After 30 minutes of ribbing amongst friends, the Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM this morning got serious. Veteran comedian and longtime O&A regular Patrice Oneal, recently seen on Comedy Central’s Roast of Charlie Sheen, suffered a stroke last Wednesday.
Show co-host, comedian Jim Norton invited all the regular guests on the show to make the announcement. Colin Quinn, Robert Kelly, Rich Vos and Keith Robinson were all present. “We wanted it to come from us,” Norton said. “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.”
“It’s so fucking sad,” Vos added. “It’s hard to talk about it. He’s such a good friend. It’s too hard to fucking talk about it on the air without any answers. It’s hard. What can you say? We pray that everything works out. And deep in my heart, for real, I think everything will work out.”
And although Norton and company stressed that fans should not try to reach out, send gifts or flowers or otherwise try to contact the 41-year-old comic or his family directly, they did offer an email — firstname.lastname@example.org — to which listeners can send supportive e-mails to Oneal’s wife and family.
“If you pray, pray,” Kelly said. “Love him or hate him, he’s one of the funniest guys on the planet Earth. And he’s our really good friend. We just wanted you to know that he needs your prayers.”
UPDATE: 11 am ET — the audio of the announcement is below: