"My mother never saw the irony of calling me a son of a bitch."
Born Richard John Colangelo, Richard Jeni
(April 14, 1957 — March 10, 2007) was an American stand-up comedian. He had three HBO specials (Platypus Man
, A Good Catholic Boy
, and A Big Steaming Pile of Me
), two Showtime specials (Boy from New York City
and Crazy from the Heat
), and more appearances on The Tonight Show
than any other comedian other than its hosts. He appeared in The Mask
as Charlie Schumaker.
- Ambulance Chaser: The late-night TV lawyer with the big stack of legal books behind his head, Bernard Shapiro of the law firm of Dewey, Beatum, and Runn.
- Ate His Gun: Sadly did this the morning of March 10, 2007.
- Audience Participation Song: Got the audience to hum the National Geographic theme throughout Platypus Man.
- Brooklyn Rage: Born in Brooklyn.
- Brutal Honesty: He believed that somebody from his old neighborhood ought to have a late-night weight loss commercial with this angle: The Joey Falco Diet Plan, "Stop Eatin', You Fat Bastard!"
"Call now and I'll throw in my other tape: "Stop Smokin', you Stupid Bastard!"
- Call Back: Called back the hair-in-a-can spray at the end of the Bernard Shapiro bit.
- Dope Slap: "Mass," according to him, is short for "massive head trauma" because his mom would hit him every five minutes for trying to amuse himself in church.
- The Glasses Come Off: He wanted to wear glasses just so he could do this at dramatic moments and noted that you can't pull it off if you wear contact lenses instead.
- Harsher in Hindsight: His "depressing love songs" bit from Platypus Man is cringe-inducing when you know that Jeni committed suicide, though not by any of the methods he pantomimed.
- Idiot Plot: In his Jaws: The Revenge bit, he said that the movie slaps the audience in the face with its idiocy.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Extrapolating from improbable mishaps an airplane captain mentions during the pre-flight check:
"In the unlikely event you survive impact and need to eat your fellow passengers for sustenance, may I suggest the fat guy in 17-J with a nice Chardonnay?"
- Infomercial: Being a stand-up comic, he watched a lot of them and made fun of them in his sets.
- Mocking the concept of hair-in-a-can:
"'It's amazing, it's unbelievable!' And you're in front of the TV going, 'It's... paint, if I'm not mistaken.'"
- Long List: He rattled off a list of illnesses and maladies that one of Bernard Shapiro's clients suffered, ending with "... and occasional lower back pain."
- Rambling Old Man Monologue: The viewer mail segment from the "Bill the Belching Gourmet" bit from Platypus Man consists of a single letter written in more or less this fashion.