Photo of Richard Jeni Richard Jeni

Born Richard John Colangelo in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Oct. 30, 1957, Richard Jeni rose to fame on the comedy club circuit in the 1980s and first gained national exposure on a series of Showtime comedy showcases. After being spotted by HBO talent scouts, he was granted star status in a pair of his own comedy specials, earning a CableACE Award for Richard Jeni: Platypus Man (1992) and an American Comedy Award the following year for Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic.

Jeni also appeared occasionally on the big screen, playing Jim Carrey's best friend in The Mask (1994) and joining a lineup of other comics to tell the world's dirtiest joke in The Aristocrats (2005). He also played small roles on television, most notably with a guest appearance on the Chris Rock comedy "Everybody Hates Chris" (2006).

Jeni died March 10, 2007, at the age of 49.

Richard Jeni in The Mask

The Mask

1994 PG-13

A meek bank teller discovers a magical ancient mask that unleashes his deepest desires -- and gives him the superhuman ability to act on them. Meanwhile, he battles gangsters who seek the mask's powers.

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