Patrice O'Neal, stand-up and not infrequent guest on the late night TV circuit, has died after a short illness. He had a stroke Oct. 19, and his agent, Matt Frost, said in a statement today that his death was due to complications from that. O'Neal was extremely well regarded in the tight-knit standup community - not that well known beyond it, except to listeners of Opie and Anthony. He was a big boisterous guy who had some sharp, uncomfortable insights into race relationships and the oddities that bind or fray them. I've posted a recent "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" appearance that gets into that, and a Letterman outing too.
O'Neal had many TV appearances - and "Office"-heads will remember him fleetingly as "Lonny" - nicknamed Sea Monster - who worked down in the warehouse. If you have Hulu Plus, check him out in 2007's "Safety Management." Letterman even asked him the most he ever weighed. Patrice: "I've always been this fat at every level." Watch the '06 Letterman app first; hilarious.