Monday, March 12, 2007

The Busy and the Sad

So, I've replied to the comments left over the weekend, sorry I didn't get to them before! And so, so awesome to see all the new commenters. I don't know where y'all came from, but it's really nice to have you here.

I was busy because I set myself a deadline, and wanted to be sure I met it, for a project I am totally freaking excited about. I'm only a small way into the process but seriously, keep your fingers crossed for me guys.

So I spent most of yesterday working. And eating ginger cake with custard, which is my new addiction. Unfortunately, unlike smoking, this one will totally make me fat if I'm not careful. I will say this for the English--they know how to make a damned dessert. Cakes with custard; cakes with cream; cakes with sauce, custard, and cream; cakes with jam and's a wonder I eat regular food at all. And I'm not usually such a sweets person (perhaps why the ginger cake has so caught my fancy).

A lot of things catch my fancy, though. I tend to get a little obsessive. Like, about fifteen years ago, my brother and I were watching one of those Young Comedians' Specials on Comedy Central. And this one guy came on, an unassuming guy who looked like every other comedian in that everday handsome kind of way. And he started talking about Jaws 4, and what a bad movie it is, and how you could be nothing but a spinal cord and still think it's a terrible movie. The bit lasted about five minutes, and my brother and I laughed so hard, I mean, the kind of laughter where tears are rolling down your face and you can't breathe and it feels so good it actually starts to feel bad, you know?

And next time the special was on we recorded that bit. And showed it to everyone who came to our house for like, a year.

So we followed the career of that comedian. We watched his HBO specials, we made sure if he was appearing on a talk show we caught it if we could. We were fans. Not stalker-y fans, like that crazy woman who handcuffed herself to Hugh Grant (which, I totally sympathise, but if I'm cuffed to Hugh I want it to be for a good, kinky reason, not because I'm just that kind of freak), but fans just the same. If he was performing and we heard about it, if we could see it, we did.

Because he was so funny. Even his bad jokes were good. There was something so warm and likeable about him something that made you want to watch more and more.

His name was Richard Jeni, and he died yesterday morning in an apparent suicide.

This is intensely upsetting. I miss my brother. I miss watching Jeni with him. I miss home.

RIP Richard.

(PS You can view the Jaws 4 bit here. I should point out that this clip is from The Tonight Show and not the Young Comedians special, so is not the version my brother and I had. Still funny, but cut for time so missing some of the nuances.)


S. W. Vaughn said...

OH MY GOD. Richard Jeni died??!!!!

I loved him. Good lord, what a depressing few days. First Brad Delph, and now Richard Jeni...

(Hi December - I'm totally excited by osmosis about your new project, whatsoever it may be!)

December Quinn said...

HEYY!! It's YOU!!

Did you get my email? I sent a big long email a while back, in response to your email which was in response to the AW PM.

Yeah, I loved him too. And I was really sad about Brad Delph, too...growing up where I grew up, Boston was what everyone listened too. Even when I became a little punk girl I still had a big softie for classic rock, especially Boston. Who doesn't love Boston?

Stephen told me this morning--it wasn't really news over here...nothing important is. :-(

December Quinn said...

Oops. "listened too" is a typo. It should of course be "listened to".

(That's one of my spelling pet peeves so I had to say something.)

Robyn said...

Oh, that's so sad! He was in The Mask, too, wasn't he? I remember the tv series he had for a season or two, then he kind of disappeared. I wondered what ever happened to him.

Isabella Snow said...

How sad, he was from the neighborhood, too. :(

On another note, that was me who handcuffed herself to Hugh Grant.

(Ok, I just wish I'd thought of it first.. I am going to have to google that now, as I've no idea what that's about.)

Anna J. Evans said...

Aww...I hate that kind of news. It's so sad that so many funny types are really pretty miserable underneath. But maybe, if you're really just happy and well-adjusted you don't have such a driving need to make people laugh? I have no idea.



Anonymous said...

Woah. You totally got me out of left field with that. I was so not expecting a story about suicide you had me tearing up.

littlebirdblue said...

Nice memorial post, December.

Hey, in that shark bit, do you think it's a coincidence he's wearing a shark-coloured sharksin suit?

Just asking.

littlebirdblue said...

uhmm...of course, I meant SHARKSKIN suit.

December Quinn said...

He still performed sold-out live shows all the time, Robyn, national ones. He had a pretty full schedule this year apparently.

Yes, Isabella, over on Huffington Elayne Boosler did a little eulogy post, and a few people who went to school with him popped up to leave comments. Terrible sad.

Did you google it? It was a blurb in last week's People Magazine. Let me know if you didn't find it.

December Quinn said...

I don't know, Anna, maybe. But yeah, it seems comedians have a disproporionate number of suicides, don't they? Awful.

Sorry, Seeley. I did try to warn you with the title...I don't know if I should be proud I made you tear up or if I should feel guilty. I guess both?

Thanks, lbl. Yeah, I thought that about the suit, too. Funny, though, wasn't it?

Erik Ivan James said...

Wonderful tribute to Mr. Jeni, December. You are "good people".

crowwoman / rhian said...

Sorry December! Hugs and kisses from me to you. No. Don't wipe them off.

BernardL said...

I'm glad your skin condition is improving. I know just what you mean about sweets. I can't even touch them. I can resist them; but if I have one of whatever it is, I'm an extremist: I'll devour the whole thing. :)

Jackie said...


Oh, MAN... :-(

Anonymous said...

I've been in hybernation the last couple of days, so I just heard about Richard Jeni AND Brad Delp today!! That royally does suck. I totally remember that JAWS 4 bit, it's cool that you found that bit from the tonight show but the young comedians special, that was absolutely the best. Still one of the best comedy bits ever in my opinion!! And Brad Delp had one of the absolutely best voices in rock and roll. Period!. A little dissapointed though to learn a few years ago that after leaving Boston for good in the late nineties he joined a Beatles cover band and played at local small venues in-you guessed it-Boston But a tremendous talent! I've written too much, but good memories get me going I guess (eh D.Q.!?) The song HollyAnne still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!!

Good Post


December Quinn said...

Thanks Erik, and thanks Rhian. I never wipe those off. :-)

Yes, Bernardl, the English have an excellent word or those things: "Moreish." Some things are very, very moreish. Ginger cake and custard is definitely one of them.

December Quinn said...

Wow, hey Jackie! Thanks for commenting!

Yes, it's terrible, isn't it? Dark rumors of foul play are already starting online...

December Quinn said...

Yep, T, that Young Comedians was definitely the best...sigh.

Sam said...

Oh that is terrible - he was SO funny -
Sounds like murder to me though.
That poor guy.
Not a funny ending for a comedian.

Tempest Knight said...

Sorry to hear this comedian died.

Emily Veinglory said...

He never eally got the appreciation and profile he deserved.

December Quinn said...

Yeah, me too Tempest.

No, Emily, he didn't, did he? Such a shame.