1997's A Good Catholic Boy is my favorite of the five releases or re-releases Richard Jeni's estate has arranged for on the New Wave Dynamics label. The other titles are Platypus Man (HBO 1992), A Big Steaming Pile of Me (HBO 2005) as well as 1997's Greatest Bits and a new MP3 album titled The Beach Crowd. Listening to these albums again just reminded me what a loss the comedy world suffered when Jeni died.
There is no real reason why this 1997 recording is my favorite amongst them. Perhaps it is because the show features some longer routines on late night TV or dating and I favor the long form.
It could also be because of two really brilliant bits. The first one is Peter Grant. This is based on Hugh Grant arrest for solicitation. Jeni is the lawyer interrogating Peter, Hugh Grant's penis, as if the penis was Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) testifying in A Few Good Men.
The other is Card Table, part of the dating routine, where the comic supposes what would happen if people put their cards on the table on their first date: He: “I am self-centered and obsessed about my appearance.” She: “I'm from Los Angeles also!”
This preference could also be because this is the show where Jeni directly interacts with the entire audience a few times and it just makes the performance that much more special.
Of course, some of the jokes suppose you are watching the performance but overall this does not get in the way of the experience.
Any stand-up fan must have a Richard Jeni recording in the collection. A Good Catholic Boy is the best place to start though you will end up getting the others soon after.
This comedy fan thanks Jeni's sister for making these recordings available again. It is a great way to put some laughter and joy in this world.
Other Richard Jeni Reviews
Greatest Bits: one of those rare comedy CDs you never get tired of
A Big Steaming Pile Of Me: a comedy DVD full of solid material
Richard Jeni Audio Reviews