Uncensored and Unapologetic
By Len Sousa
Boston-born comic Patrice Oneal has been proudly ~ and loudly~ dishing out his humorous views on race, sex, and society since his first stand-up performance in 1992. Watching a local comic perform one night, the then 22-year-old Oneal, who names George Carlin and Richard Pryor as his idols, began heckling the performer.
“And the guy basically said if you think this is easy why don’t you get up here and do it, and I did it that next week,” Oneal says. “But I liked being funny my whole life. I wanted to be a comic as soon as I could remember.”
Talking on the phone from his place in New York City, Oneal has no love lost for the city of his birth ~ despite his MySpace page still listing his location as Roxbury. “My mother lives in Boston, but there’s no real nostalgic feeling [for me] about Boston. I don’t really give a sh*t. I have some friends left, and my mother is there, of course…You miss the people but not really the city.”
This kind of upfront honesty has gained Oneal much of his appeal as a comic and social commentator. In addition to appearances on television shows like Fox’s The Jury, The Late Show with Conan O’Brien, The Office, Arrested Development, and VH1’s WebJunk and I Love The…shows, the comic is also a regular visitor to Opie & Anthony’s radio show, has also performed half hour specials on both Showtime and Comedy Central, and has his own XM Radio program, The Black Philip Show. On the big screen, he’s appeared in The 25th Hour directed by Spike Lee, In The Cut with Meg Ryan, and Head of State with Chris Rock. More recently, Oneal has become known for his infamous appearances on Fox News after both the Michael Richards and Don Imus media fiascos.
“My opinion is honest. I don’t really have an agenda except to put my f**kin’ stupid face on TV and say an opinion ~ which is what I do for a living. I’ll say the same f**kin’ thing at the shows that I’ll say on Fox and I think they appreciate it. It’s good television.”
One on one, Oneal is the same forceful personality he delivers on stage and on television. The comic offers his opinions unfiltered and has gained YouTube infamy with video clips describing the term “donkey punch” on The Big Story With John Gibson and openly questioning race relations on Hannity & Colmes without so much as a hint of irony.
“Here’s one of my biggest pet peeves in life. It’s that white people are allowed in this world to question me as a black person about other black people’s behavior…White people are never put in the position to question the sh*tty things that other white people do.”
“It’s frustrating, you know? Because honesty is a big thing in my life. I try to be honest. I f**k up like everybody else, I lie a little bit here and there, but for the most part I do enjoy honest dialogue…How the f**k am I gonna have a f**kin’ conversation about race when I’ve never met a white person that admitted that they were racist. Ever. Never! But there’s racism. That’s almost like the mafia.”
Always seeking a new venue for his views, Oneal has started his own video podcast, appropriately titled The Patrice Oneal Show, available on his official website patriceoneal.com. Seeing the internet as the last frontier for unfiltered content, Oneal and a few friends will be putting together material they can’t otherwise get past the censors. “We’re gonna be able to do what you can’t do on TV.”
But is an even more open and uncut Patrice Oneal even possible? “You might as well take advantage of the last bastion of being an a**hole,” Oneal says. “I’m not promoting murder or death, but I do like to have the occasional sh*tty thing come out of my mouth. If I don’t say it, it’ll be in me. [I need] somewhere I can get the steam off my chest.”
Patrice Oneal will doing just that at the Tweeter Center on Saturday, July 21, as part of Opie & Anthony’s Traveling Virus Comedy Tour.
And here’s a special web-only section of Patrice’s interview that you’ll only find here!
PATRICE ONEAL SOUNDS OFF:
On the internet and email: “No one sent casual hate mail until now. It’s like, ‘I hate this guy. Let me just type it up real quick.’ Before they had to sit down and write a letter. It’d be like, ‘I gotta go buy a stamp to hate this motherf**ker?’ Now it’s like, ‘Dear Patrice, your breath stinks. F**k you.’ Sh*t, I don’t need that blow to my ego. I’m getting old.”
On the former Kramer: “Ok, Michael Richards may never say [the “n” word] again, and that might keep everyone else from saying it, but it doesn’t cure everyone else from feeling it. What’s more dangerous? You feel like I’m [the “n” word] or you say I’m one?”
On Barack Obama: “Black people as a group need to make the strategic move not to publicly support Barack. Take a step back and have people think black people hate him so white people can vote [for him]. That’s his only chance. Because if America thinks Barack Obama is the black leader, he loses.”
On news channels: “They could give a f**k. They could give a f**k if there’s a missing white girl in the Bahamas, they could give a f**k if there’s a plane crash that kills 200 people, they could give a f**k if one of the Patriots dies in a jet ski accident. The news doesn’t care. They’re just reporting. They don’t give a f**k. So it’s up to you to give a f**k and utilize it for what it’s there for. The news aren’t a bunch of crusaders trying to help the world. If you’re trying to be a crusader, they’ll cut your mic off.”
On comics who steal material: “It’s like stealing somebody’s car and comfortably parking it in your parking space. Eventually, when you steal someone else’s property, you’re gonna get caught by the authorities—whatever authority that is. If you’re being disingenuous, you’re gonna get caught. You may not get caught in my lifetime but you’ll get caught. You can’t comfortably ride down the street in a stolen car and you can’t comfortably ride your career on stolen material.”
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