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Michael Richards, 1949-

Book - 2024

In this memoir, the author writes about the evolution of Cosmo Kramer, his character on Seinfeld, sharing insecurities and successes he experienced creating the character. He discusses his childhood with his schizophrenic grandmother and single mother, and his drive to unravel the mystery of his father. He tells of his early passion for theater and performance, his tour of duty in the army, his interest in psychology and religion, and his days coming up in LA's comedy clubs with Robin Williams, Andy Kaufman and Sam Kinison. He also opens up about the night of outrageous anger in a comedy club that resulted in nearly two decades of self exile.

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BIOGRAPHY/Richards, Michael
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2nd Floor New Shelf BIOGRAPHY/Richards, Michael (NEW SHELF) Due Aug 5, 2024
autobiographies (literary works)
Personal narratives
Récits personnels
New York : Permuted Press [2024]
Main Author
Michael Richards, 1949- (author)
Other Authors
Jerry Seinfeld (writer of foreword)
Physical Description
xiv, 425 pages, 16 unnumbered leaves of plates : color illustrations, color photographs, color portraits ; 24 cm
  • Foreword
  • Introduction: The Hair
  • Part 1. Got Any Meat?
  • Chapter 1. If You Want Funny
  • Chapter 2. Kessler
  • Part 2. Oh Mama!
  • Chapter 3. The Backstory
  • Chapter 4. Love
  • Chapter 5. The Summer of '69
  • Chapter 6. Next
  • Chapter 7. Drafted
  • Chapter 8. The Road Show
  • Chapter 9. The Burgermeister
  • Part 3. I'm Out There!
  • Chapter 10. Higher Intelligence
  • Chapter 11. Zapped
  • Chapter 12. The Ha-Ha Returns
  • Chapter 13. Fridays
  • Chapter 14. The Real Don Johnson
  • Chapter 15. The Truth
  • Chapter 16. Stella!
  • Part 4. Giddyup!
  • Chapter 17. The Shortest First Season in the History of Television
  • Chapter 18. The Ah-Ha
  • Chapter 19. The K-Man Cometh
  • Chapter 20. The Hipster Doofus
  • Chapter 21. And the Emmy Goes to
  • Chapter 22. The Celebrity
  • Chapter 23. Cosmo
  • Chapter 24. Finding Home
  • Chapter 25. It's Go Time
  • Chapter 26. Have a Good Show
  • Part 5. You Gotta Listen to the Little Man
  • Chapter 27. The Flop
  • Chapter 28. Whirling
  • Chapter 29. Not Funny
  • Chapter 30. Heart-Work
  • Chapter 31. The Light
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Cosmo Kramer tells his story. The creation and portrayal of Kramer, the wacky neighbor who slid his way into TV history on Seinfeld, serves as the center of Richards' detailed yet guarded memoir. Don't expect a lot of belly laughs. There are more references to 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, comparative mythology professor and author Joseph Campbell, and trailblazing Black architect Paul R. Williams than there are actual jokes. The author ably chronicles his difficult early life before stardom, including his brief service in the Army, degree in drama from Evergreen State College, and improv work with Ed Begley Jr. Even when Richards found success on Seinfeld, he still worried. When actor Elliott Gould told him, "Enjoy it while it lasts," Richards wondered if it was an insult as he learned to deal with his newfound celebrity. It turns out that Gould was offering sage advice. While Richards delves deeply into his infamously meticulous preparations for Kramer's character--sometimes even outlining changes from one episode to the next--he doesn't provide many details about his mistakes. He only mentions the collapse of his first marriage in passing, and he sort of yadda-yaddas past his well-publicized 2006 meltdown at the Laugh Factory in response to a heckler. "He went low and I went even lower," he writes. "We both ended up at the bottom of the barrel." The author takes responsibility for all the racial slurs, claiming that anger got the best of him. However, he fails to explain why he used those specific words. Richards often says he has a hard time being authentic and letting people know the real him, and this book doesn't change that much. Jerry Seinfeld provides the foreword. Kramer was Seinfeld's "hipster doofus," but his average memoir shows how serious Richards was about being funny. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.