RIP Richard Jeni. Wow, that's a shitty thing to hear about first thing on a rainy Monday morning. One of my greatest pleasures during summer vacation as a smallish child and middle schooler was being able to stay up late on weeknights to watch A&E's Evening at the Improv. This was just as the art of American stand-up comedy was cresting the peak of its 1980s heyday and beginning its subsequent decline into endless "stand-up gets a lackluster sitcom loosely based around his/her material" territory. And, like any impressionable youngster in a foreign country, I subconsciously absorbed the cadences of their speech and the "what is the deal with [pop culture artifact of your choice]?" sensibility. (OMG, there's a reason the Saturday Night Live sketch "Stand Up and Win" is one of my favorite segments of television ever.) I fondly remember many of Jeni's routines, esp. the bit about the football referee abusing the power of his microphone to voice some personal concerns best left to his therapist's couch, and am saddened to know one of the mainstays of that comedy epoch is gone.
(Also, don't forget to buy your Pitchfork Music Festival tickets today, kittens.)