Being Michael Richards

A few minutes ago was the first time I watched Jerry Seinfeld’s, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”  On the final episode of Season 1, shot on Sept 27th, 2012, Jerry sat down with Michael Richards, AKA Kramer from Seinfeld.

michaelrichardsoncicgcI’m happy I started with this episode because I have a feeling not every episode was this personal.   Michael Richards is known for two things 1) Being Kramer on Seinfeld 2) Freaking out at a comedy club and making racist remarks towards an audience member who interrupted him and said he wasn’t funny.  Here’s the clip in case you want to get the full idea behind this post.

richardsinwigoncicgcThat clip happened about 7 years prior to the taping of CiCGC and it’s obvious it still has a dramatic effect on Richard’s life. At the 6:22 mark, Richards says, “are we really going in there, are you serious, with this many people? We’re not normal people.” He proceeds to bring out a wig and sunglasses and goes into a disguise in public. Jerry just plays along. This was the first insight into Richard’s life and how he wants to stay as far away from the public eye. Jerry comments about the costume, “Oh Michael, free yourself.”

The heart of the episode strikes at 14:02 when Richards says:

“I think I worked selfishly, and not selflessly. It’s not about me, it’s about them (the audience). Now that’s a lesson I learned 7 years ago when I blew it in the comedy club. I lost my temper when someone interrupted my act and said some things that hurt me and I lashed out in anger. I should have been working selflessly.

I busted up after that event 7 years ago, it broke me down. It was a selfish response, I took it too personally and I should have said you’re absolutely right, I’m not funny. (To Jerry) …and thanks for sticking by me…it meant a lot to me but inside it still kicks me around…” 

michaelrichardsinpublicIn the last few scenes Richards is with Seinfeld meeting fans and he looks uncomfortable. Like he’s had so many experiences from bitter fans in the past that he feels like an outcast. It’s really a sad thing. He made terrible mistake that lasted 2 minutes on stage and you can see his life hasn’t been the same for 7 years.

I wish I would have made this post 2 years ago when it first aired but sometimes it’s better late than never. I posted the apology below and that doesn’t turn out that well either in my opinion.