Goodbye, Richard Jeni…

March 12, 2007 7:03pm
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I found out today that comedian Richard Jeni passed away over the weekend, from a gunshot wound to the head that is believed to be a suicide (still pending autopsy).

Richard Jeni was probably one of my favorite comedians of all time, right up there with Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin and all of the other “big dogs.” But he didn’t really consider himself a big dog – just a really funny guy who was at the top of his game. I first learned of him from his appearance at Comic Relief 7 – by far the funniest four minutes of the entire 6-hour show. Matt and I went on to listen to every sound bite we could get our hands on from the guy – we could both probably have recited his HBO special, “A Good Catholic Boy,” from memory! Eventually we did go on to even see him live one summer’s night down in Detroit and we thought it was great just because even though we thought we’d heard pretty much every piece of material the guy had ever written, that show was still filled with all sorts of brand new material and needless to say, we realized that we still had a lot of memorizing to do…

Here’s a link to the official story from the AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_en_tv/obit_jeni_18

Also a few of his more “syndicate-friendly” quotes, from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/03/12/jeni.quotes/index.html?section=cnn_latest

And finally, that very first bit from 1995 that turned me on to one of the most brilliant comedians of his time:

Somebody should be honest with the large people of America. You know who should have a late night diet infomercial? Some idiot from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn – a guy who’s too stupid to be diplomatic – the Joey Falco Diet Plan…

The guy comes right out on TV in a t-shirt, “Hey folks – how ya doin’? Thanks for tuning in. Listen, my name’s Joey Falco and if you’re overweight, I’ve got a diet plan that’s worked for millions of people. It’s called Stop Eating, You Fat Bastard! Let me explain how it works over here on this chart – these are proteins, these are carbohydrates, therefore stop eating, you fat bastard!

“Now some of you have been writing in saying, ‘How do I know if I’m a fat bastard?’ Well here are some ways to tell:

  • When you go to a buffet, do the waitresses put on riot hats?
  • Do you find yourself winded after combing your hair?
  • When you stand up to pee, do you have to move your chin out of the way first?”

Chances are, you have become a fat bastard. So send only three bucks for my tape – it ain’t video tape or audio tape, you know what it is?! Scotch tape – take a piece and put it over your mouth so the fucking twinkies can’t get in! Hey, try it for 30 days, if it doesn’t work, fuck you – you’re not getting your money back! Because you lied – you kept eating, you fat bastard…”And stay tuned for my next tape, Stop Smoking, You Stupid Bastard…

What a guy – truly a legend, at least in this fan’s eyes. Thanks for the laughs, Sir. Thanks for the laughs, indeed…

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