If there’s one thing Jerry Seinfeld has (besides so very much money), it’s clout in the comedy community. When he announced earlier this summer that he was starting a web series with the disarmingly straightforward title Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, he was clearly going to be able to pull some of the greats. He followed through too, securing the likes of Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, and Carl Reiner. However, for the finale of the series, Seinfeld saved a past associate who has since become controversial, Michael Richards.
In 2006, the comic notoriously fired off some racial epithets at a black audience member during a rare set at The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood–a career setback from which he has yet to recover. Although he good-naturedly parodied himself and the incident on a 2009 episode of Seinfeld cocreator Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Richards hasn’t publicly addressed it in years. The pair muse and riff on a bunch of other topics first in this episode, but eventually they get around to talking about what happened at The Laugh Factory. Apparently it feels so distant to Richards that he incorrectly remembers how long ago it was (he says seven years; it was six). “Thanks for sticking by me,” he eventually says to Seinfeld, though, and it’s kind of a sweet moment between old friends.