Friday, November 24, 2006

Further adventures in "The Richards Zone"...

First, the apology, courtesy of YouTube.

This clip is just like it appeared on "The Late Show With David Letterman", including Jerry Seinfeld telling people to stop laughing. (Never thought I'd hear a comic say that.)

But wait...that's not all! (Somehow, it's better when Don Pardo says it...)

Richards has hired a PR who's an expert at damage control. According to this article, that man is Howard Rubinstein. He's helped out many a celebrity who has screwed up beyond all recognition, and had this to say:

Rubenstein, Richards's spokesman, is the go-to guy for celebrities who have really stepped in it.

Clients have included Benz-as-crowd-disperser publicist Lizzie Grubman, Michael Jackson, Denise Rich, George Steinbrenner, Marv Albert -- it's a long list.

Rubenstein told The TV Column yesterday that Richards acknowledged having made the derogatory comments about Jews at the Improv.
Richards told him it was all an act.

Rubinstein says Richards told him, "I'm not anti-Semitic. I was playing a role and poking fun at the rednecks."

And besides, Rubenstein said, Richards "himself is Jewish."

"He was poking fun at rough-and-tumble people," Rubenstein continued.
"He also says 'I'm a hothead' and he acknowledges he says inappropriate things from time to time. But he's certainly not anti-Semitic."
Well, that's pretty good. However, according to Martin Lewis at the Huffington Post, our Mr. Richards is actually NOT Jewish - rather, he's Catholic, per this article found on

Furthermore, he's also a Freemason...also known as "those guys with the fezzes that ride around in parades on the tiny motorcycles". (see picture at left for further proof.)

You know what? Mel Tillis is also a Freemason. I wonder why Mel's not steppin' up to the plate to defend his Masonic brother (besides the fact that he probably doesn't care)? Martin Lewis said that Rubinstein needs to do his research, and I wholeheartedly agree. He also might want to give Mel Tillis a call too, just to get the skinny on Freemasonry.

And you'd better believe Richards is hurting in more than just one way. According to this post from, his MySpace account is in jeopardy. May wanna switch to Xanga, dude.

According to this post, women aren't safe either...Jeremy Beth Michael, a comedienne from California, had her own run-in with this poster child for anger management. You can read her own personal account of the experience here. (BTW, I'm surprised Richards got out of that argument alive - she's pretty feisty.

The hecklers have spoken out as well. According to Access Hollywood, Kyle Doss and Frank McBride (the hecklers in question) don't think an apology is enough. To quote Doss when asked that question, he replied:

"No, I think that apology was totally fake, it was forced. I feel like that was a career move. It wasn't sincere," Doss contends.
So they've got a lawyer described as "tenacious" (read: ball-busting, which can be a very good quality as long as the balls aren't yours). She was also interviewed, and here is an excerpt:

"It is not enough to go on television and say 'I'm sorry,'" Allred said. "We are issuing a challenge to Michael Richards."

That challenge would require Richards to meet face-to-face with Doss and McBride in front of a judge. So far, no lawsuit has been filed.

"We want the retired judge to make a recommendation on how much Michael Richards should pay to compensate our clients," added Allred.

And if Richards refuses?

"Then he will have to bear the consequences of whatever comes next," she said.

(Translation: Pay up, Mikey boy...)

By the way, Richards has requested meetings with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and Jackson thinks Mikey boy needs professional help as the New York Post states here. (Would they lie?) Sharpton calls the Letterman venue (shown above) to be "unacceptable" due to the fact that the Letterman audience is mostly white, according to this Post article. (The article also gives quotes from Melanie Chartoff - a fellow cast member from the early '80s show "Fridays" about Richards being quite intense. Yep - she got that one right.)

At least two folks have posted columns in blogs (or elsewhere) that are - if not totally in defense of Richards - at least laying blame on the hecklers. John Ridley and Tom Green have both posted entries on their blogs to that effect.

So, in short, everyone's talking about this (myself included).

I'm not sure what to think. Between the original situation and all the new information I've found, Michael Richards has a long way to go to redeem himself. Just saying "I'm a hothead" isn't enough to smooth things over.

We ALL say stupid things when we (as dear ol' Ma would say) "get out of ourselves". We all have to mend fences once in a while, some more than others. I've lost good friends on the basis of stupid s**t that comes out of my mouth as well.

However, Richards could lose something even more essential - his career.

Yeah, I know people say all publicity is good publicity, but think about this - Lance Bass' "outing" put him on the radar for two seconds. He doesn't really have anything in the works, nor have we heard much about the boy since July.

Richards' actions will not only get his name in the papers, it could possibly keep him from working again, and he'll kind of fade out like Bass did.

I think Kenny Kramer (the real person Richards' character on "Seinfeld" is based on) had the best quote of all in this article...

"You know what the good news is?" he asked. "Judith Regan is now on a plane to California, trying to sign Michael Richards to a book deal: `If I Were a Racist, Here's What I Would Have Said.'"