1 9 9 5 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
One of the first shows on the then-newly United Paramount Network (UPN), Platypus Man starred comedian Richard Jeni, basically playing himself in his stand-up persona a la Seinfeld.
His character was the host of a cooking show for modern bachelors called Cooking with the Platypus Man. Lou Golembiewski (Ron Orbach) was his executive producer.
Jeni described this show-within-a-show as “a cooking show for any moron who ever tried to make tuna fish on toast and wound up in a burn unit with mayonnaise in his hair.”
Other regular characters were Jeni’s sportswriter neighbour Paige McAllister (Denise Miller, Jeni’s longtime best friend in real life) and his bartending younger brother, Tommy (David Dundara).
Richard Jeni took his own life on 10 March 2007 at his West Hollywood, California home, aged 49. He had recently been diagnosed with “severe clinical depression coupled with fits of psychotic paranoia.” According to the coroner’s report, Jeni had a history of schizophrenia.
Pilot | 9½ Days | The Apartment Show | NYPD Nude | Sweet Denial | New York on $2,000 a Day | Lou’s the Boss | The Crush | Both Sides Now | Without a Hitch | Lower East Side Story | Out of the Mouths of Babes | Dying to Live