Michael Richards On His Return to Comedy

Seinfeld's Kramer makes his way back on to TV after a highly public meltdown

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Michael Richards, whose embodiment of Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld was widely considered to be one of the iconic comic characters of the 90s, is coming back to TV, again playing a sidekick to a comic entertainer. This time he’s a chauffeur to Kirstie Alley, playing a woman called Madison Banks on a TV show confusingly called Kirstie on TVLand.

Richards talks about the new show in this week’s 10 Questions, as well as discussing what he did after a video  of him losing his temper and hurling racial epithets at audience members during a stage show in 2006 went viral. He says he’s worked on getting hold of his anger, which is what he says overtook him that night and he’s spent a lot of time trying to figure out what made him do what he did. “I wanted to get to a place that I could not be so stupid,” he says.

He moved away from Los Angeles and didn’t seek work and casting directors did not come after him. “I took up photography, [did] a lot of reading, a lot of writing and I traveled a bit.” He says he also began to look after his mother, who’s now 92 and in an assisted living facility. “Because I was so identified with the Seinfeld show I don’t think anyone knew what to do with me,” he says. “It was O.K. not to be offered so much other work.  I didn’t have the might for it anyway.”

The actor has made a few forays back into the limelight, mostly at the behest of his old castmate Jerry Seinfeld, appearing with him in Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and having a bit of fun at his own expense on Curb Your Enthusiasm. After Seinfeld, which took so much out of him he couldn’t really enjoy it, the 62 year old comedian says he hopes this time around, he can have a little more fun.

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