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Tonight Show comedian Richard Jeni dead, 45

Discussion in 'In Memoriam...' started by eminovitz, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. eminovitz

    eminovitz Research Guru / Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 30, 2013
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    Mar 11, 2007

    Standup comedian Richard Jeni, who appeared numerous times on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, died following an apparently self-inflicted shooting in a West Hollywood, California home. He was 45.

    A woman called police Saturday morning saying that her boyfriend had shot himself, said Officer Norma Eisenman, a public information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. "My boyfriend shot himself in the face," the caller said at 9:50 a.m.

    A loaded gun was reportedly found next to his body.

    Taken to a local hospital, Jeni died sometime later from his injuries.

    An autopsy will be carried out. "It's a death investigation," Eisenman said, adding that suicide had not been officially confirmed.

    An unconfirmed report suggested that Jeni "chose to take his life because of a seemingly intractable medical condition."

    Jeni guested as himself in Make 'Em Laugh, a 1994 episode of The Adventures of Batman and Robin. In it, Gotham City is plagued by a rash of crazy crimes committed by bizarre villains. Batman and Robin discover that the criminals are actually famous comedians brainwashed by the Joker.

    He also appeared as himself in three episodes of the 2004 animated series Shorties Watching Shorties. And he was in Monte Carlo, a 1996 episode of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.

    Born in Brooklyn, Jeni grew up in the Bensonhurst neighborhood and received an honors B.A. in political science from New York City's Hunter College.

    Jeni, who played to sold-out crowds, played Charlie Schumaker in the Oscar-nominated 1994 Jim Carrey movie The Mask. In 2005, he wrote some of the material for the Academy Awards hosted by his friend Chris Rock.

    He became famous throughout the United States in 1990 with the Showtime special Richard Jeni: Boy From New York City. In 1992, his Crazy From the Heat special drew the highest ratings in Showtime's history.

    That year, he won the American Comedy Award for funniest male stand-up comic.

    Jeni also starred in several HBO comedies. He appeared in The Aristocrats in 2005 and played himself in Richard Jeni: A Big Steaming Pile of Me.

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