Thoughts on Michael Richards. On September 30th of this year I celebrated the twentieth anniversary of my very first stand up set. As I said before in CHILD OF TELEVISION: Milestones stand up comedy is my first love as a performer. I describe that love for the art this way; I had to do it. From the first day I stepped foot on that stage at the world famous Laugh Factory, I was hooked. As corny as it may sound to some, I felt alive on stage. There were times when I was really broke and dinner was a twenty-five cent package of generic ramin noodles because I needed to spend what little money I had on gas so I could drive to several different clubs a night. I even lost a day job as a tele-marketer because I kept oversleeping since I was out all night going from club to club. Every night I would hope against hope that I could get five minutes of stage time in front of what usually turned out to be three drunks. The good time slots were given to the actor who used to play the wacky neighbor on a sitcom (NOTE: Michael Richards did Stand Up prior to Seinfeld), or the guy who is in that series of stupid TV commercials. I understand that club owners want a household name on their marquee because they will put butts in seats.
I made sacrifices for my art knowing that some day the sacrifices would pay off. Love, even love of your art, makes you do stupid things. To pay the rent I took many day jobs. Without mentioning any names, there are many companies in town that hire creative people, like comedians and other performers, to use their talents and personalities to do the company's bidding. If any of my coworkers or I got too creative, overzealous or crossed the line we were told, "You are not in a comedy club". Sadly it looks like comedy clubs are less like comedy clubs and more like factories. Some rooms judge if a comedian is funny by listening for a big laugh every twenty seconds and not listening to what the comedian has to say. Some rooms don't want comedians to talk about current events, because although the material might be funny this week it has no shelf life and how do they know you will be funny next week. Some rooms promote as themselves as having "Clean Comedy" meaning no profanity while others have a ban on certain subject matter. I understand that the comedian sees things from the artistic point of view while advocating free speech, however the club owner or the person who books the room sees things from a business point of view. The battle between art and commerce is nothing new, you just have to know how to choose your battles.
Since Michael Richards went off on a raciest rant at on stage at a local comedy club, I have been doing a great deal of thinking about my craft. In the last couple of weeks I have had many conversations with comedians and ex-comedians about the incident and have read articles and blogs on the matter. I have been very hesitant to write about this subject for fear that my perspective, although coming from the heart and with no malice of intent, might not be popular with some people, and may even offend. But isn't that part of free speech? I have no way of knowing what is in Mr. Richards' heart and mind. I can only speculate and speculation alone is useless and may even be harmful. I am not exactly going out on a limb when I say what Michael Richards did was wrong. It was wrong for many reasons including not being funny. Not only was it unprofessional it was socially unacceptable and considering what comedians can get away with on stage that says a lot. That being said I want to look at the big picture, beyond the video we have all seen online or edited on the TV news. The media has dedicated a lot of airtime to this issue, more than it may deserve. What I have been seeing in the media is either talking heads trying to figure out what is in Michael Richard's head or, various parties involved in the incident doing damage control (Mr. Richards making great efforts to prove that he is not a racist or the owner of the club establishing a policy that any comedian using the "N" word will be fined). The issue should not be the use of that word, it is that he called a heckler that word. This is the part where I fear that some people might take offence and that is my problem with presenting the hecklers as victims. This may be my own prejudice as a comedian but I feel that there is something wrong with hecklers needing a victim rights advocate. I fear that a Pandora’s box has been opened. Instead of just dealing with the individual solely responsible for the incident, they censor everyone. They drew a line that represents acceptability and said, "Don't cross it". You don’t do that with comedians because they will see it as a challenge and they will always have the last laugh in the end. Personally I don’t use that word. I have written material where I mock those who do use that word. Then again I don’t own that word but who am I to say who can and can’t use that word. George Carlin used it skillfully on his Parental Advisory Album. I hardly use the words I do own, but that is me. I have a reputation of being a nice guy who works clean (Even though I do use profanity subtly and in context).
We comedians, writers and storytellers paint pictures with words. Saying that a comedian can't use a certain word is like telling an artist who is painting a rose that he can't use red paint because another artist did something very wrong with red paint. The best comedy is based in truth. One of the great things that the art of Comedy can do is shed an honest light on things. We reflect who people are, point out life’s absurdities to people who would otherwise accept the absurdities as normal. We say what people feel but can’t articulate. When people outside the club stop using that word that’s when people inside the club will move on to something new.
