|Birth name||Richard John Colangelo|
April 14, 1957|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 10, 2007
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Notable works and roles||
Charlie in The Mask
Early life 
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 returned for two more shows, going on to receive a CableACE Award for one of his HBO specials. Jeni also starred on the short-lived 1995 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. He appeared in The Aristocrats, Dad's Week Off, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, and 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.
After making his Tonight Show debut in 1988 with Johnny Carson, Jeni appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno more than any other stand-up comedian. Jeni's death was mentioned on the show by Jay Leno on March 12, 2007, with accompanying footage of Jeni's last appearance on The Tonight Show.
On March 10, 2007, Jeni was found by his girlfriend, Amy Murphy (a weather anchor and reporter for KTTV in Los Angeles) with a .38 caliber Colt Detective Special between his feet and an apparent self-inflicted handgun wound to the head in the bedroom area of his West Hollywood, California home. Jeni and Murphy had been conversing in bed, discussing breakfast and their plans for the day, when Murphy left to cook breakfast downstairs. After a few minutes she heard the sound of a gunshot, ran upstairs, discovered the body, and called 911.
Police and paramedics arrived and transported Jeni to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he died. He was 49 years old. His family later stated with certainty that the death was a suicide, and that Jeni had recently been diagnosed with "severe clinical depression coupled with fits of psychotic paranoia." According to the coroner's report released in June 2007, Jeni had a history of schizophrenia and had been taking antidepressants and a sleeping aid. The report further indicated that his girlfriend heard him talking to himself about a week earlier, saying "just squeeze the trigger." Jeni's death was marked by many tributes, including specials on XM Satellite Radio, Turner Classic Movie Channel, and Bill Maher's HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher. The fifth episode of that show's fifth season was 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
- Dad's Week Off (1997) as Bernie
- An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998) as Jerry Glover
- Chasing Robert (2007) as Rich the Bookie
- DOB according to Jeni's Website and Social Security Death Index.
- Ryan, Jack (June 27, 2007). "A Comedian's Sad Demise - Coroner: Before suicide, Richard Jeni was involuntarily hospitalized". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
- "Richard Jeni". 2007. Archived from the original on 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- "Chasing Robert".
- ""Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time" at IMDB".
- Amy Murphy Biography." Retrieved on November 2, 2012.
- "Family Says Jeni Committed Suicide." Associated Press via Washington Post. March 13, 2007. Retrieved on March 13, 2007.
- "Coroner's Report: Jeni Was Mentally Ill." Associated Press via Washington Post. June 29, 2007. Retrieved on August 16, 2009.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Richard Jeni|
- Richard Jeni at Find a Grave
- Richard Jeni at the Internet Movie Database
- RichardJeni.com - Official site