- Mr. Richards violated the cardinal rule of performing: NEVER INSULT YOUR AUDIENCE. EVER. Once you do that, you've lost the battle and the war. Audiences behave collectively: even if some audience members disapprove of the behavior of other audience members, they will all react together. Whether that reaction entails walking out en masse or joining the heckling, pretty soon the performer will be one against many. And any military strategist will tell you that's a losing proposition. A microphone is not an adequate weapon against a mob.
- The audience members who were either heckling or simply talking amongst themselves (reports vary) should be ashamed of themselves. I'm not saying they deserved to be insulted, but they behaved rudely before Richards did. If you pay money to see a show, you should take your seat and keep quiet so the people around you (who also paid to see this show) can enjoy themselves.
- This incident illustrates why I can't do stand up comedy. I've tried it once or twice and failed miserably because I can't tell a joke to save my life. But I've been heckled several times over the years and I'm here to tell you that I've never experienced the kind of rage that heckling triggers inside of me. I don't want to go to their offices and make fun of them while they are on the job (a la "Seinfeld"). I want to kill them, plain and simple. So I completely understand where Mr. Richard's rage came from that night.
Once again, let me state that I am not apologizing for his use of a racial epithet. That was only one of the stupid things he did that night on that stage. As a seasoned performer, he should have known better than to insult the people who signed his paycheck.