Monday, March 12, 2007


How Sad...

I hadn't heard about this.

I met stand-up comedian Richard Jeni about 15 years ago. For some odd reason, he was part of the entertainment hired by the Republican National Committee for its annual Gala fundraising event. Anyway, one of my colleagues, Brian Walsh, was in charge of chauffering Jeni around.

After the big event (memory fails me as to whether it was the same week or shortly thereafter), Jeni was appearing in a D.C. club somewhere and he provided comp tickets for Brian and myself.

We went to the show (one of only a handful of live comedy shows I had seen at that point). He was very funny -- far more "adult" in his humor than at the RNC gala (big surprise). He was something of crude version of Tim Allen -- or Chris Rock without the social commentary. In short, mostly kind of a blue-collar look at male-female relationships. Elayne Boosler captures the flavor of his stuff.

I remember laughing a lot. I also remember Brian chatting with Jeni after the show and asking him if he wanted to catch a drink with us; Jeni declined, saying that he had his eye on one of the ladies in the audience (a message delivered in slightly cruder terms, if memory serves).

Anyway, I didn't closely follow his career after that, but would occasionally catch him on HBO or Comedy Central and stop for a moment to listen to one of his routines. He seemed to have made a rather successful career in the tough world of stand-up comedy.

And now, I learn he committed suicide over the weekend.

Very sad.

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