Richard Jeni

Richard Jeni

Infobox Comedian
name = Richard Jeni

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pseudonym =
birth_name = Richard John Colangelo
birth_date = birth date|1957|4|14|mf=y
birth_place = Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
death_date = death date and age|2007|3|10|1957|4|14
death_place = Los Angeles, California, U.S.
medium = Improv/Stand up
nationality = American
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Richard John Colangelo (April 14, 1957 [ DOB according to Jeni's Website] and Social Security Death Index.] – March 10 2007), better known by the stage name of Richard Jeni,Cohen, Sandy. [ Autopsy results, cause of death pending for comic Richard Jeni] . "Associated Press". March 13 2007.] was an American stand-up comedian and actor.

Early life

Raised in an Italian-American family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn,Cite web|url=|title=Richard Jeni|accessdate=2007-03-11|year=2007] he graduated with honors from Hunter College, earning a bachelor's degree in Comparative Politics. [cite web|url=|title=Richard Jeni bio|accessdate=2007-03-11]


Jeni first received recognition through a series of Showtime stand-up specials and frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show". Top executives at HBO picked up his first appearance on "The HBO Comedy Hour" in 1992, titled "Richard Jeni: Platypus Man".

The show was well-received and Jeni would return for two more shows, going 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 appeared in the Jim Carrey film "The Mask". Jeni composed the theme song ("I'm A Platypus Man") for his TV series. [imdb name | id = 0420732 ] He appeared in "The Aristocrats", "National Lampoon's Dad's Week Off", "Burn, Hollywood, Burn", and "Chasing Robert" [cite web | url = | title = Chasing Robert ] . He starred in commercial campaigns for Certs and Arby's, and won a Clio Award for his work as a writer/performer in an advertising campaign for the American Dairy Association.

Jeni appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than any other stand-up comedian, dating back to when the program was hosted by Johnny Carson.cite web|url=| title=Richard Jeni |accessdate=2007-03-11 | publisher =] Jeni's death was referenced on the show by Jay Leno on March 12 2007, with accompanying footage of Jeni's last appearance on "The Tonight Show".

In 2004, Jeni was ranked #57 on Comedy Central's list of the "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time". [imdb title | id = 0429332/ | title= Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time (2004)]


On March 10, 2007, Jeni was found by his girlfriend with an apparent self-inflicted handgun wound to the face,cite news |author=BBC News |title=US comic dies in apparent suicide |url= |publisher=BBC News: Entertainment |date=Monday, 12 March 2007 |accessdate=2007-03-12 ] in West Hollywood, California.cite news |author=Ryan, Jack |title=A Comedian's Sad Demise - Coroner: Before suicide, Richard Jeni was involuntarily hospitalized | url= |publisher=The Smoking Gun |date=June 27, 2007 |accessdate=2007-06-27 ] Police found him alive, but gravely injured when they arrived. He was quickly transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he died.cite news | author = Cholo, Ana Beatriz | url = | title=Comic Richard Jeni dead, police investigating possible suicide | publisher = San Francisco Chronicle] Jeni was 49 years old. Suicide was suspected but was not officially confirmed by police. His family later stated with certainty that the death was in fact a suicide, and that Jeni had recently been diagnosed with "severe clinical depression coupled with fits of psychotic paranoia."" [ Family Says Jeni Committed Suicide] ." "Associated Press" via "Washington Post." March 13, 2007. Retrieved on March 13 2007.] Jeni's death was marked by many homages, including specials on XM Satellite Radio, Carlos Mencia's reference on "Mind of Mencia", Turner Classic Movie Channel, and Bill Maher's HBO show, "Real Time with Bill Maher" (Season 5, Episode 5) being dedicated to Jeni's memory.

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)


* "Bird" (1988) as Morello
* "The Mask" (1994) as Charlie Schumaker
* "" (1998) as Jerry Glover


External links

*imdb name|id=0420732|name=Richard Jeni
* [] - Official site

NAME=Jeni, Richard
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Colangelo, Richard John
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American comedian
DATE OF BIRTH=April 14, 1960
PLACE OF BIRTH=Brooklyn, New York, United States
DATE OF DEATH=March 10, 2007
PLACE OF DEATH=Los Angeles, California, United States

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