"If I had to pick a breakout star of the future, I'd put my money on Patrice Oneal ...hilarious...perfect timing." — Boston Phoenix
"Patrice Oneal is killing. The packed house at the US Comedy Arts Festival is rolling with laughter as Oneal punctuates the smoky air inside the Aspen sports Club with a delivery as crisp and clear as the Rocky Mountains just beyond the door." — Michael Blowen, The Boston Globe
"Oneal, like Michael Jordan draining a series of three point shots, is in the zone ...the...customers whoop and holler." — Boston Magazine
Patrice Oneal grew up in Roxbury, MA, across the street from the projects. Even though the buildings on both sides of the street were brick and looked just alike, Patrice and his friends let the kids from the projects know the distinction - Patrice's and his friends' buildings were privately owned and they took pride in that. The pickup football games became "Projects vs. Private Property" - the trash talking that went on during those games honed Patrice's early comic sensibility.
In high school Patrice's talent in football was recognized and he was recruited by Clemson, Northeastern and others. But Patrice hated playing football...he really wanted to be a comic. And so it was. He attended Northeastern University, but studied theatre arts. He never played football again.
Patrice got his first real taste of standup at a place called "Estelle's" in Boston, where he heckled a comic. The comic suggested maybe Patrice thought he could do better. Patrice did - the following week, Patrice went up at the club and brought down the house. From there he went on to work at The Comedy Connection, then moved to working at most of the clubs in and around Boston, New England and New York.
Now, years later, Patrice has a wide range of comedic tools - from whispers and tiny facial expressions to animated movement and shouting. In one bit, Patrice, at 6'5" and 300+ lbs, makes the audience hear and almost see the story of an eastern european gymnast quietly speaking of her difficult upbringing and training. The Boston Globe said, "It is a hilarious piece, made all the more so by the contradiction between Oneal's very visible presence and that of the young, tiny white girl he is playing".
Asked to whom he aspires, Patrice mentions only two names: George Carlin and Richard Pryor; Carlin for his distinct point of view and universal appeal; Pryor for his honesty, vulnerability and personal revelation.
Patrice was a guest star on Fox's "Getting Personal" and has appeared on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" three times. He has also performed standup comedy at both the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs AND HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, on MTV's "Apt 2F", NBC's "Comedy Showcase", "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show" and NBC's "Friday Night".
Patrice currently makes his home in New York City.