Patrice O'Neal: A new album and a marathon of memories [Audio]
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. Patrice O'Neal
No one could imitate Patrice O'Neal, Gregg "Opie" Hughes of "The Opie & Anthony Show" said ahead of a marathon satellite-radio weekend memorial for the late stand-up comic. Fortunately for fans, O'Neal himself was set to release new material, the sale of which will benefit the mother, sister, wife and child who survive him.
"Patrice was working on a CD, getting ready to release, everything was complete," the Sirius XM host said Friday. "This is something he wanted out there."
Veteran New York-based comic O'Neal, who suffered a stroke on Oct. 19, died Tuesday. He was 41.
The show was the first to play "Hate People Touching Me," a new O'Neal clip, which will air throughout the weekend as part of a marathon tribute broadcast by Opie, Anthony and Jim Norton, and other comedy folks, as they celebrate O'Neal's life and work on the Opie & Anthony Channel, XM 105/Sirius 206.
The upcoming album "Mr. P," unlike other posthumous releases that might be cobbled together from partially complete work, "is Patrice's CD that he was proud of," Opie said, talking about the album in the wake of the Thursday visit from O'Neal manager Jonathan Brandstein. Recorded in April at the Improv in Washington, D.C., the album has a February release date, according to LaughSpin.
"The family gets the money and trust me, without getting into it," he said, "they need the money." Anyone who wants to help can "simply ... order the CD."
Opie predicted O'Neal would be a "massive star" posthumously, saying it was too bad he didn't get to that next level of fame before he died.
The tribute, in addition to featuring classic "Opie & Anthony Show" appearances by O'Neal over the years, starting in 2004, will also include comedians such as Louis C.K., Colin Quinn, Dane Cook, Bill Burr, Bob Kelly and Jim Florentine paying tribute to their friend.
"One of a kind. In heaven right now, charming half and infuriating half, then reversing," Quinn said of O'Neal on Tuesday on Twitter. Norton posted a picture of himself and O'Neal online, captioning it, "I couldn't possibly love a friend more than I love you. Goodbye brother."
Cook, for the memorial, recalled invaluable advice he got from O'Neal when the two were starting out in Boston at the same time. Patrice, known in 1991 as "Bruiser," told Cook: "Be the truth, always ... and everything will roll off."
The memorial is billed as "extensive and colorful"-- which, as anyone who's listened to comedy on satellite radio knows, means they use all the words -- but the Ministry has a few cleaned-up clips to give you a taste of the Patrice O'Neal memorial weekend.
"Mr. P," by the way, was the name O'Neal's stepdaughter Aymilyon called him. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Walter B. Cooke Funeral Home in New York.
[For the record, 12:15 p.m. Dec. 3: Some quotes in this post from Gregg "Opie" Hughes were originally attributed to Jonathan Brandstein. The attribution has been corrected. The comments were made Friday, not Thursday. 5:40 p.m. Dec. 3: Kurt Metzger's first name was originally given as Kevin in the photo caption below.]
Left photo: Patrice O'Neal on stage in 2004. Credit: Scott Gries / Getty Images
Top right photo: At the Sirius XM studio paying tribute to O'Neal were comics Louis C.K., left, and Jim Norton on the mikes, with Joe DeRosa, center, Amy Schumer and Kurt Metzger on the couch. Colin Quinn was also on mike in the studio. Credit: Erik Nagel
Bottom right photo: Dane Cook was among the comics sharing memories of Patrice O'Neal on "The Opie & Anthony Show." Credit: Erik Nagel