View Full Version : Richard Jeni Dead

03-11-2007, 09:35 AM

Richard Jeni
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Jeni (1962–March 10, 2007) was an American stand-up comedian.

Raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, Richard Jeni first received recognition through a series of Showtime stand-up specials and frequent appearances on The Tonight Show. Top executives at HBO noticed Jeni's talent, and he was soon picked up for his first appearance on the HBO Comedy Hour in 1992, entitled Richard Jeni: Platypus Man.

The show was well-received, and Jeni would return for two more shows, and go on to receive a CableACE Award for one of his HBO specials. Jeni would also star on the short-lived UPN sitcom Platypus Man and appear in the Jim Carrey film The Mask. He also starred in commercial campaigns for Certs, Arby's, and won a Clio Award for his work as a writer/performer in a campaign for the Milk Association.

Jeni's website claims that he appeared more on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno than any other stand-up comedian, dating back to when The Tonight Show was hosted by Johnny Carson.

In 2004, Jeni was named number 57 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest standups of all time.

Jeni was a graduate of Hunter College, where he majored in political science.

According to police, Jeni was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 10, 2007.

HBO Specials
Richard Jeni:Platypus Man (1992)
Richard Jeni:A Good Catholic Boy (1997)
Richard Jeni:A Big Steaming Pile of Me (2005)

Showtime Specials
Richard Jeni:Boy From New York City (1990)
Richard Jeni:Crazy From The Heat (1992)

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998) as Jerry Glover
The Mask (1994) as Charlie Schumaker
Bird (1988) as Morello

"My mother never saw the irony of calling me a son of a *****."

03-11-2007, 10:37 AM
Wow, that is sad. He was a pretty popular guy back in the day. I saw him headline Gator Growl (Florida homecoming pep rally) back in the late 1980s in front of about 70,000 fans.

03-12-2007, 12:45 AM
I was shocked when dad just told me the news today!! I really enjoyed watching him.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, California (AP): Richard Jeni, a standup comedian who played to sold-out crowds, was a regular on the "Tonight Show'' and appeared in movies, died of a gunshot wound in an apparent suicide, police said.Police found the 45-year-old comedian alive but gravely injured in a home when they responded to a call Saturday morning from Jeni's girlfriend, Los Angeles Police Officer Norma Eisenman said.Eisenman said the caller told police: "My boyfriend shot himself in the face.'' Jeni died at a nearby hospital.Eisenman said suicide had not been officially confirmed and the investigation was continuing. An autopsy would be done Monday, said Lt. Fred Corral from the investigation division of the coroner's office.Jeni regularly toured the country with a standup act and had starred in several HBO comedy specials, most recently "A Big Steaming Pile of Me'' during the 2005-06 season.Another HBO special, "Platypus Man,'' won a Cable ACE award for best standup comedy special, and formed the basis for his UPN sitcom of the same name, which ran for one season.Jeni's movie credits included "The Mask,'' in which he played Jim Carrey's best friend, "The Aristocrats,'' "National Lampoon's Dad's Week Off,'' and "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn.''He had guest appearances in the TV shows "Everybody Hates Chris,'' "Married: With Children'' and updated versions of the game shows "Hollywood Squares'' and "Match Game.''The comic first received national attention in 1990 with the Showtime special "Richard Jeni: Boy From New York City.'' Two years later, his "Crazy From the Heat'' special attracted the highest ratings in Showtime's history.Jeni became a frequent guest on "The Tonight Show'' during Johnny Carson's reign and continued to appear after Jay Leno took over as host.He also wrote comic material for the 2005 Academy Awards, which was hosted by his friend Chris Rock.Frazer Smith, a standup comedian who often opened for Jeni, said young comedians looked up to him."He was probably one of the best standup comedians in the last 50 years,'' said Smith. "He had tons and tons of material.''

03-12-2007, 03:10 AM
i'm shocked for two reasons.

1. i'm amazed more great stand ups don't commit suicide due to the horrible issues that typically make them great stand up comedians.

2. i'm amazed Jeni was one who would do it.

one of my favorite comedians ever. :(