Comedian Richard Jeni: Dead at 49

I feel terrible about the death yesterday of comedian Richard Jeni. He has always been one of my favorite comedians of all time, and I simply can’t believe he committed suicide. I’m curious to see how the investigation into his death unfolds.

For our first date back in 1988, my husband and I went to a comedy club in Brooklyn, and Richard Jeni was the featured performer. There were many comedians making the rounds at the clubs back then, including a couple of unknowns named Ray Romano and Richard Lewis. I’d seen those guys give great shows, and some so-so shows, but Richard Jeni never had a bad night when I saw him perform.

John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, and now, Richard Jeni. Why is it that so many gifted comedians lead such turbulent lives, that end all too soon?

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