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Actor calls 'Chiles' role an outlet

Morris calls Imus, Richards 'egregious and preposterous!'

Published: Saturday, April 14 2007 12:10 a.m. MDT

"Seinfeld" actor Phil Morris talks at a banquet for The Jackie Chiles Law Society, a student group at the University of Utah law school.

Kamil Krzaczynski, Deseret Morning News

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What do Michael Richards and Don Imus have in common? Well, in the mind of Jackie Chiles, they are both "outrageous, egregious, preposterous!"

Phil Morris, the actor who played Jackie Chiles in the popular television series, "Seinfeld," talked about the downfalls of the two celebrities during the end-of-the-year banquet of The Jackie Chiles Law Society, a student group at the University of Utah's law school named for Morris' television character.

The Jackie Chiles character was based on O.J. Simpson's famed attorney, Johnnie Cochran and was a great role to play, Morris said, because it gave the public a humorous twist on the exhausting, over-covered and never-ending Simpson trial.

"Jackie was a fun character to play," Morris said. "It was an outlet for frustrations that people found overwhelming. That's why people loved him."

Like the character, the Jackie Chiles Law Society's purpose is to bring out the lighter side of law. It was started by Tyler Boswell, a U. law school student.

And although the group's legitimacy has been questioned numerous times, Boswell wants people to know that it's not a joke and yes, it is a real society. Even though, he said, the entire society is based on a "minor character on a show about nothing." That's exactly what the purpose of the society is, he said, to highlight the mixture of law in reality and in the media.

"So the society, which is real, is based on a fictitious character based on a a real person," Boswell said. "I may have just blown your mind."

Morris, however, teased with the idea of reality and television, because people often think he is Jackie Chiles. When his friends asked him if he was going to dress up like Chiles for Friday's appearance, Morris said, "No."

"I said 'What am I, a dancing monkey?"' Morris said. "I'm going as me."

However, during parts of his speech Morris would switch into Chiles, pumping up his pronounced lawyer voice and putting on the glasses and mustache he wore during the show.

As Morris, not Chiles, he commented on Michael Richards' outburst several months ago. Michaels, who played the wacky character Kramer on "Seinfeld," directed racial slurs at several African-American audience members during a stand-up comedy show last year. Although Morris said he and Michaels got along well, he said Michaels' insults could not have been from "the top of his head."

Morris also said he could not explain Imus' , racial comments about the women's basketball team at Rutgers University. , adding that they were such "cute little black girls."

"It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!" Morris said as Chiles before switching to his own self, "He just needs to grow up."


E-MAIL: abreton@desnews.com

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