NEW YORK, February 9, 2021 — Comedy Central in collaboration with All Things Comedy today announced the world premiere of Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy, a new documentary based on the irreverent comedian’s life that explores the hilarious and controversial material he left behind. Directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Michael Bonfiglio (Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh, Jerry Before Seinfeld), Patrice O’Neal: Killing is Easy is told through the eyes of the people who knew him best including Bill Burr, Kevin Hart and Colin Quinn who reflect on this true original, a man who never achieved the success that many believed he was due and whose untimely death at the age of 41 left many wondering what could have been.
The World Premiere of Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy debuts on Friday, February 19 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. The title will be available post-premiere on the CC app, On Demand and Download to Own platforms.
“There’s no way to express what comedy lost with the passing of Patrice O’Neal,” said Bill Burr. “I feel fortunate to have known him and I’m hoping this documentary will introduce his work to a new generation because he was one of the greatest comedians ever.”
“I am so proud to have completed this documentary about Patrice’s life and legacy, which will ensure his memory and comedy is kept alive, and continuously introduced to future generations,” said Von Decarlo. “It also warms my heart to see him get his well-deserved, starring role in a film.”
O’Neal was your favorite comic’s favorite comic. After starting his stand-up career in Boston, he burst onto the flourishing New York comedy scene of the late 1990s with his unflinching explorations of race, gender, and other topics that are as relevant today as they were at the time. With a style that was provocative, combative and always hilarious, O’Neal strived for something even more meaningful than laughter: the Truth. As flawed as he was brilliant, his refusal to compromise led to clashes with his peers and the industry, and he struggled for acceptance throughout his career.
Patrice O’Neal was born in New York City, and 22 years later began his comedy career in Boston, Massachusetts where he grew up since he was one year old. After conquering the Boston comedy circuit in just under six years, O’Neal took his comedic gifts to New York City. Once there, Hollywood soon called. O’Neal had a string of TV guest star appearances on MTV’s Apt 2F, Assy McGee, Ed, Z Rock, Yes Dear, Arrested Development, Chappelle’s Show and The Office. O’Neal was a regular on the FOX series The Jury, and he starred in the Comedy Central animated series Shorties Watching Shorties, along with Nick DiPaolo. He supplied the voice of Harold Jenkins on Noggin’s animated show O’Grady High and was featured as Jesus in Denis Leary’s Contest Searchlight.
O’Neal made his Def Comedy Jam debut in 2007 but had three prior half hour comedy specials with Showtime, Comedy Central, and HBO. He made several appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But of all the many television appearances, his self-proclaimed favorite was Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. O’Neal’s movie appearances include Head of State, In the Cut, 25th Hour, and Furry Vengeance. In 2011, O’Neal released his first one-hour stand-up special Elephant in the Room on Comedy Central.
Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy is executive produced by Bill Burr, Al Madrigal and Michael Bertolina of All Things Comedy, Von Decarlo, and Michael Bonfiglio who also serves as director (May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers, Doc & Darryl, You Don’t Know Bo). Ryan Moran and Gabriella Yacyk are the Executives in Charge of Production for Comedy Central.
Gladys & Dude Productions represents the name and likeness of Patrice O’Neal, owned and operated by comedian Von Decarlo, and Patrice’s mother Georgia O’Neal.