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November 28, 2006
Some Of His Best Friends Were Jewish

Just when it seemed that Michael Richards couldn't embarrass himself any further, he now has to explain his claim of Jewishness. Apparently, neither of Richards' parents were Jews and he has not converted, yet he has long claimed to be Jewish:

Just when it seemed Michael Richards was about to leave the most troubling incident of his career behind, his publicist is having to explain how the comic could consider himself to be Jewish.

Last week, crisis-management expert Howard Rubenstein acknowledged that Richards had shouted anti-Semitic remarks in an April standup comedy routine well before his appearance earlier this month in which he harangued hecklers with the n-word. But he defended Richards' language about Jews, saying that the comic "is Jewish. He's not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing."

As Rubenstein's assertion circulated, Jewish organizations and commentators pointed out that the man who played Cosmo Kramer on "Seinfeld" has not converted to Judaism and neither of his parents are Jewish.

Which makes him …

A goy who shouts anti-Semitic and racist insults on stage, that's what it makes Richards.

I recall meeting with some rabbinical students on a flight a few years ago. They had asked to borrow my newspapers and we struck up a conversation. I explained that my grandfather was Jewish, and we talked about mixed marriages and religion. They talked openly about their perspective on Christianity and Judaism, and it was an interesting conversation, but they were clear on one point: I could not be considered a Jew, as my mother adopted her mother's Catholocism. I would have to formally convert to be a Jew, and that would be true in any form of Judaism.

Apparently, the N-word rant was no isolated incident of uncontrolled rage for Richards. He apparently has a history of hate speech in his comedy act, such as it is. One has to wonder how Richards kept this quiet for so long. He's not done a competent job of addressing it now that it's in the open, certainly. His suggestion that his latest invective would help rally the "Afro-American" community is of a piece with his associative Judaism -- it's an excuse and a dodge.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 28, 2006 10:08 PM

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M'basa Okoye, a soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo army's elite Stegosaurus Brigade, is pictured waiting outside of actor/comedian Michael Richard's house in the Los Angeles area. Okoye told Richard's security detail that he is a big fan and [Read More]

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