Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Richards Rant, the fallout

By now everyone has heard about actor Michael Richards' meltdown at a California comedy club in which he responded to a couple of black hecklers by launching into an unhinged tirade in which he called them "nigger" and said that "50 years ago we would have hung you upside down with a f**king fork up your ass".

If you haven't seen it just go to YouTube and search "Michael Richards" and you can see it for yourself.

I think it was incredibly stupid of him to go off on a rant like that in public. However I am not upset with him. To be a good comic you have to be messed up in the head to some degree, with the best comics being the most messed up.

You doubt me? Two words. Andy Kaufman.

Also, look at Dave Chapel. He was the most brilliant young comic in the country and he had a mental breakdown and will probably never be able to perform again.

Jerry Lewis described the origin of his comedy like this. He said that it came from growing up a Jewish kid in an Irish Catholic slum in New York City. From being beaten and harassed every day and laying broken and bleeding in the gutter with his mouth open and the sewage from the gutter flowing into his mouth. That kind of life can make you a great comic, but it is also bound to leave scars.

There is another angle to this as well. If this had been a Black comic launching into a racist rant against White people it would not even have raised an eyebrow. If some Black rapper had stopped his concert to spew a hate filled screed against the White motherf**kers it also would not have raised any eyebrows.

Any criticism by any White person would be instantly denounced as racism and attempted censorship.

You want me to get upset and denounce Richards for what he said? Fine I'll get my underwear in a twist over Michael Richards the very nanosecond that the Black community gets as bent out of shape over Black racism as the White world was over What Richards said. But not before.

PS - I expect to hear any minute now that Kenny Kramer is suing Michael Richards for "damaging the Kramer franchise".