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March 11, 2007 9:32 PM

richard jeni. apparent suicide.

i am saddened by this. he was a sweet guy and every time we spoke he never ever seemed down.

we were talking about my redesigning his website - and nothing seemed out of the ordinary - in fact he sounded like he was looking forward to having a redesign and moving forward and getting more word out there.

this is awful.

something doesn't smell quite right about the situation at all.

Whatchoosayin'?? (8 yapped)

I used to book him for corporate gigs back when I did that sort of thing. And seem to recall he had some issues with addiction.

Unfortunately, being on the road as a performer (alone or in a band... see Brad Delp of Boston) is not an easy thing. You constantly have to be "on"... if you're having a bad day because the airline lost your luggage and the meeting planner stuck you in a "suite" at the Holiday Inn that has no water pressure, people don't care. They want you to bring on the funny, sing the songs that they want to hear... who cares about your new material?! Being "on" goes beyond the stage, I know a performer who clicks on his smile as soon as he gets on the plane because he doesn't know if the person next to him is going to be attending the same meeting he's performing at. And if not, might be someone who will want to book him in the future.

The tears of a clown.

Do you know anything about how we might go ahead and pay tribute to Richard Jeni? My husband and I met him last year and have been fans for many years before that. He was such a sweet guy and we are so saddened.

[note from GC: his wake was today. but if you go to richard's site there's a guestbook richardjeni.com]

I am deeply troubled by the rush to conclude suicide and here is why: Richard Jeni was highly intelligent, a genius. The gunshot wound did not kill him immediately. He could have lived with terrible terrible consquences. He would know how to do this right. I have never heard of anyone committing suicide by shooting themselves in the face.
Does anyone else find this just too peculiar?

[note from GC: yes, definitely peculiar. unfortunately, the family posted something on his website about how it was definitely a suicide... i'm still not totally buying it. the wake is tomorrow in brooklyn]

erin- thats a nice picture of him and you. i have liked him for a long time and i wonder about if its a suicide as well??

It's weird that I was just asking you about him a few weeks ago, remember?

That Red Bank show was so great and he was so nice having us hang out afterwards. I remember watching him talk with the other people who were there - one of his cousins; a young guy who was just getting started in stand-up; and a guy he went to elementary school with who happened to be at the show - he gave each of them his full attention when he was talking with them, unlike a lot of "celebrities" who usually can't be bothered to look you in the eye.

So sad. He seemed like a genuinely nice man. And he was really funny.

Yes, I didn't think the "harmful" part was your work, I just thought he might have mentioned it in the request for a re-design ... And you're right, it said richardjeni.com when I went there too. I figured friends and/or family made it "memorialesque", so that wasn't the part I had questions about either.

Anyway: Would just too much traffic trigger a harmful warning from Google? I've never seen that before for any site -- including for some sites that needed it!

I found your post after doing a search on Richard Jeni. I find this whole thing disturbing. How could someone like him commit suicide? Why are we losing every great comedian to such terrible tragedy?

I have been a Jeni fan since the late 80's when I saw a special about him on HBO. This whole thing is confusing and sad.

Yeah, I just heard about that. It's really sad.

He had one of my favorite jokes, about why "Clamato" was invented: "Who tasted tomato juice, and said, 'Hm ... needs fish!'?"

One thing they didn't mention in the news article I read is that his sitcom "Platypus Man" was one of the shows that launched the UPN network, along with "Star Trek: Voyager". You'd think that would merit a mention among his most notable work ...

Like you, I was also suspicious of the "suicide" angle. The police said they got a 911 call saying "My boyfriend shot himself in the face." Hmm ... could be foul play, or an accident. I hate it when they tag things a suicide so quickly.

Say, since you were discussing a new site design with him, you might know something about this:

When I Googled "jeni" just now, his site came up first in the results, but Google warned "This site may harm your computer." I figured I'd take my chances -- not too bright, I realized, but hey, this is a site by a famous comic, not a scummy pr0n site, so at least it wouldn't be malicous -- so I clicked anyway. All that happened is that the page came up with a black background and "Richard Jeni" in gray letters. You'd expect that after somebody dies, but I was curious as to what was there before that was supposedly dangerous ... ??

Anyway, it was sad news to hear, and worse for you, I imagine, knowing him personally ...

[note from GC: about an hour and a half ago, i went to his site and it was just a black screen with "richardjeni.com" typed on it - somewhat memorial-esque. and about 4 minutes ago i got the google "harmful" message - I'm assuming that the traffic/bandwidth brought it down. Keep in mind - we never finished closing the deal about a redesign, so, I never wound up doing anything with his site. I remember this fall he'd had me come see him at the Count Basie theatre in Red Bank and then wanted me to come to Atlantic City the next night to see him and was giving me a room, but, I had other work that I had to do - and his father was going to see him, too. The family must be crushed. So sad.]

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