On Sunday, the Michael Richards Apology Tour made a stop at Jesse Jackson's syndicated radio show, a venue where there was no live studio audience to undermine with nervous laughter the seriousness of his clumsy explanations that his remarks about African-American hecklers hanging upside down "with a fucking fork up [their] ass" came from a rage-place, not a hate-place. During his interview with Jackson, Richards upgraded his level of regret from "busted up" to "shattered," and claimed that the N-bombs he so liberally detonated throughout his onstage tirade are not a part of his vocabulary, even though "the show business" makes them too "accessible" to misguided "young whites" who might think racist meltdowns are "cool":
"That's why I'm shattered by it. The way this came through me was like a freight train. After it was over, when I went to look for them, they had gone. And I've tried to meet them, to talk to them, to get some healing," he said. [...]
Richards noted that the racial epithet he used is frequent in the entertainment industry, and acknowledged that it could have consequences.
"I fear that young whites will think it's cool to go around and use that word because they see very cool people in the show business using that word so freely," he said. "Perhaps that's what came through in that ... the vernacular is so accessible."
Richards' publicist also claims that the actor has already begun psychiatric counseling for his anger issues, but we'll assume that his recovery is taking place in a Mel Gibson-style outpatient program, as no indication has been made that he's checked into the Racist Rageoholics wing of Promises Malibu for a more intensive course of treatment.
Bonus: TMZ has audio from the radio show, in which Richards' somewhat-less-than-cutting-edge, "When I was growing up, some of my best friends were African-Americans" defense can be heard. Also: The KKKramer rap further increases the accessibility of the nasty words he used at the Laugh Factory.