Michael Richards Discusses Insecurities Sparked by Laugh Factory Rant

Michael Richards opens up in his revealing new memoir

by Zain ul Abedin
Michael Richards Discusses Insecurities Sparked by Laugh Factory Rant
© Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Seventeen years after a career-altering incident, Michael Richards, known for his iconic role as Cosmo Kramer on "Seinfeld," is stepping back into the limelight with the release of his memoir, "Entrances and Exits." Scheduled for release on June 3 by Permuted Press, the book chronicles his rise to fame, a tumultuous night that nearly ended his career, and his subsequent years of personal reflection and growth.

Richards' fall from grace was swift after a video surfaced in 2006 showing him delivering a racially charged tirade during a stand-up routine. The outburst, which included the use of the N-word, was directed at hecklers in the audience and led to widespread backlash, effectively halting his acting career.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Richards, now 74, expressed immediate remorse for his actions that night at the Laugh Factory. "I was immediately sorry the moment I said it onstage," he disclosed. However, Richards has harbored no illusions about a comeback, stating clearly, "I'm not looking for a comeback."

Roots of Insecurity

"Entrances and Exits" delves into Richards' early life, raised by a single mother who considered abortion when it was still illegal and dangerous.

He reflects on the insecurities that plagued him throughout his career, despite his success on "Seinfeld." These feelings of inadequacy led him to decline several high-profile opportunities, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and hosting gigs at "Saturday Night Live." Richards describes his journey as one of deep analysis and self-discovery.

The memoir not only explores the infamous night but also his unconventional upbringing, his stint in the Army, and his struggle with fame. It touches on the personal work he has undertaken, including his studies in religion and philosophy.

Now living a quieter life with his wife, actress Beth Skipp, and their son Antonio, Richards focuses on healing and learning. "Life is always an up and a down," he admits, indicating a continuous process of working through personal and public perceptions.

"Entrances and Exits" promises to offer readers a raw and candid look at the life of a man who once entertained millions but found his greatest challenges in facing himself. The book is available for pre-order and hits shelves soon, providing a comprehensive look at a life filled with both light and darkness.