Patrice O'Neal gives a decent enough performance in his Comedy Central special and stand-up comedy DVD Elephant in the Room. The opening material is the most caustic Black vs. White material I have every heard but O'Neal's intelligence and artistry cover it in a velvet glove many might not notice the fist. This is a very strong moment so perhaps that is why the rest of the much lighter show pales in comparison -but probably not. The special airs February 19th on Comedy Central and Elephant in the Room comes out on DVD three days later.
O'Neal opens Elephant in the Room begins with a commentary on a very fine looking white girl. This is just to set up a bit on how White is worth more than Black when it comes to missing persons, media attention, and collective memory. Things do get much lighter after that but not before a subtle dig at Black and White life expectancy.
Other routines on this stand-up comedy DVD include the futility of bettering yourself after forty or football in the old days. Much less focused is a messy routine about what is socially acceptable and sexual harassment. The animal bit also rambles on.
This is followed by an unfocused relationship bit. The connected Men and their Health routine is much better. The Safe Sex segment is quite funny but not the Mush routine.
Even if Elephant in the Room is uneven, especially in the middle, you will want the full DVD version of the show that includes 4 deleted scenes and his 2003 Comedy Central Presents. This is almost 2 hours worth of O'Neal.
Also on this stand-up comedy DVD is an 8-minute set by O'Neal s warm-up act Harris Stanton.
Other Patrice O'Neal Reviews
Positivity - Just For Laughs 2008: Brilliant
Mr. P: As close to the real thing as you'll get.
Unreleased: Posthumous released, all quality material.