Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another Too-Soon Good-bye

Richard Jeni
B. 10-30-1957
D. 03-10-2007
He dated a close friend of mine for a few months, and I was fortunate enough to meet him three or four times. He was funny, smart and nice, kind of nerdy and insecure, but in that charming "comedian-offstage-in-real-life" kind of way. I didn't know him at all as a person, but I thought he was riotously funny as a comic.
He was also the author of one of my favorite lines in comedy ever:
"My mother never understood the irony of calling me a son of a bitch."
To set the record straight about his death, his family has issued a very touching statement on his homepage confirming that Jeni took his own life on Saturday night.
He had apparently been in treatment for severe clinical depression, coupled with periodic episodes of psychotic paranoia. He was under the care of professionals, he was still working, he had a girlfriend and a life, and was, according to his reps and family, enjoying a particularly lucrative period in his life. The fact that this appears to be the momentary, transient result of an illness for which he was being treated makes this all the more tragic and sad.
I hope that wherever he is, he's the headliner in a packed house with a two drink minimum.
Messages of condolence can be left at his website,
at the memorial guestbook.
Other sweet sayings about Richard Jeni:
An illustrated audio clip of one of his best bits,
A really funny interview about Jeni's relationship with cars
from last December, before a gig at an auto show.
'Night, Rich. Nice to have met you.

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