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Jamie Masada, the owner of the fabled Los Angeles-based comedy club the Laugh Factory, vividly remembers a warm exchange with comic Richard Jeni of the two sharing words of encouragement and gentle ribbing. “The next day I heard he put a gun in his mouth and blew his head off,” recalled Masada of Jeni’s 2007 suicide. “At that point I said, ‘God, could I do something to somehow prevent that?'” A few years later, having watched his “family” continuously depleted, Masada did do something. Robin Williams, a frequent Laugh Factory performer who committed suicide Monday, marked only the latest comic genius to be plagued by demons of depression and addiction.



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