With the help of Jerry Seinfeld, who said his longtime friend was "shattered" and "deserves a chance to apologize," Michael Richards appeared on Monday's Late Show with David Letterman to discuss the racial epithet-strewn rant that capped his Friday performance at a Los Angeles comedy club, and was immediately disseminated via the Internet. "I was... trying to do my act, and I got heckled, and I took it badly," Richards said. "I went into a rage and said some pretty nasty things... a lot of trash talk. I'm deeply, deeply sorry."

Letterman asked Richards if he would have launched into a tirade had his hecklers not been African-American. "It may have happened," he replied. "The rage did go all over the place, to everybody in the room.... I'm not a racist, that's what's so insane about this. And yet it's said.... It fires out of me."