Published at: March 12, 2007, 4:33 a.m. CST by quint
Hey guys. Quint here with some sad news.
Comedian Richard Jeni died yesterday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Of his movie appearances, the only one I really remember with any fondness or clarity is his portrayal of the best friend to the Jim Carrey character in THE MASK. He was very natural and likable in that flick and looking back on it now I'm surprised he didn't get more supporting work.
My main memories of Jeni come from my adolescent years when his specials ran on cable. I was addicted to stand-up comedy at that age and I would watch anything I could, as long as there was a mic and a comedian trying to make me laugh I was happy. I loved the stand-up movies, like Eddie Murphy's RAW and DELIRIOUS and RICHARD PRYOR LIVE ON SUNSET STRIP and BILL COSBY'S HIMSELF. As much as I liked those films, there was something about watching a cable special, like George Carlin's stuff, or just random people I hadn't heard of and had no expectations of... I don't know, it was almost more personal, more affecting to watch a cable special than a feature.
I caught Jeni's work there and I seem to remember him hosting some USA channel comedy specials. He always came off as a laugh a minute, happy man, which makes his apparent suicide all the more shocking.
It's a shame whenever anybody takes their own life and I wish he was in a better place in his life and didn't feel he had to end it. My thoughts go out to Jeni's friends, family and fans.