The Associated Press reported today that Richard Jeni, a well-known standup comedian, has died of a gunshot wound in an apparent suicide. Police found the 45-year-old comedian alive in a West Hollywood home when they responded to a call Saturday morning from Jeni’s girlfriend. The comedian died after being transferred to a local hospital. Accoring the the AP, the suicide has not been officially confirmed and the investigation will continue.
Jeni starred in several HBO comedy specials and was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show” during Johnny Carson’s reign and continued to appear after Jay Leno took over as host. Jeni’s movie credits included “The Mask,” “The Aristocrats,” “National Lampoon’s Dad’s Week Off,” and “An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn.”
He had guest appearances in the TV shows “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Married: With Children,” and game shows “Hollywood Squares” and “Match Game.” The Brooklyn-born comic first received national attention in 1990 with the Showtime special “Richard Jeni: Boy From New York City.” Two years later, his “Crazy From the Heat” special attracted the highest ratings in Showtime’s history.