Hoping to quiet a possibly career-ending uproar, Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, appeared via satellite on David Letterman's Late Show Monday night to apologize for using the "n-word" in a shouting match with hecklers during a performance Friday night. "For me to be at a comedy club and flip out and say this crap, I'm deeply, deeply sorry," Richards said. He explained that the hecklers had caused him to fly into a rage as they continued to interrupt his act. A videotape of the incident was posted on the TMZ.com website, which was the first to report on the Mel Gibson rant after his arrest last summer. In an article posted on Arianna Huffington's blog on Monday, black commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote that the increasingly random use of the "n-word" by black comedians was partly to blame for the incident. "The obsessive use of and the tortured defense of the word by so many blacks gave Richards the license to use the word without any thought that there'd be any blow back for doing it. He was terribly wrong and got publicly called out for it. The blacks that use and defend that word should be called out too. Who's willing to do that?" Hutchinson wrote.

Former SEINFELD star MICHAEL RICHARDS left comedy fans stunned during a Friday night (17NOV06) performance at Los Angeles' Laugh Factory when he blasted a pair of African-American hecklers with a racist rant...