Patrice O'Neal died a couple days ago. He was one of my favorite comedians ever. I hesitate to even mention it because I didn't know him personally and the Internet is full of great tributes to him from people who did. I met him once in 2007 at the HBO Comedy Festival in Vegas. Shook his hand and had 20 seconds of awkwardness. I said "Hey Patrice just wanted to say hi and tell you I really enjoy what you do. I'm one of the non-famous comedians here at the festival..." Then he cut me off and said "What the fuck are you talking about non famous? You don't need to say that shit man." He sat in the audience and watched the show I was on, which was making me nervous until while I was waiting for my turn to go on I snuck a look from behind the curtain and saw him sleeping soundly in the 3rd row. His stand up was brilliant. He had a special on Comedy Central this year called Elephant In The Room that I loved and you should too. He was on Opie and Anthony's show on Satellite radio all the time and that's where I really got to know him. He was so unbelievably fucking funny. Plus he had fascinating opinions on everything that weren't always what you thought they would be. I think maybe I loved Patrice for the same reason I watch UFC and Crab fisherman on TV, because I'm intrigued by things that I am not good at. Like being a man. Patrice didn't give a shit if you liked him or you thought he was funny. He knew. I agreed with a lot of Patrice's opinions but I was more interested listening to him talk about the things I didn't agree with. Or maybe I didn't want admit I agreed with. When Patrice talked it was like being hypnotized. Everything he said made perfect sense at least for a few hours until the trance wore off. Yes, Patrice I do need to "Get a handle on my bitch." You're right I do need to work on my "swagger." And yes, I probably should get some "Side Pussy." If you've never heard him before those examples might make you think he was an awful person, but from the mouth and mind of Patrice they were logical and hilarious. Don't believe me? Watch him making cheating on your wife logical and hilarious.
What's a greater testament to a comedians talent than they can make you laugh at things you don't agree with? Or things that make you uncomfortable? It wasn't an act. It wasn't a contrived attempt to shock you like some Andrew Dice Clay bedazzled jean jacket bullshit, Patrice was just saying what he thought, and what he thought was funny. Nothing is more shocking than honesty. Honesty you disagree with is still more interesting than someone telling you a lie you agree with. Which is a wordy way of telling you I still haven't gotten any side pussy. Maybe I should get some this weekend and tell my wife it was a tribute. I guess it would be more honest to say I should "try" and get some this weekend. I guess I'd still need to find a woman to pull off the side pussy plan. I like to think it was all my idea, but I guess monogamy probably chose me more than I chose monogamy. Patrice was right. I do need to work on my swagger.
Patrice O'Neal was the smartest guy in the room, he was the funniest guy in the room, and he was the realest guy in the room. I didn't know him, but I will miss him.