… except Mel at least had the weak excuse that he was drunk as hell at the time he let loose with his racist comments. Richards was in the middle of a comedy routine when he was heckled by a black audience member at which point he totally lost it:
The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass.”
Richards continued, “You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherfucker. Throw his ass out. He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger, look, there’s a nigger!”
The crowd is visibly and audibly confused and upset. Richards responds by saying, “They’re going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger.”
Apparently realizing that he’s managed to do some serious damage to his future career, Richards agreed to appear on David Letterman’s show last night at the urging of Jerry Seinfeld to apologize for his outburst, but word has it that didn’t go over well either:
As Richards began explaining the “nasty things” said about “Afro-Americans,” the audience couldn’t help but chuckle. Seinfeld, immediately scolded the crowd, saying “stop laughing, it ain’t funny.” But the crowd couldn’t help themselves.
The confused fans continued to chuckle, and Richards seemingly blamed Letterman for the awkwardness. “I’ve already heard you make some jokes about it and that’s OK, but I’m really busted up about it.”
Hard to say how much on an impact this will have because, honestly, he doesn’t seem to have done much since Seinfeld went off the air anyway. Not that he should really need to as the residuals from that show should be rolling in for years to come. If he’s smart he’ll take an extended sabbatical until things calm down a bit.