Friday, November 9, 2012

Patrice O'Neal's "Better Than You"



I miss Patrice O’Neal.

When his previous album, "Mr. P", was released, there was a 20-minute bit that didn’t make the final cut due to time constraints. It was a segment that, according to his widow, he hated to cut from the project. He had plans release it as a bonus track...or something. “Better Than You” is that “something” and after the first few minutes you can tell why it was hard for him to let go. 

O’Neal was a master of saying things that political correctness has trained us to never say in public. The lesson to learn from the whole Tiger Woods affair was simple: if your man has never womanized, don’t marry him. He was fed up with women forcing him to create their identities, and if you’re honest with yourself, you know men are the better gender.

Of course, the real laughter comes when O’Neal explains himself, the utter ridiculousness of his firm stance only serving to feed the flames of humor. I especially love the new ranking system he has when it comes to judging how good a woman looks. Instead of the standard one-to-ten scale (because, let’s be honest, giving someone a “six” is still much closer to “ten” than they deserve), O’Neal used the one-to-thirty scale. Some real thought went into this and includes three separate subsets of hotness into which a woman can fall. We all realize it’s a completely juvenile and sexist practice, but as long as men are going to be handing out scores (and we are), we might as well improve the procedure.

There are a couple of instances where O’Neal goes to the audience to do a little crowd work and it’s fun to listen to him interview various black women and come away amazed with how all of them have decidedly white names. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this project is only 20 minutes long, but it’s 20 minutes I’m grateful weren't left on a shelf somewhere. Twenty minutes with Patrice is still 20 minutes with Patrice and he crams in an hour’s worth of laughs. When it comes to someone this funny, I’ll take anything I can get.



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