The world of comedy and fans of free thought and expression are mourning the passing of Patrice O’Neal, who died today from stroke complications. Profane, but profound, savage but sincere, raw but real, you would have to go back to Richard Pryor or George Carlin to find a comic that initiated conversation as much as laughs. It’s difficult to be philosophical and street, but Patrice did it effortlessly. He could take even the most hot button topic, find the angle that no one sees (or does not WANT to see), and at the very least, make you begin to understand the mindset from which that point of view is coming from.
Comedy has been a place where one could work out their anger, fear and neurosis. When Patrice took to the stage, it felt more like a conversation than ‘an act’. Whether its ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’, the Comedy Central roasts or even on his own special, he seemed more interested in the things surrounding him than the material he’s presenting. The opening jabs on his ‘Elephant In The Room’ special were priceless. His appearance on the Charlie Sheen roast was an off the cuff dissection of his fellow roasters as much as it was about Charlie and it killed. Despite the adoration of his peers, Patrice was content to have a cult following or as he called it ’boutique sales’. But judging by the overwhelming reaction in print and online, Patrice left a mark on the world.
Patrice O’Neal once described a life in comedy as a leap of faith and you keep falling. Thank you for taking the leap Patrice. We are all better because you did.
Here are some words from some friends, colleagues and people who loved him. We’ll keep adding more as the day goes on.
AnthonyCumia Much to his chagrin, Patrice will now join the ranks of those legendary comics. I’m lucky to have known him. He transcended my racism.
JimNorton I couldn’t possibly love a friend more than I love you. Goodbye brother. lockerz.com/s/160598804
RichVos The times in my life when I have had the most fun, was because Patrice O’Neil was there. I will miss you dearly. Loved you brother. R.I.P.
iamcolinquinn: Thanks to everybody for the Patrice ONeal comments. One of a kind. In heaven right now, charming half and infuriating half, then reversing.
billburr Never saw anything funnier than watching somebody meet Patrice for the first time. The most purely funny human being I’ve ever met.
Jaymohr37 Just heard. Goodnight brother. Damn. Just ridiculous. Terrible. Beyond sad.
joerogan RIP to my friend Patrice O’Neal, a great thinker, a great comic, and a great human being. He had a truly unique perspective on this world
adamferrara Patrice O’Neal was brilliantly insightful and one of the funniest comics I’ve ever seen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
SarahKSilverman RIP Patrice O’Neal. You made us laugh til we cried.
bonniemcfarlane I really loved everything about you Patrice. Even when you were totally aggravating me. I will truly miss you.
DougStanhope RIP Patrice Oneal – one of the best ever. Inspiring every time I heard him on anything.
erockradio Patrice O’Neal. Great friend of the show. Great comedian. Amazing man all around. Irreplaceable. 🙁 pic.twitter.com/3IZEaM89
PeteDominick Sad to hear my friend and great comedian Patrice Oneal passed away today.
therealrussellp Russell Peters 15 yrs ago I used to sleep on his couch… Great Comic, Great Dude, Terrible Loss…. RIP Patrice Oneal… See u on the otherside Homie
denisleary Patrice O’Neal. One of the funniest men who ever walked this earth. RIP.
sethmeyers21 RIP Patrice O’Neal. A day spent watching clips of him on-line is a day well spent.
Justin_Stangel: Very sad news about Patrice ONeal. Got to hang with him a few times. Very funny on and off stage. Very sad.
JimGaffigan RIP Patrice O’Neil. Undeniably brilliant.
questlove: so grateful i got to see Patrice Oneal do his last NYC gig. man this is so devastating. he truly was one of my favorite comics. RIPPatrice
ImprovComedyLA R.I.P. To a Great Comedian and even a Greater person, PatriceO’Neal. You will be missed!
tompapa Sad news about Patrice ONeal. A true artist.
michaelianblack Ah, shit. I didn’t know him but I admired him. RIP Patrice O’Neil.
NickCannon An amazing comedian and an even better person. RIP PatriceO’Neal ncannon.is/vkwhn4
MrEdLover Rest in Peace to a very funny guy! Patrice O’Neal! Gone too soon at 41!
