Comedy Central announced a collaboration today with All Things Comedy to produce a documentary about Patrice O’Neal.
O’Neal died in 2011 at the age of 41.
Michael Bonfiglio, who directed Gary Gulman’s new HBO documentary special, The Great Depresh, as well as Jerry Seinfeld’s Jerry Before Seinfeld for Netflix, will direct. All Things Comedy makes a natural partner for an O’Neal doc, not only because Bill Burr, like O’Neal, also hails from the Boston area, but also because Burr has helped steer the annual Patrice O’Neal comedy benefits each February since his death in New York City to raise money and maintain awareness for the late great stand-up.
“So happy that Mike Bonfiglio and Comedy Central are going to make this happen,” said Burr. “Patrice was the best that I ever saw.“
“Patrice was a tour de force in comedy who left an indelible stamp on the stand-up community and beyond,” said Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Co-Heads of Original Content, Comedy Central. “Comedy Central had the incredible opportunity to work with him throughout his career from Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, to the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen and to his last stand-up special Elephant in the Room. Patrice was a fearless and fierce comedian and we’re honored to be able to shine a light on his life and career with this documentary.”
“I am very excited and proud to have gotten this project in the hands of Comedy Central, and now with Bill Burr and All Things Comedy aboard, as well as, our director Michael Bonfiglio,” said Von Decarlo, O’Neal’s former fiancée. “This makes for an absolute dream team to help his mother and I bring Patrice’s story to the masses, and solidify his legacy for generations to come.”
Born in NYC but raised on the outskirts of Boston, O’Neal began his comedy career in Boston when Burr, Gulman, Dane Cook, Nick DiPaolo and others just before him like Louis CK, Joe Rogan and Greg Fitzsimmons were causing quite the scene there. Even among all of them, O’Neal stood out for his no-holds-barred attitude on and offstage.
After moving back to NYC in the early 2000s, O’Neal grabbed TV credits that included The Apollo Comedy Hour, Apt 2F, Assy McGee, Ed, Z Rock, Yes Dear, Arrested Development, Chappelle’s Show, The Office, Head of State, In the Cut, and 25th Hour. He starred with DiPaolo in the Comedy Central animated series Shorties Watching Shorties, as well as half-hour stand-up specials for Showtime, Comedy Central and HBO. And he was a frequent guest on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. In the year he died, 2011, he truly made his mark, with a show-stopping performance dressing down the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, and starring in his first and only hour special, also for Comedy Central: Elephant in the Room.
The Patrice O’Neal documentary is executive produced by Burr, Al Madrigal and Michael Bertolina of All Things Comedy, Decarlo and Bonfiglio. Christian McLaughlin, Anne Harris and Gabriella Yacyk are the Executives in Charge of Production for Comedy Central.