Thursday, December 01, 2011
The Last Laugh
I've been busy over the last few days so I didn't get a chance to respond to this when it was first announced but it's a real shame about the death of Patrice O'Neal. Like a lot of people who have a serious appreciation for the art of comedy and for comics, my "relationship" with Patrice was always a love-hate one. There were times I thought he was absolutely brilliant, and there were other times I could barely even stand to listen to him -- but I always understood that that kind of thing was the mark of a really powerful comic mind.
The Jay Lenos of the world work overtime and will do anything they can to ingratiate themselves to you and to conform to your headspace; guys like Patrice force you, sometimes kicking and screaming, into their headspace. You won't always like what you find there, but you'll always appreciate the gargantuan balls it takes to be that confident in who you are and what you have to say.
Patrice was often a funny, funny guy. And he was just as often an irritating asshole. And his willingness to allow himself to be both -- not caring one bit what you or I or anyone else thought of it -- is what made him great.