This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 28, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Earlier we sat down with comedian and author of the brand new book, "Michael Richards.
GOLDBERG: Yes, I know who you mean.
HANNITY: Why won't you comment?
GOLDBERG: Because enough is being said, and whatever...
HANNITY: Yes, but what do you think?
GOLDBERG: ... whatever I want to say, I'm going to give a great deal of thought to it before I just kind of go from — waah — you know what I mean? I'd rather — I like to be thoughtful. I really do. I know it sounds crazy...
HANNITY: This is a week old now. I mean, that's a long time to say anything.
GOLDBERG: I know. But it's a huge issue. Race is a huge issue in the country, and it's not one that should be dealt with lightly.
HANNITY: Let me ask you — your observation, perhaps — here he is on stage — I've been heckled when I've been on stage...
COLMES: And for good reason.
HANNITY: Probably for good reason, that's true. Maybe you have. I don't know.
HANNITY: All right, most people have. So here's a heckling — like, I watched, for example, Chris Rock. And he can say anything and make me laugh. He's funny, but it's the spirit in which he says it. I watched this, and this was really, really — this seemed like real anger. Do you see that?
GOLDBERG: I see it, but you know what, I'd really like to, one day, when someone actually gets it all together, I want to see the whole progression. I want to see where he started.
Because my first thought — and this is the last word on it for me — my first thought was, OK, well, he's going somewhere with this, because it doesn't start out with the rant. It starts out from a different place, and I didn't know whether he was going for something having to do with Lenny Bruce. I didn't know what the point was. But then there was the flash point, and then it just sort of went in a whole other direction.
But until I can really speak on it because this is one of those things, Sean — and you both know this — this is going to be with him forever. Forever. And so, because I know people are waiting to hear what I have to say, I want to be really, really clear about it.
HANNITY: It's interesting, too, because you've just come out with a book, "The Book of Manners," and there's been a coarsening of the culture. I think we can all agree on that. You say in the book, parental overseeing has been on the wane. We agree. You and I agree.
GOLDBERG: Oh, my gosh!
HANNITY: Can you believe it?
GOLDBERG: All you all who just fainted — all of the people who just fainted, get back up.
HANNITY: You said, "I want to go up to parents and say, 'Do you see that your child has no clue that they're out of step?'" I want to tie this into a couple of things...
HANNITY: ... comedy, rap music, heavy metal music, the use of the "N" word, bitches and ho's...
GOLDBERG: Say it one more time. Say it one more time. One more time.
HANNITY: It saddens me that we go there. Look, people said you went too far, when you went after President Bush.
GOLDBERG: Are we back to him?
HANNITY: No, but you're writing a book on manners. Did you cross the line?
GOLDBERG: No. Here's the deal. If your child is in the airport with me, I don't need to know that you can't handle your child. OK? You know what I'm saying? If your child is given a gift by me, I don't need to know that you've not taught your child how to say thank you. These are basics.
When we talk about comedy, you have to be 18 to come in and see me.
COLMES: On my radio show, a lot of people calling in — and this drives me nuts — they will say, "Well, if blacks can use the word, whites can use it."
GOLDBERG: Obviously not.
COLMES: Obviously not. How do you explain to people — first of all, is it OK for anybody to use that word?
GOLDBERG: It depends — here's the truth for me because the word doesn't affect me the same way. You can't yell — I talk about, in my show, the use of words — certain words that no one else will use that I will. Because the words that I feel are the most offensive are the most commonly-used words in our vocabulary.
Tell me if you remember the first time an adult called you the "S" word. So you know what the "S" word is?
COLMES: The "S" word?
GOLDBERG: Yes. It is to me the worst word in creation. And it's a word that we have taught children. We say it to children without thinking, and it stays with them all their life. The word is "stupid." To me, that is a vile word.
So when you use words that are meant to stop you in your tracks and shift your focus from what you're supposed to be thinking about, that's what the "N" word does.
COLMES: Is it OK for one group of people to use the word, because they have the right to do that, and another group of people not to use that word, because they haven't lived that?
GOLDBERG: Well, isn't it really that some folks are asking for permission to do what was done without permission for a hundred years? And now people want to get back in and be able to say it because it seems hip and cool.
It's kind of like music. You know, you've got music and now suddenly there's a whole group of folks who never used to listen to this music, who are in it. Their pants are low. They've got a whole thing. People want permission to be hip and edgy, but not everything works that way.
COLMES: But hip and edgy to one person is totally offensive to someone else.
GOLDBERG: Well, that's why there are erasers on pencils. That's why.
COLMES: That's exactly why.
COLMES: Do you like doing radio?
GOLDBERG: I'm really having a good time. I know I'm not supposed to, but I'm having a blast.
COLMES: You're not supposed to have a good time?
GOLDBERG: No, you know, people get upset if you have too good a time. Then they want to see what's wrong with you, but I love it. I love it.
COLMES: It's a very tough schedule.
GOLDBERG: But I look good, don't I?
COLMES: You look great, but now you can't do as much nightclub stuff, right?
GOLDBERG: Oh, well no, you know, because I tend to go out on a limb. I will go do on weekends. I'll do night work. Like this week I'm in the city to do a piece for Bravo, which we will shoot Friday night, six and eight.
Now, by the time we're done shooting, I will have been up for 17, 18 hours, but, you know, I think I can still handle it.
COLMES: Now you're in a unique group of people who have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy.
GOLDBERG: I know.
COLMES: Very few people have done that.
COLMES: So what mountain now do you want to climb? What do you...
COLMES: Right, the Marconi Award.
GOLDBERG: The Peace Prize. The Peace Prize.
COLMES: The Nobel Peace Prize?
GOLDBERG: Yes, one day, before I hit 75, I would like to be thought of as someone who tried to help make some peace somewhere.
COLMES: What made you an activist?
GOLDBERG: My mother and John Kennedy.
GOLDBERG: Well, my mother said that if we had something and we could give to other people, and still take care of ourselves, that it was my duty as a human being to do that.
When I was a kid John Kennedy came to Chelsea, and it was a huge deal. It was the hottest day of the year, back in the year one. And he spoke to me, you know, as a kid, about my country and what my duty was, and basically, what he was saying is if you don't like what you're seeing, then try to do something about it. But if you don't at least try, then it's really hard to kvetch about it.
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