To quote George Carlin in his Parental Advisory Album, "There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those words in and of themselves. They're only words. It's the context that counts. It's the user. It's the intention behind the words that makes them good or bad. The words are completely neutral. The words are innocent. I get tired of people talking about bad words and bad language. **** It's the context that makes them good or bad. The context. That makes them good or bad. Stay Tuned
This guy annoyed the hell out of me in Seinfeld. To be honest, he still does. I wanted to throw an axe into the television whenever Kramer walked into the scene. Then the whole racist outburst came along. I laughed. A lot. It was fabulous. It was one of those beautfil moments in life where you just want to put a pillow behind your neck, get a pot of herbal tea on the go and sit in your favourite chair before reading the newspaper article. My greatest triumph to date. Let's have him speak at the Gay Black Witches for Abortion conference!
Michael Richards is truly a wonderful and brilliant comedic actor. While he is most known for his role as Kramer on television's "Seinfeld," he has also appeared in some so-so films. However, none of them really received much critical acclaim. Nonetheless, his comedic timing is second to none in the business.
To tell you the truth, I\'m writing this in hopes that Michael Richards will eventually get the chance to read it. I saw the tape and I heard the inflection in his voice at the end of it, only after he had realized that things had gotten out of hand.
I heard the things that were said, and I don\'t believe you meant to say the things that you did; everybody knows that you say things that you don\'t mean when your angry. I also got the chance to hear a host of celebrities shaking their fingers yelling at how they would never do something like that, how they don\'t approve. However remember, Let he who has not sinned; how many comedians center their careers on \"the differences between black and white jokes\"? Look, My point is everybody screws up, and Michael, if this gets to you, I know that everything seems really screwed up right now, but I wanted to tell you a story. There was a point in time when I had 2 girls pregnant at the same time and no job, and everything was all screwed up, and then I heard a sermon on the radio that said that its easy to thank God when things are going good, but the challenge is to thank him when things are in shambles. But if we can look inside ourselves and try to understand that as screwed up as things may be, they are for a reason, for a greater plan, and if we can kneel down and thank God even then, well then, we have truly overcome.\" God Bless.
Really, Michael Richards is one of the best actors who can do physical comedy. His zaniness and what he put into the character of Kramer made it really funny. His best scene in the show "Seinfeld" I would have to say would be the one in "The Statue" where he poses a cop to get the statue back from Rava's apartment and scares the heck of Ray. Classic. P.S. Honestly, get over the racist rant, it was a mistake, we're all human. Richards just didn't think before he spoke in the face of heckling probably not knowing what to do. Kind of what Jerry was up against with Kramer's friend Toby in "The Fire". Anyway, that doesn't make him less funny if it makes him seem less moral somewhat.
I love his role as Cosmo Kramer in "Seinfeld" like we all do, and I think that he was the perfect man for the role. I just think that he is very funny, and has played a lot of roles, though not many well recognized, but still I think that Michael is very talented, and very oirginal and with a different kind of humor. I think he is awesome!
Michael Richards is famously known as Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld who is based on a real life person named Kenny Kramer who is almost like the TV Kramer. He is also in a few movies, including his role as a villain ( :lol: ) on Problem Child. Micahel Richards is an absolutely funny guy. Too bad Fridays and The Michael Richards Show didn't last long. It could of been big.
Michael, I wrote a comedy screenplay, having you in mind! "Mishpuha" is based upon my post-pubescent, hormonally charged, culturally diversified, life's experiences working at the fabled Bill Hahn's Hotel; the Connecticut "Borscht Belt" beach alternative for those not endeared to being mauled by mosquitoes in the Catskills. "Animal House" is taking a hike! Would you like to read it? Entertainment guaranteed!
Another great and classic Seinfeld character, who I could watch all day long. Richards played many roles in his life, but he is most famous for the role he played in Seinfeld, as he played the role of Kramer, a goofy neighbor to Jerry in the sitcom, what a classic he was
Born in July 24 1949 Michael Richards had a slow start in his carrer in show-biz, until 1989, when he started being Cosmo Kramer in the popular sitcom "Seinfeld". The show became the cradle for what he was and still is the best at: physical jokes. His most famous and characterizing thing is the way he enters in Jerry's apartment, like an avalanche. His character was funny in everything he did, from the smallest, like setting his own hair on fire while lighting a cigar or trying to reach his car in a parking mall, to the biggest, like moving to L.A. to become an actor and ending up getting accused for murder. Plus, he has a unique way of acting, completely opposed to his personality in the real life, shy and reserved. Unfortunately his being so PERFECT in the Kramer character turned to be a carrer-killer after "Seinfeld" ending. He had a show cancelled and he did small parts in other shows. Today Michael Richards is remembered by many people for what happened in the "Laugh Factory", and even though he apologized many times people tend to lable him, but I think he still has many things to give to show-business.
