Mooney told The Washington Post Saturday that Michael Richards' recent meltdown in Los Angeles caused a light to go off in his head because he himself uses the word in his act.
Mooney, who considers Richards a friend, was falling back on the styles of Lenny Bruce and host of black comics who spout the incendiary word on stage.
Black leaders this week called on entertainers to stop using the word regardless of their race because non-black performers and rap-music fans figure if African-Americans use the word, they can too.
But Mooney admitted to the Post that weaning himself from the word would be as difficult as an alcoholic giving up the bottle.
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