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Patrice Oneal
Patrice Oneal.jpg
Oneal at the 2007 O&A Traveling Virus at PNC
Born December 7, 1969 (1969-12-07) (age 40)
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Medium Stand-Up, Television, Radio
Nationality American
Years active 1992 – Present
Genres Black Humor, Observational Humor, Satire
Subject(s) human sexuality, racism, race relations, American politics
Influences Richard Pryor, George Carlin[1]
Notable works and roles The Opie & Anthony Show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
Website www.patriceoneal.com

Patrice Lumumba Malcolm Oneal (born December 7, 1969) is an American stand-up comedian, radio personality, and actor. Known for his cutting, often confrontational crowd work, he frequently plays couples against each other. He lives in New Jersey. He is sometimes credited as Patrice O'Neal.

Contents

Early life

Oneal was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Roxbury by his mother. Oneal was named after the first Prime Minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, and suffers from diabetes. A star high school football player, he was recruited to play for the Northeastern University football team, but Oneal quit football to study theatre arts. He graduated from Northeastern with a Bachelor's degree.

Stand-up

Stand-up comedy has been the cornerstone of Oneal's career, and his first priority. He tours across the country performing stand-up comedy. He has had half-hour specials on Showtime, HBO (One Night Stand, Def Comedy Jam), and Comedy Central Presents, although he has never recorded an album or DVD of his own, preferring instead that fans attend his live show.

Oneal first began performing stand-up at the age of 22, and eventually developed a caustic, confrontational style, reflecting attitudes that Patrice himself describes as racist, sexist, and misogynistic. Despite this, he has never been considered a shock comic, instead taking a thoughtful, intellectual approach to these subjects, and engaging his audience in debate, encouraging them to call out or heckle at times.

Patrice had little success in his early career, through the late 1990s, during which time he moved to Los Angeles to attempt to break into film and television. In an interview with Ron Bennington on February 23, 2008, Patrice described this time of his life as miserable, because he was trying so hard to "play the game" and achieve success. "If I had a gun then, I'm telling you I would have shot myself," Patrice candidly recalled. It was after this time that Oneal decided he would prefer to become a "cult figure."

Unwilling to compromise his act, Patrice found it difficult to find work at comedy clubs in the United States, so he relocated to the United Kingdom to work on his comedy there, where clubs were more permissive. Oneal fought hard to gain the respect of comics that often view American humor as coarse or sophomoric, eventually gaining the accolades of such personalities as Ricky Gervais, who mentions him as his favorite working American comic.

When Oneal was offered a half-hour comedy special on the Showtime Network in 2002, he returned to America, settling instead in the New York area. In the years that followed, Patrice would record several more television specials and other appearances, and has since become a successful headline act around the United States.

Still living in the New York area, he frequently performs at comedy clubs in the area, including headlining appearances at Comix comedy club and the Comedy Cellar on occasion. Patrice has also been a part of Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus Comedy Tour with other comedians in 2006 and 2007. He has made appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Television

For two years, he was one of five regular guests on Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. During Tough Crowd's run, he was also featured in Contest Searchlight along with fellow Boston comedians Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke.

Oneal hosted VH1's Web Junk 20 for two seasons. He left the show voluntarily due to creative differences. On the Opie and Anthony show, he elaborated that he was unhappy that they wouldn't let him make a race-based joke about Connie Chung.

Oneal also had a very brief stint as a script writer for the World Wrestling Federation on both of their major shows Monday Night RAW and SmackDown! in 2000.

Oneal was a regular on Fox's short-lived series The Jury. He also guest starred on an episode of NBC's Ed.

He has also appeared on The Office: "Safety Training" (Season 3). He appears in more than one episode including the season 1 episode "Basketball" and others.

In 2004, he starred in the Comedy Central animated stand-up comedy program Shorties Watching Shorties, with Nick DiPaolo. He also supplies the voice of Harold Jenkins on the animated program O'Grady.

Oneal appeared on Chappelle Show as Pit Bull during the Player Hater's Ball skit.

Oneal currently has a recurring role as Lonny on the Emmy Award-winning The Office. He has guest starred as T-Bone on an episode of Arrested Development.

He also makes occasional appearances on various Fox News shows like Hannity and Colmes to discuss issues regarding both race and censorship. Patrice was featured on Fox News Channel's "The Big Story with John Gibson," with a representative of The National Organization of Women (N.O.W.)to discuss the suspension of radio personalities Opie & Anthony for an off-color joke about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush. Oneal suggested that no topic should be off-limits, and that humor can be found in any subject matter. At that point, the N.O.W. representative, Sonia Ossorio, tried to describe one of his joke's subject matter that she saw him perform at a women's benefit show. The joke was also cited in The Daily News prior to this broadcast. Patrice corrected her at her explanation of the material, resulting in laughter from the off-camera stage crew and the show's host.[2] The following day, John Gibson apologized for the broadcast. Patrice has not been seen on Fox News since.

Radio

Oneal is a regular visitor to the Opie and Anthony program on XM Satellite Radio's Channel 202, The Virus. He sits in as the program's third-mic when Jimmy Norton is away. Oneal guest hosted in November 2008 with Dante Nero.

Beginning in March 2006, Oneal has hosted a relationship advice show on XM Satellite Radio. He hosts the program on select Saturday nights when he is not performing stand-up. The three-hour program became known as "The Black Philip Show", in a parody of Dr. Phil's show. The show runs on XM's The Virus. Dante Nero co-hosts, and a rotating cast of female comedians have played third mic.

Although he has recorded numerous specials for TV he has never recorded an album or DVD, hoping that word of mouth will bring people to his shows. Oneal has professed his fear of success multiple times on the Opie and Anthony show, citing that he fears success (and the threat of losing that success) might be used to control him in ways he doesn't want.

Internet TV Show and Podcast

Patrice Oneal has started a web series and podcast called "The Patrice Oneal Show - Coming Soon!"[3] showing various episodes as of May 15, 2007. Updated weekly, the show draws many viewers to watch uncensored sketch comedy. He is performing with a five-person group -- Bryan Kennedy, Dante Nero, Vondecarlo Brown, Harris Stanton and Wil Sylvince -- touching on many fictional scenarios. The show is produced by For Your Imagination[4] and can be found on Oneal's web site.

Oneal's Internet TV Show is also available on DVD it contains the first thirteen episodes from the first season, as well as audio commentary by Oneal and other bonus material.

Patrice has also guest-starred in another For Your Imagination-produced show, called Break a Leg, playing Adult-Sized Gary Coleman.

Video games

Oneal voiced in Grand Theft Auto IV, on an in-game radio show, Fizz!.

References

External links

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