Richard Jeni, standup comedian, killed himself the other night. I always remembered him as one of those great comedians who sailed under the radar, one of those acts that you were proud to say "yeah, he's great", with the smug satisfaction of someone who was more plugged in to the comedy scene than the person you were talking to.
Jeni's specials on TV were the kind of laugh-fests that you remember forever, the kind that have you with tears in your eyes and your sides literally hurting from laughing so hard. Interestingly, his interview & quote in the Bill Hicks documentary "Just a Ride" was very telling. He said that watching Bill Hicks, you really questioned what you were doing (referring to standup comedians in general). I thought that was one of the greatest accolades Bill Hicks ever received, since I considered Richard Jeni to be a great comedian and here he was saying he wasn't even in Hicks' league.
But enough about Bill Hicks. He's been gone a while, and Richard Jeni is freshly departed. Damn; I still can't believe it. Comedy's a tough racket.
The way I see life, it's like we're all flying on the Hindenburg, why fight over the window seats?