Patrice O’Neal was interviewed on the podcast A Shot of Yager a few weeks before his recent stroke, talking about his frustrations with the comedy industry (as is natural, he notes, with any 20-year relationship). He discussed the desire to enjoy himself along with his fans during shows and how some performances can “feel like it’s just a You and a Them and you don’t want to feel like that.”
O’Neal also explains that going off-script at the Charlie Sheen roast (video below) was an effort to bring a sense of camaraderie to the stage in the form of an honest moment. “People will let you lie…and no one’s gonna really be upset about it,” he said. “But if you have an opportunity, you should acknowledge the truth of what’s going on.”
By the end of the interview, after reflecting on what it’s meant to him to do shows like Opie & Anthony and Tough Crowd, O’Neal talks about his efforts to be honest both onstage and in his life.
“It really is a waste of time being a decent person in this game, but I got nothing else. I’m hoping I figure it all out to be able to make people in a ten-foot vicinity of me happy, and myself. A circle of people that really, I can thank them and they can thank me and we can just feel good with each other.”
Man, I really hope he’s okay.