Monday, March 12, 2007

Scan's Corner Deadpool?

Richard Jeni has died, apparently he killed himself. He was a solid stand up comedian. He wasn't my favorite comedian but at a very low point in my life he might have saved my life.

A bit melodramatic?

Perhaps. I'll explain.

Several years ago, I was engaged to a woman I had lived with for 5 years. We were set to get married a year later. However she had something else up her sleeve. She broke up with me a day after a disasterous party we went to. She gave vague reasons why she wanted out of the relationship at the time, but I soon learned that she was cheating on me with a co-worker. She would marry him a year later.

Anyway, I was devastated the relationship ended.
Furious at the fact she cheated on me.
Ashamed at what I did at the party.
Embarrassed at the fact everyone at the party knew the relationship was going on without my knowing about it.
Helpless in the fact I was trapped in a low paying job I didn't like in a town of Federal Way, a town I hated.
Lonely, because every friend I had at the time were ones I knew through my relationship, and I couldn't bear to face these people.

I was messed up in my mind. I worked in a restaurant doing the day shift in the back which allowed me a lot of contemplation. Part of my prepping involved chopping up romaine with sharp knives.
Very sharp knives.
I definitely had thoughts of putting the knives to use on something other than the lettuce. It was that bad.

Anyway, I had a radio to listen to. At the time I listened to the Bob Rivers Show. I likened it to a Seattle take on the Howard Stern show. Funny but mellower and more polite. I listened to it daily and for the most part it was pleasant but one day they had a guest, his name was Richard Jeni. Now I knew Richard Jeni from a UPN show Platypus Man. I didn't like the show, and thought it wasn't funny. So I was surprised that I was laughing my ass off at his routine on the radio show. It was the first time I laughed in weeks. I needed that really bad, as the highlight of my days at that point was work, and I hated my job.

I don't remember specifics on Richard Jeni's routine, but I remember it being smart, silly, and relentless. It kept my spirits up just enough for me to move on with my life. It took some time, but anytime I saw Richard Jeni on TV I would watch and I would laugh. I saw him once at a comedy club a few years later when I was living in Seattle, a city I loved.

I'm shocked at the way he apparently died. He saved my life, why did he take his own? It's an unfortunate side effect to being a comedian. A lot of comedians are depressed and self destructive. I didn't know Richard Jeni was one of them.

Rest In Peace Funnyman

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