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Creator / Richard Jeni

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"My mother never saw the irony of calling me a son of a bitch."

Richard Jeni (born Richard John Colangelo, 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), a short-lived Platypus Man sitcom on UPN, 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: He did this the morning of March 10, 2007.
  • Audience Participation Song: He 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • Driven to Suicide: Due to severe clinical depression.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: He found both left-wing and right-wing people to be hypocrites of various kinds, then decided he'd come a centrist "so [he] can bitch no matter who wins."
  • Idiot Plot: He had a whole routine regarding him watching Jaws: The Revenge and finding it insultingly stupid ('You know what the title should have been? Here's a Fish, You're a Moron.'). invoked
  • 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.'"
  • Insane Troll Logic: He takes the idea of a syllogism (if the first two parts are true, the last part has to be true) and uses it to "prove" that Ray Charles is God, and that all women are actually aliens.
  • The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay: Bernard Shapiro works for Dewey, Beatum, and Runn, according to his infomercial.
  • 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."
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: "My wife and I were having an argument about dinner forks. She says they go on the left, I say they go on the right. So here's my question: do you think the Rams have a shot at the Super Bowl?"
  • 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.
  • Sad Clown: He struggled with depression before fatally shooting himself in March 2007.
  • Talk to the Fist: He explained the wonderful, theatrical ways in which New Yorkers lead up to a fist fight, with elaborate insults, accusations, and posture-striking. These cultural assumptions came back to bite him, though, the first time he picked a fight in the South: "Around there, when a guy punches you, that is your announcement the fight has begun."
  • Wondrous Ladies Room: By his Insane Troll Logic, women have come from some other planet because men go bald and women don't. Following this "logic," the only place women can meet safely is the women's public restroom since no man can go two steps in there without being eviscerated.