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August 29, 2014

richard jeni

Top TV Stories of 2007: People we've lost

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 26th 2007 8:00AM

Merv GriffinEach year in our "Top TV Stories" posts we look back at the number of celebrities and behind the scenes people that have passed away during the year. This is always a hard list to put together, so if I've missed anyone, please let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

This year we also lost someone very close to us.

Merv Griffin
Tom Snyder
Joel Siegel
Anna Nicole Smith
Robert Goulet
Joey Bishop

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Leno confuses George Lopez and Paul Rodriguez

by Bob Sassone, posted May 3rd 2007 1:39PM

LenoBack in January, comedian George Lopez went on WOMX and told hosts Scott and Eric that Jay Leno is "the biggest two-faced dude on TV," "one of the worst interviewers on TV," and a "backstabber." So when Leno saw Lopez at The Laugh Factory's salute to Richard Jeni (who committed suicide earlier this year), he wanted to bury the hatchet with him. The two started talking, and Leno wanted to find out why he said those things.

One problem: it wasn't George Lopez, it was Paul Rodriguez!

As if that's not embarrassing enough (Leno has known Rodriguez for 30 years!), but Leno's explanations were lame too. First he said he didn't have his contacts in, and then he said he was confused because he was upset over Jeni's death.

Ouch.

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Comedian Richard Jeni dead from an apparent suicide

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 11th 2007 5:32PM
Richard JeniWow. Here's a shocker for a Sunday afternoon: Comedian Richard Jeni has passed away from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 45 years old (Update: Jeni's web site cites his year of birth as 1957).

According to this AP report (via CNN), Jeni's girlfriend called police and told them "my boyfriend shot himself in the face." Jeni was found in a West Hollywood home barely alive, and he died in the hospital soon afterwards.

You've likely seen Jeni many times, as a guest on various talk shows (he appeared on The Tonight Show often, with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno), or on HBO specials like Platypus Man or last year's A Big Steaming Pile of Me. He first appeared nationally on a 1990 Showtime special entitled Richard Jeni: Boy From New York City.

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