Elephant In The Room

December 14, 2011

I still can’t believe it. It’s been almost two weeks since the honorable Patrice O’neal passed away. A man whom I never met, yet looked up to as a mentor, has left us. However, being the great comic that he is, his work will forever be with us to be discovered for future generations. Patrice was loved by many, and hated probably by just as many. He was a man who was not afraid to tell you how he saw things. Maybe you agreed, or maybe you disagreed but he would give a solid argument. This is one of reasons why I respected the man. He was very passionate when discussing…pretty much anything.

I can’t remember the first time I heard Patrice but I remember when I discovered how brilliant he was. I was on Okayplayer and someone brought up the fact that Patrice had a relationship show on XM radio called The Black Phillip Show. I decided to give it a chance, and it changed how I saw relationships forever. I went from listening to the shows on this short lived show to searching on YouTube to find anything Patrice related. That’s when I discovered The Opie & Anthony Show a.k.a Patrice’s second home. To this day, my work days go by like nothing because I can always find a great segment of Patrice on the O&A show to pass the time. When I have to do some serious writing though, I have to turn him off just because Patrice isn’t background listening. He makes you think while you laugh. I later went to see Patrice live for the taping of his Comedy Central special Elephant In The Room. I’ve never laughed so hard. Patrice was just working the room, showing off how great a comic he was. And like all great comics, Patrice had an interesting take on the world. He loved to discuss race and relationships. I think he really just loved to have discussions in general. I wish I could have met the man, but at least I got to meet his wife. I once told her “I would just like to shake his hand one day”, because of the impact he’s had on me. She relayed my message and Patrice’s answer was “shaking her hand is like shaking mine.” If you ever listened to an episode of The Black Phillip Show you know what that means.

Since learning of Patrice passing on I’ve gone through stages of feeling down, extreme laughter and just straight crying. There have been only two people in the world with whom I never met, but their deaths brought tears to my eyes. One is Michael Jackson and the other is Patrice O’neal. I can safely say that both men truly added value to my life, and that’s why I felt their loss so much.

I will miss you Patrice. I can’t wait for the upcoming Mr. P album to drop so I can purchase it. I appreciate all of the insight you injected into this world of easy going customers. It seems like the best ones don’t have much time here. I guess that’s why they say so much while they are here.

R.I.P Patrice Lumumba Malcolm O’Neal

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