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Reclusive Michael Richards Reunites With Jerry Seinfeld For First Time In 8 Years

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Michael Richards made his first red carpet appearance for the first time in eight years during the recent premiere of Jerry Seinfeld’s Unfrosted. Both longtime friends and Seinfeld co-stars posed for photos and appeared delighted to see each other as they hugged and waved to fans. Richards and Jerry both wore suits, with the latter opting for a black undershirt, and Richards rocking a white shirt with black plaid prints. Richards, who played Cosmo Kramer alongside Jerry in the classic NBC sitcom, accessorized with a pair of clear-rimmed glasses and kept his face in a cheerful grimace. The actor was last seen with his counterparts in 2015 during the inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Initiative Lunch for Baby Buggy and has since stepped away from the spotlight.

Although it has been nearly a decade since Richards attended any star-studded events, he long stepped away from the public eye since 2006, after making racist remarks during his stand-up session at The Laugh Factory. Some Hispanic and black members of the audience expressed their displeasure at his jokes, yet he fired back with more slurs. “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f–king fork up your ass,” he yelled, saying the “N-word” as well. Years later, Richards will admit to his “shameful” behavior in his forthcoming memoir Entrances And Exits, which also reveals his tumultuous childhood and the time spent serving the army in the ‘70s.

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What does Michael Richards do now?

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Richards’ career took a nosedive after the Laugh Factory incident of 2006, which a member of the audience recorded and handed over to TMZ. His friend and co-star Jerry intervened and invited him to a broadcast of The Late Show with David Letterman, where Richards apologized. “For me to be at a comedy club and to flip out and say this crap, I’m deeply, deeply sorry,” he said at the time. “I’m not a racist, that’s what’s so insane about this.”

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RELATED: ‘Seinfeld’s Michael Richards Details Racist 2006 Outburst In Upcoming Memoir

Unfortunately, fans were not having it, claiming he only felt remorseful because the news of his actions went viral. “If he wanted to apologize, he could have contacted one of us out of the group,” Kyle Doss noted. “But, he didn’t. He apologized on camera just because the tape got out.”  Richards’ misdeed echoed on for months and was parodied on shows like Mad TV, Family Guy, South Park, Extras, and Monday Night Raw, as well as an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Richards himself poked fun about it. By 2007, Richards voiced Bud Ditchwater in the animated film Bee Movie and starred in other shows like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and 2013’s Kirstie starring Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman.

SEINFELD, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards, 1990-98. © Castle Rock Entertainment / Courtesy: Everett Collection

More recently, Richards appeared in the 2019 romantic comedy film, Faith, Hope & Love, as Daddy Hogwood alongside Peta Murgatroyd and Robert Krantz. Now, the TV personality has taken to writing with his memoir titled Entrances And Exits set for release this June. The father of one describes his book as “a hymn to the irrational, the senseless spirit that breaks the whole into pieces, a reflection on the seemingly absurd difficulties that intrude upon us all.”

Richards, who is married to Beth Skipp, also debunked rumors of a Seinfeld revival some years back, saying it was best to move on. “I am very much a nostalgia person. I love to go to my house where I grew up on Long Island. It’s one of the reasons I love the Mets because I loved it when I was a kid, and it makes me think back to that time. But I like to go forward in life. I believe that going forward. I don’t know what we would do that would be good,” he explained, adding that a reunited cast “won’t be as good” as the original. “I think we did a good job,” Richards quipped.

SEINFELD, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards, (season 1), 1990-98, (c) Castle Rock Entertainment / Courtsey Everett Collection

Are Jerry Seinfeld and Michael Richards friends?

Richards and Jerry have been longtime pals, finding friendship within and outside of their work. The duo first met while auditioning for Seinfeld, and according to both men it was mutual chemistry on first contact. “I knew I was gonna get the part. I knew it on the first time I met you,” Richards told Jerry during a 2012 episode of the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, to which the latter responded that he felt the universe telling him, “You two are gonna be together.”

Richards is particularly grateful to Jerry for standing by him after he got canceled for the Laugh Factory mishap. “Thanks for sticking by me. It meant a lot to me. But inside, it still kicks me around,” he said. Jerry then advised his buddy saying, “That’s up to you to say, ‘You know what, I’ve been carrying this baggage enough. I’m gonna put it down.’ I hope you consider using your instrument again because it’s the most beautiful instrument I’ve ever seen.”

DYING LAUGHING, Jerry Seinfeld, 2016. © Gravitas Ventures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Jerry often spoke up for Richards, saying he “still feels bad” about his racist behavior which resulted from a moment of anger. “That’s the terrible thing about something like that, is you never quite get it out of your head that you hurt people,” he told CNN’s Larry King, adding that he has no issue with hiring Richards again. “Why not? I mean, we’re human beings. None of us is without a mistake,” the Colin Quinn: The New York Story actor retorted.

TRIAL AND ERROR, Michael Richards, 1997. ph: Ralph Nelson / ©New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

Richards also learned his lesson, although it is unclear whether the majority of the public has forgiven him. “I’d only been doing stand-up at the time that situation happened about seven or eight months and I just lost my patience that night because people were heckling me and not letting me work on my material and I lost my cool. And it is what it is! I’ve moved on,” he said, revealing his decision to leave stand-up and focus on film. “I never had a great knack for that. I was always more of a performance artist, in a sense and that could be misunderstood given what happened nine years ago. And I am sorry for all that.”

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