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Richard Jeni

 

Richard Jeni


  Richard Jeni died Saturday, March 10, 2007. He was 49. 

Richard Jeni Well-seasoned in a cross-platform variety of film, television and live performance, comedian Richard Jeni continued to tackle new projects with distinctive talent and craft.

Since his first major movie role in the blockbuster hits, "The Mask" and his own TV series based on his award-winning HBO Special, a sold out attraction across the country, Jeni had been game for new territory.

Jeni starred in the satirical feature, "Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film."  In addition, he was seen on 10,000 movie screens across the country in a series of Coca-Cola commercials. In the fall of 1997, he starred in his fourth one hour comedy special for HBO entitled "A Good Catholic Boy."  All in all, 1997 was a busy year for him. There was the release of his first comedy CD, "Richard Jeni's Greatest Bits," The Movie Channel original feature "National Lampoon's Dad's Week Off" with Henry Winkler and he hosted The Learning Channel infotainment series "What A World," where he was nominated for a CableAce Award as Best Magazine Host.

He received his first CableAce Award in the category of Best Stand-up Comedy Special. The HBO Special, "Richard Jeni: Platypus Man," ventured into such areas as: safe sex in the 90's, the art of buying the ultimate car and the mind-numbing power of love songs.

Throughout these demanding productions, Jeni continued to earn top honors as both performer and writer in his familiar neighborhood of stand-up comedy. Having been named 1993's "Best Male Stand-up Comic" by the American Comedy Awards, Jeni won a second CableAce Award for his writing on A&E's "Caroline's Comedy Hour," which he also hosted.

Jeni also scored with his feature film debut in New Line Cinema's blockbuster, "The Mask." He co-starred as 'Charlie,' best friend and sidekick to Jim Carrey, an ordinary guy transformed into an indestructible, wise-cracking superior by a mysterious, ancient mask. Said Jeni, "Think of an Italian Barney Rubble."

Jeni's native territory was Brooklyn, New York. He vividly recalled that street fights, alcohol, and drugs were a way of life, and to survive he quickly developed a style of his own with dead-on imitations and comedy routines.

A mathematics wizard with a penchant for political analysis, Jeni combined these skills and graduated with honors as a double major in political science and economics from Hunter College. Following a couple of stints in "junior executive"-type jobs, Jeni's overwhelming, inescapable call came in 1982 when comedy eventually won out, and he took his act to an open-mike night in Brooklyn. His unique blend of street-smarts and scholarship was finally realized in his hilarious truth-based observations on the human condition.

His accomplishments in television were consistent with his rising profile. He began in 1986 with a few minutes on Showtime's "Just for Laughs" international comedy festival broadcast. This was followed by Showtime's "Triple Crown of Comedy." Showtime gave Jeni his first half-hour solo special in 1989. "Richard Jeni: The Boy From New York City" was a blockbuster for the cable channel, and he received his first CableAce nomination. Subsequently, Showtime gave him a rare one-hour in 1991. "Richard Jeni - Crazy From The Heat" garnered outstanding ratings as well as rave reviews.

He had been a guest on just about every major talk show. He won a Clio Award in 1989 for his character in a series of commercials for the Milk Association and was again highly visible in the memorable series of off-beat Certs commercials.

With a keen ear for dialogue, a remarkable talent for observational comedy, and an impeccable sense of timing, Jeni continued to pioneer the comedic frontier with his own sharp brand of cutting-edge humor.

Richard Jeni will be missed!

Born: in New York
         in New York City
         in Brooklyn

Died: in California
         in Los Angeles
         Mar 10, 2007

DVD & Video Store   movies you can buy on-line

Richard Jeni video: "A Big Steaming Pile of Me"   Buy this video: "A Big Steaming Pile of Me"  (2005)

Richard Jeni album: "Greatest Bits"   Buy this CD: "Richard Jeni's Greatest Bits"  (1997)

Richard Jeni video: "Crazy From The Heat"   Buy this video: "Richard Jeni - Crazy From The Heat"  (1995)


For More Information  For professional booking requests only. Thank you.

Richard Jeni: Professional inquiries only.

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