Michael Richards is one of the funniest people on TV, and he was brilliant as Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld and he captured Kenny Kramer [Larry Davids neighbor] perfectly. So what if he hasnt had much success after Seinfeld, he is a great physical actor. And so what if he said ******, I say it and there is nothing wrong with me [mabye]. And to everyone whose panties are still in a bunch from Kramer dropping the N Bomb, get over it, pop in an episode of Seinfeld and laugh!
Michael Richards was a great at playing Cosmo Kramer on the show about nothing Seinfeld. He is the guy who made the show what it was. He makes me laugh everytime he is on the scream, be it barging into Jerry\'s apartment to banging on tables in restaurants. It\'s to bad he wasn\'t on many other shows, he is great to watch and hilarious.
Michael Richards has perfected his own style of slapstick ( The Revenge). For anyone who has seen his stuff withJay Leno you would know what I'm talking about. He is the perfect image for Kramer, I could not see Kramer any other way. The only thing that would go againts me liking him... 2 words, Laugh Factory. Ya. For me somehow it didn't change the experience I got from him as Kramer. Every time I say him enter the room to Jerry's appartment, well, some say that it's not funny, my friends say it's idiotic to laugh at it. I think that anyone who doesn't think Kramers antics are, well not idiots but definatly not regular.
People have to cope with the fact that we go through seasons in life, and mr. Richards also went through the same. He was famous and loved by people everywhere, and yes, with some exeptions, but if we don't have people that dislike us how would we know that we are doing something right?
but if everybody likes you there's something really wrong and we must examine ourselves and our performance.
Mr. Richards, you are forgiven, you are loved and you are missed!!
Please, I pray you have had enough time to reflect, repent, and move on.
Watching you with Jerry in " Comedians in cars Getting Coffee" brought back many awesome memories...
If God forgives our transgressions, why can't we do the same?
Please get over the past and off your butt and back on TV, the future that awaits you is brighter than the past that hurt you!
He is perfet for his role on sienfeld. He has the ability to make even entering the room funny. I love all his half baked schemes like when he forms kramerica industries to develope a bladders for oil tankers. Another great plan of his is to invent a cologne that smells like the beach. This plan is so great that kalvin cline steals it. I think my favorite episode of his is when he where training shoes and gets punched in the lips so a man thinks he is retarded. He ends up being a speacial guest at a dinner banquet that support retarded people. He even sings a song with some famous person. All in all he is just the greatest in this role.
Micheal Richards was born on July 21, 1948 in Culver City, California. He grew up in Los Angeles, where he still lives today. He earned a degree at California Institute of the Arts. He performed in several productions at the San Diego Repertory Company. In 1979, he decided to be a stand-up comedian. Influenced by Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati, Richards showed something rarely seen today, physical comedy. He worked for "The Comedy Store" and "The Improvisation" before getting his first real paying job on the "Billy Crystal Special". He also worked on the show, "Fridays" for 2 1/2 years where he played a role called "Battle Boy" where he would blow up army men. He has appeared in numerous television shows and movies, but is best known for his role on "Seinfeld" as Cosmo Kramer.
Michel Richards is a very funny and talented guy. I loved his work with seinfeld and every thing else he did. He is one of those rare comedians that have that funny nature with him. No matter what he does even though he is trying to be serious you still can't help it from laughing. This guy also has a great personality, he is nice with every one, even when I was begging him for his autograph he was nice to me. Michel Richards has a good personality, he is funny, smart, and all around talented. Michel Richards is a very, very, ver nice and good guy.
The character of Kramer always made Seinfeld episodes much better! He was the star of the show. Most of the memorable episodes always involved Kramer. He's very funny and makes you laugh. Not only that, he's incredibly sexy! :)~ I enjoyed reading about his work and the bits of trivia, but not much personal information there? I can imagine standing next to him and feeling weak in the knees! Now mind you, I've not ever been "star" crazy about anyone! Is he married or attached? Just curious - I bet he'd be a very fun date! Michael, my number is (913).. no just kiddin'!
Michael Richards is ofcourse known best for his role in Seinfeld, and that will never change, ofcourse that's not a really bad thing, as afterall he can be proud of the character Cosmo Kramer as it's by far 1 of the most popular characters ever, and it's the most popular character from Seinfeld.
But to be honest he isn't 1 of the best actors around, but you don't have to be that to be great at comedy, which he is, even the most simple things make you laugh, the way he moves, reacts, looks and says things like giddyup, you just know that when he walks through that door from Jerry that he will make you laugh.
And that's why i think he is 1 of the greatest, not 1 of the greatest actors, but 1 of the greatest entertainers, he made more people laugh then most comedians and comedy actors ever hope and get to do.
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