While comedian Patrice O’Neal is best known for his stand-up act and numerous television appearances, few realize the multiplicity of his comedic contributions.
Never shy when it came to confronting controversial issues, O’Neal had knack for making the most contentious subjects something to laugh about.
On November 28, 2011 O’Neal passed away from complications of a stroke he suffered weeks earlier. In the wake of his passing, we explore some of the little known fact about his career and life.
1. Nothing Like Home
O’Neal was born and raised in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, where he was raised by his mother. [www.enotes.com]
2. Named After A Revolutionary
O’Neal’s was named after Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo. [www.enotes.com]
O’Neal was recruited to play football for Northeastern University fooball, but quit football to study theatre arts. [www.enotes.com]
4. First Television Appearance
O’Neal’s first television appearance came on The Apollo Comedy Hour, where he performed Malcom XXL. From there, he moved on to Showtime at the Apollo and various other television appearances. [www.tmz.com]
5. World Wrestling Entertainment
O’Neal worked a breif stint as a writer and creative team member for WWE, the professional wrestling company started by Vince McMahon. [www.prowrestling.net]
6. Chappelle’s Show
O’Neal appeared on Chappelle’s Show during its first season, starring as a character named Pit Bull. [www.imdb.com]
7. What You Talking ‘Bout Willis
O’Neal once played an adult-sized Gary Coleman in an Internet sitcom called Break a Leg. [wikipedia.org]
8. Statutory Rape Controversy
In 2010, O’Neal was denied entry into Canada because of a statutory rape case that dated back to 1986 when he was 16. [www.cbc.ca]
9. Grand Theft Auto
O’Neal starred as the voice of Jeffron James, a character on an in-game radio show in Grand Theft Auto IV. [wikipedia.org]
10. Elephant In The Room
In 2011, Comedy Central aired O’Neal’s first hour-long special, Elephant in the Room. [wikipedia.org]