory? Seinfeld star opens up on 2006 racist outburst ahead of memoir release 

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Michael Richards addresses 2006 racist outburst ahead of memoir release. (Image via Getty Images/Amy Sussman)

Former Seinfeld star Michael Richards recently reflected on his controversial 2006 moment ahead of his memoir release on June 4. The comedian stayed away from the public eye for about 18 years since the incident that took place at a West Hollywood comedy club, the Laugh Factory.

In November 2006, a 57-year-old Richards hurled racial insults at some hecklers at the club, who tried to interrupt his stand-up show. He yelled:

“Shut up! Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f****** fork up your a**.”

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Walking along the stage, the comedian continued:

“You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherf***er. Throw his a** out. He’s a n*****.”

Michael Richards reportedly used the N-word a few more times while addressing the hecklers on the club’s balcony. His words prompted murmurs from the audience and eventually after a short while of exchanging insults, Richards left the stage.


Michael Richards addresses 2006 racist remarks in new interview

Nearly two decades later, Michael Richards, who played Cosmo Kramer in Seinfeld opened up about his infamous outburst.

During an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, he spoke about his upcoming memoir, Entrances and Exits. Richards wrote about his childhood, Seinfeld fame and the Laugh Factory tirade that turned his career upside down.

Referring to the 2006 incident, Richards, 74, told the outlet:

“I was immediately sorry the moment I said it onstage.”

He added that he was not looking forward to a comeback nor did he expect the world to forgive him for his words and forget it entirely. Richards continued:

“My anger was all over the place and it came through hard and fast. Anger is quite a force. But it happened. Rather than run from it, I dove into the deep end and tried to learn from it. It hasn’t been easy. Crisis managers wanted me to do damage control. But as far as I was concerned, the damage was inside of me.”

The former actor said he spent the last 17 years profoundly analyzing his anger:

“It was time to figure out where all the anger was coming from.”

Michael Richards attributed part of his anger to his insecurities and a lingering feeling of being unwanted. He said:

“Somehow I couldn’t connect to the joy of being an artist.”

Addressing his rise into fame through Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer, Richards added:

“I was a good character actor, but I was comfortable being the character, not in being me.”

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Richards said his insecurity made him turn down several opportunities:

“I said no to the offer of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I didn’t feel deserving. I said no to hosting Saturday Night Live twice because I didn’t feel good enough. I was never really satisfied with my Seinfeld performance. Fame magnified my insecurities.”

The 74-year-old addressed his Laugh Factory rant once again and explained that while he didn't have a reasonable excuse for his behavior, he also did not hold any malicious feelings toward Black people:

“I’m not a racist. I have nothing against Black people. The man who told me I wasn’t funny had just said what I’d been saying to myself for a while. I felt put down. I wanted to put him down.”

Michael Richards spoke about how his life has been lately and said that he continues to learn and heal:

“But life is always an up and a down. I continue to work through the day and the night, the light and the dark that I am.”

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Michael Richards’ Entrances and Exits speaks about his unconventional childhood shared with his single mom as well as the trauma of learning his father’s truth.

It also touches down on the former actor’s time in the Army, his recognition as Cosmo Kramer, and his struggles with being a celebrity.

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Edited by Amrita Das
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