I think it’s very easy to misjudge Patrice O’Neal as a comic, I certainly never expected to like him as much as I do. But the first time I saw Patrice perform live, I had that moment when you lean forward in your chair, transfixed. I had the same sensation when he did his HBO Special a couple years ago. He’s brutally funny - honest in ways that make a lot of people uncomfortable. One of my favorite parts of his act is how loose it is. I’m sure he has an act built in his head, but he’s one of the few comics I’ve ever seen who can create the illusion that everything he’s saying is off the top of his head. It makes the funny stuff all the more surprising because he appears to have just thought of it - he could be surprising himself.
In the spirit of the age, Patrice O’Neal has hooked up with some white people to do a podcast. It wisely appears to be more about the making of a sketch than a sketch itself - Patrice riffing with his comedy buddies, cracking on their ideas and slips of the tongue. The second installment is below, featuring Patrice and his sketch players working out a sketch about cockfights. And they ain’t talking chickens. Do I need to say it’s NSFW?
The point Patrice O’Neal makes about not being clever about it reminds me a lot of what Louis CK said when he was working on Lucky Louie. Dancing around a topic rather than bluntly dealing with it comedically. (BTW, I dig For Your Imagination’s player - the bar using a condensed picture of the video to create a timeline. It makes very easy to seek and find parts of it.)
After the jump is Patrice’s self-effacing introduction to the whole enterprise.