Comedian Richard Jeni was one of the funniest standup comics to ever hit the stage.
“He was a great comic…a great guy,” Jay Leno said. “I’m shocked by this.”
As a regular on “The Tonight Show” and “The View,” and with a big screen role alongside Jim Carrey in “The Mask,” Jeni knew had to make an audience laugh.
But behind the laughs, there was something troubling funnyman Richard Jeni, and on Saturday morning the revered 49-year-old comic allegedly took his own life.
On Monday, Jeni’s famous friends like Jay Leno, Joy Behar and Rosie O’Donnell are stunned.
And from coast to coast, everyone is mourning the loss of this comic legend.
At Hollywood’s Laugh Factory, where Richard was a regular, the marquis reads “Rest in Peace.”
And the Laugh Factory’s owner, Jamie Masada, told “Extra” he knew something was wrong the last time he saw his old friend just days ago.
“He was depressed,” Masada said.
But a shaken Jay Leno confessed to “Extra” he never saw this coming.
“This comes as a total surprise,” Leno admitted.
Sources tell us Saturday morning, while making breakfast with his girlfriend at his West Hollywood home, Jeni went into the bathroom and shot himself.
In a frantic 911 call, Jeni’s girlfriend tells the operator, “My boyfriend shot himself in the face.”
The beloved comedian was still alive when paramedic arrived and transported him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died shortly after.
Now, the Los Angeles Police Department tells “Extra” that it’s conducting a death investigation and autopsy to determine whether it was indeed suicide.
“Our hearts are broken. Richard brought us all a lifetime of laughter,” a family spokesperson said in a statement Monday.
“Extra” will bring you the most up to date information on this tragic story as it becomes available.