This morning on "The Opie & Anthony Show" on XM Satellite Radio, it was announced that Patrice O'Neal, a stand-up comedian and former WWE writer, who is a regular guest on the show, has suffered a stroke. At the moment it's unclear if he'll recover.
O'Neal, who has often talked about being diabetic, suffered the stroke one week ago. "Opie & Anthony" co-host, fellow comedian and friend Jim Norton said that "We don't know how he is. We don't know how he's going to be. I didn't want to do this by myself. I wish we had more news for you."
A tremendously funny comedian, O'Neal had a brief stint as a writer in the WWE in 2000. He's told various stories about his time with the company both on "The Opie & Anthony Show" and in interviews, such as with Gothamist.com in 2006 and Atlantic City Weekly in 2010.
Until recently, ex-WWE writers didn't comment much on their time in the company, so he gave details into company culture that weren't well known at the time. This is especially the case for writers who were around during the prosperous period, which is when he was working for the company.
O'Neal felt that Vince McMahon is a "cold, powerful dude" who makes you "completely lose your manliness" in his presence. He later noted that he "learned a lot of things in like three days looking at Vince McMahon and how he operates; it was a hell of a thing."
He also wasn't afraid to put McMahon in a negative light. Most famously, in an "Opie & Anthony Show" appearance, he talked about witnessing Tiger Ali Singh approaching McMahon saying something to the effect of "My family asks if you can please stop making fun of my turban because my people..." only to be shut down with Vince's reply of "Shut up and put on the turban. Get out there with the stupid turban."
He was fired from the company when a stand-up gig conflicted with a WWE date. Not understanding that stand-up comedians get to a point where they don't react to firings from writing jobs like this, Stephanie McMahon incredulously fired him six times. When he explained that his stand-up career came first, she was shocked, exclaiming "What? You're committed to WWE!"
An email address has been set up that fans to send well wishes and other notes for Patrice's family to. It is LoveForPatrice@gmail.com. Otherwise, his family has requested that their privacy be respected.