PitbullofComedy Bobby Slayton RIP Patrice O’Neal. My condolences to his family. A very very funny man.
funnybrad RIP Patrice O’Neal. Watch his special “Elephant In The Room” on Netflix and realize what an amazing talent we just lost. Amazing comedian
colinkane There aren’t many comics who can make other comics laugh.Patrice O’Neal was one of them. Rest in peace man, you knew what funny was.
sinbadbad One of the funniest comics I know Patrice Oneal died last nightafter previously suffering from a stroke. I pray for yours
RiotActComedy RIP Patrice O’Neal. A truly funny AND brilliant man. You will never be forgotten.
iAmNickSwardson I am saddened today by the loss of comedian Patrice O’Neal. I got the honor of knowing him. Please let his comedy live on.
LarryJMiller Laughter is important, and depth and a true voice add quite a lot more. Patrice had these things; I hope he has them still, somewhere.
thebrianposehn Fuck, I am so sad. Just woke up to the news. We lost another great comic and a sweet guy, Patrice ONeal. My thoughts are with his family
jimjefferies Just heard about Patrice Oneal, i could not have had more respectfor a comic.
love and condolences to his family.
mulaney Dammit. Not Patrice O’Neal. He was relentlessly funny. He was amazing to watch on stage. He was important. Dammit.
nealbrennan Patrice O’Neal. I will miss you forever.
LisaLampanelli RIP, Patrice O’Neal. So glad we got to chat one last time a few years back. A true gentleman.
thecoreyholcomb We lost a real comedy warrior today. Rest in peace Mr. PatriceOneal. A true original. I thank you for what u brought to the game brother!
NickDiPaolo please say a prayer for my friend Patrice O Neal..truly one of the funniest guys to ever walk the planet..RIP Big Man
IAmJericho Sad to hear about Patrice O’Neal…I met him when he was a WWE writer and worked w him many times. Sweet guy and very funny! God bless u man
kevin_nealon Patrice O’Neal. Patrice O’Neal. Patrice O’Neal. Patrice O’Neal.Patrice O’Neal. Patrice O’Neal. Patrice O’Neal. Can’t say it enough. RIP
attell Dave Attell Patrice O. Was and is one of the best comics I have ever had the pleasure to watch perform. He was wickedly funny and could care less what any one thought. He never went for the easy laugh or obvious joke and we all loved him for it. I hope his family knows how much we all respected Patrice and how sorry we are for their loss. Thinking good thoughts for you all on this the saddest of days.
andydick RIP PATRICE O’NEAL!!! You made me laugh REAL hard many times. Thank you for that!
ohsnapjbsmoove jb smoove R.I.P Patrice O’neal. We lost another great comic and friend. Blessing to his family at this time of loss.
CarolinesonBroadway We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of our friend Patrice O’Neal. The comedy world has lost one of its most talented and prolific performers. Patrice gave the gift of laughter and touched so many of his fans with a brilliant and unique comedic voice. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
nerdist Chris Hardwick Aw man…Very sad to hear about the passing of Patrice O’Neal. I didn’t know him well but he was really terrific the few times I met him.
Brooksi Patricia Brooks (stalker patti) I heard the news today o boy..REST IN PEACE, Patrice. We love you.
normmacdonald The best comedian in the world has died. I love you, Patrice.
DrewFromTV Drew Carey Just heard about Patrice O’Neal. RIP brother. My heart goes out to the family.
OttoAndGeorge My condolences to Patrice O’Neal’s family. The world is a sadder place without him.
NYCComedyCellar The Comedy Cellar. It’s w/ a heavy heart that we remember the comic genius PatriceO’Neal. Rest in peace dear friend, the table will be quiet without you.
daraobriain Dara O Briain Very sad to hear that Patrice O’Neal has died. A very, very funny man. Did one of my favourite ever sets at Late and Live.
realrossnoble Ross Noble Sad news to hear comic Patrice O”Neal has died. such a nice bloke and a great act.
AlonzoBodden RIP Patrice Oneal. Loved him. Super funny and way too young.
TCBChicago TheComedyBar-Chicago Patrice O’Neal died at the age of 41. Our hearts go out to his family and friends, the comedy world has lost a great man!
bobsaget Patrice O’Neal. So damn funny and so smart and such a giant heart.
jimmycarr Just heard Patrice O’Neal has died. Very sad news. The only consolation: He packed a lifetimes funny into his 41 years. Legend.
TalibKweli Talib Kweli Greene RIP to Patrice O’Neal. Super funny and I had the pleasure of meeting the man. We will miss you.
SiriusXM posted this clip today, from Patrice’s appearance on Unmasked.