I'm more familiar with his Comedy Central work, especially Tough Crowd (where he was excellent).
A few years back, I was bar-hopping in the Village with a friend. We passed by a comedy club that had a guy outside trying to wrangle up customers to see a Dave Attell show. I always ignore that type of stuff, but I was a *huge* Attell fan at the time because of Insomniac, so we went in. Attell came out and did a set that couldn't have been longer than ten minutes. Then, after that, other comedians came out and did similarly short sets. I was pretty pissed about Attell coming and going so quickly.
Maybe five or six guys later (nobody I can remember), and after about half the crowd left, Patrice O'Neal came out. At this point, I was pretty angry. Also, bear in mind that the two-drink minimum only applies *inside* the club. The first time he paused in his set, I said to him "Where's Dave?" He turned to me and said "Maybe you can just wait a minute." I smiled. He did not. I took it to mean that Dave was coming back out to close the night. So, I sat there and laughed as he targeted not-quite-PG jokes at me and the girl I was with.
Dave never came back out. Serves me right. Sorry, Patrice.
I heard plenty of his stuff on Opie and Anthony, and Patrice was fantastic. His interplay with Jim Norton especially was terrific. This is very sad news.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (myspace.com)
Wow. I had no idea about the stroke or that he was in bad health. I echo everyone's sentiments. I always found him pretty funny. Anybody remember his Tosh.0-ish show that aired on VH1 before anybody even knew who Daniel Tosh was? Not the highlight of his career, but still enjoyable.
I'm surprised no one has brought up the 'Hater's Ball' bit on Chapelle's Show ("PITBULL! ARF!"). He was a guy that I enjoyed watching a lot more than I realized because while I didn't get to see him in a big starring role, I got to see him in a lot of great bit parts. RIP.
One time I heard Patrice go off on Bob Kelly during the O&A show, for about 45 minutes. He was explaining to Bob why his (Kelly's)comedy career was a failure and went into great detail about how to build a joke, build an audience up, and think of ways to get to a punchline. It was the best "insider" stuff about comedy I've ever heard.He was explaining to a comedian, the psychology of a good set. Patrice was a genius, no doubt. RIP funny man!
Once again, the bar has been raised. In every timeline. Hall of Fame episode, for Community and for television as a whole. Up there with The Paintball Trilogy, the Bottle Episode, Dungeons and Dragons, Claymation Christmas.