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Richard Jeni - A Big Steaming Pile Of Me

Updated on March 19, 2010
The Platypus Man: Richard Jeni
The Platypus Man: Richard Jeni
Jeni appeared on Showtime Specials, HBO Specials and The Tonight Show
Jeni appeared on Showtime Specials, HBO Specials and The Tonight Show

Richard Jeni

Richard Jeni was a talented comedian who left this world too soon. Known best for his HBO comedy special Platypus Man, Jeni was an American stand up comdedian and actor. Born Richard John Colangelo in 1957 in Brooklyn New York, Jeni began his career performing on Showtime Specials and appearences on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

In fact, Jeni appeared on the Tonight Show more than any other comedian. Jeni also hosted Caroline’s Comedy Hour for the A&E cable network for two years, from 1992 to 1994.


Platypus Man

The first time I saw Richard Jeni was on his HBO special Platypus Man. For me, there is no better hour of comedy. The HBO special was made in 1992 and covered topics such as the news, sports, politics, music and sex. The funniest rant for me was Jeni's description of National Geographic and how he came up with the name Platypus Man.

I also enjoyed Jeni's rant about the evening news. He describes it as the "Bad News" and rants about why Americans insist about hearing bad news right before turning in for the night. Very funny stuff.

Jeni Played Jim Carrey's Best Friend In The Mask
Jeni Played Jim Carrey's Best Friend In The Mask

Other Performances

Not only was Jeni a gifted comedian, Jeni was also an actor who appeared in several movies and television shows. Jeni played alongside Jim Carrey in "The Mask" and had a sitcom based on his comedy called "Platypus Man." While the series failed to gain a following, Jeni continued to make successful comedy specials.  Jeni created Richard Jeni: A Good Catholic Boy (1997) and an episode of Comedy Central Presents in 2002.

 Jeni's last HBO special was titled A Big Steaming Pile of Me and aired in 2005. Jeni again delves into relationships, terrorism and self examination. For me, the best part of the special was Jeni's rant about PMS and red wine, which describes the male point of view of dealing with a spouse during her time of the month. The part about the waitress is specifically brilliant.

Richard Jeni: A Talent Lost
Richard Jeni: A Talent Lost

A Talent Lost

On March 10, 2007 Jeni was found by his girlfriend with a self inflicted gunshot wound.  He later died at the age of 49.  His family confirmed that Jeni committed suicide.  Jeni suffered from clinical depression and paranoia. 

Jeni's suicide was a loss of a great comediac mind who had not yet reached his prime.  Jeni was just returning to the scene at the top of his game and he left us too soon. 


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    • bgpappa profile image

      bgpappa 8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      UW, I was too. One of my favorites.

      Thanks for reading

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      I was very saddened when I heard he took his own life. I actually saw him in a comedy special a few months ago.

    • bgpappa profile image

      bgpappa 8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      LPH - Glad I could share. He was a real talent. I was very sad when I heard of his passing. He never quite hit is prime.

      Thanks for reading.

    • St.James profile image

      St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

      Richard was a great comedian, and he is missed by many. Thank you for posting such a fitting tribute.

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 8 years ago

      Thank you for introducing me to Richard Jeni - I admit that I had never heard of him - but now I'm a fan. I love those videos and spent a happy half hour watchin them this morning.