Michael Richards lost it on stage at the Laugh Factory after a couple of patrons got on his nerves and heckled him. See the video here:
In a society where Big Brother is alive and well and sitting at the table next to you, it is no surprise this is going to be the comedy story of the year. Somebody with a cell phone filmed the incident and it is now on the internet. Michael Richards not only lost it on stage but he basically flushed his career away.
Though there is no excuse for what Michael Richards did, it definitely raises again the issue of who gets to use the N WORD and in what context. This is not a question of freedom of expression or whether society is too politically correct. At some point in time, somebody is going to have to write the rules down somewhere.
Part of the problem here is Michael Richards is not really known as a stand-up comic by most people and certainly not known as an edgy comic so anything controversial was bound to bite him in the ass. He obviously tries to rescue his act, get out of the situation, and cover his ass by beginning a bit on the N word but doesn't have anything to say and the crowd is way too pumped and angry. You have to wonder if a better comic than Michael Richards would have been able to get out of the situation. Then again, a better comic would have known how to handle annoying people in the crowd, that is why all comics have put downs up their sleeve, and would not have gone ballistic as Richards did.