Remembering Patrice O’Neal

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My friend Patrice O’Neal died today. There are a handful of comedians who I’ve seen stay true to themselves (to the core) while also staying consistently funny. Patrice was one of them.

When I first met Patrice he wasn’t Patrice. He was a bouncer at a comedy club in Boston called “Bruiser”. Even then he knew who he was and how he felt about things. His intimidating size and tough looks dissolved when he smiled at me and he treated me like a little cousin even when I was an established comic and he was tossing out drunks.

When he first came to NY he came to stay in my 6th floor walk-up apartment in Little Italy. One morning he headed out the door with his packed bags in his hands. Shopping bags if I remember correctly. I told him he shouldn’t give up so quickly and should stay in New York longer. He said he WAS staying in New York. He just wasn’t staying where he had to climb six flights of stairs to sleep on some asshole’s foldout couch.

I watched Patrice develop as a comedian but he never had to develop a truthful voice. This conviction made him a phenomenal talent and it also caused him a lot of problems. He didn’t pull his punches, which is why he worked so perfectly on “Tough Crowd w/ Colin Quinn” and anywhere else he could speak his mind. I hated being on that show with him because he would never shut the fuck up.

When he headlined a benefit I put together at Town Hall in NY one year he faced an almost completely white crowd who had laughed very little at an amazing line-up of comics before him. He walked out, told the crowd straight up who they were; who he was, and then destroyed the place. People talked about him for weeks.

When he did the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen this year he again closed out the show. He told a friend he wanted to bring some love to the night. After watching the other roasters attack the tired honoree and each other, he stepped up and turned the lights on the event. He deconstructed each previous performer and punished the ones who had mocked him for having diabetes. Patrice was merciless, dead on, and again he was the one everyone remembered from that night.

I am heavy with sadness today. If you saw him do standup you know what it’s like to see a great comic speak the truth. If you knew Patrice and were lucky enough to have him smile at you and bust your balls, then you know also know what a rare human being we lost today.

The Fitz-Giving Episode

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Greg talks about his Thanksgiving plans and his experience sitting next to a soldier on the plane. He then takes a call from comedian Rick Overton and reads some Malebag and Overheards.

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Greg in Division III: Football’s Finest

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Division III: Football’s Finest clips!

Check out Greg’s acting chops in the new film Division III: Football’s Finest!

Division III: Football’s Finest is now available On Demand

AND Dvd/Blu-ray hits January 17th.

Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons Audiobook

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If you are having issues downloading your pre-ordered Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons Audiobook, please send an email to

Greg’s Pumped! Walk-Through

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Greg interviews the people that are responsible for Pumped!, his new TV series, and does some Malebag.

Don’t forget to tune in to Greg’s new series Pumped! Thursdays at 9PM/PST on The Speed Channel.

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Listen now — Click HERE for the direct link to the mp3 of this episode, or do yourself a favor and click HERE to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and get it automatically from now on. Do us a favor and leave a nice review and rating on iTunes while you’re there, it helps us a TON.

Video of Greg on The Adam Carolla Show!

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Click to watch!

Greg on!

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SPEED Debuts Gas Station Game Show

Pumped! is an “ambush”-style quiz show

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cable racing network SPEED debuted its newest game show on Thursday night. Pumped! gives unsuspecting motorists a chance to win gasoline gift cards for correctly answering trivia questions.

It is a fast-paced, ambush-style quiz show that transforms everyday people into instant game show contestants, all while filling up their gas tanks at their local gas station. Host Greg Fitzsimmons guides players through multiple rounds of automotive and pop culture question and answer games, affording them the opportunity to win cash and prizes while fueling their cars.

Fitzsimmons positions himself at undisclosed Sunoco gas stations in and around some of America’s busiest intersections, “ambushing” unsuspecting patrons for a chance to win up to $1,800 in cash (including $50 Sunoco gift cards) upon successfully answering a series of trivia questions.

Fitzsimmons is a comedian who has performed his standup routine on shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately and Comedy Central Presents, while also hosting his own radio show, The Greg Fitzsimmons Show, on SiriusXM Howard 101. He also offers the Fitzdog Radio podcast.

“I’m just a guy who’s coming up to them and trying to have some fun,” Fitzsimmons said. “I’m not putting pressure on them to play the game. Not trying to tell a bunch of funny jokes, I’m trying to bring out what’s fun in an already funny situation.

“I did improv in college and I’ve done standup. Now, my standup has been a lot of listening to people as opposed to just trying to say funny things. I think in this show, the best games we can play are when the people feel comfortable and respond to how they are feeling,” he said.

“The show is essentially broken down into three games and a bonus,” said Nick Rigg, Leopard Films USA President. “What we see in the first game is kind of a strict ‘true or false.’ Greg wants to push them hard, so they will make it through. He can be quite cutting and tough with them. In the second round, he becomes a bit friendlier. Once they start making some money and (move) into the third round, he’s very much behind and working with them. It’s based on fun and what we’ve found is the contestants have risen to it–and really enjoy it as well.”

Even though it’s a simple concept by design, it’s not always easy to shoot. With each segment set within an ever-changing environment, a multitude of distractions and obstacles can make shooting an episode more challenging.

“You’ve got fire engines and people in reverse making that beeping noise,” Fitzsimmons said. “Then you’ve got gas trucks pulling in to fill up the tanks, and our whole set is on top of where they need to be, so they aren’t the most pleasant guys at that moment. You also have people honking, people in the background waving their arms and helicopters flying overhead. For every take we get that’s clean, there’s another take where we have to stop or re-ask the question, so we’re definitely on our toes to make sure whatever we do, we get it right.”

SPEED, anchored by its coverage of NASCAR, is the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 84 million homes in North America, SPEED, is a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, the umbrella entity representing News Corp.’s array of multi-platform U.S.-based sports assets.

Greg on!

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Meet Pumped Host Greg Fitzsimmons

By Carrie Grosvenor

Speed’s new game show, Pumped, premieres tonight at 9pm Eastern. The show is hosted by Greg Fitzsimmons (remember him from Idiot Savants, anyone?), and features contestants being approached at the gas station and offered the chance to play. Answer a few trivia questions, score a bit of cash. Not a bad deal, really.

I had the chance to speak to Fitzsimmons this week, and we discussed the show and what it’s all about. Check out my Interview with Greg Ftizsimmons for a sneak peek at Pumped – and for those of you who complained that the $1,800 top prize was “cheap,” you’ll be happy to know that I asked him about that. His answer made sense to me, but I’d love to know what you all think about it!

Don’t forget to catch Pumped tonight, and then stop by and share your thoughts on the show.

Greg’s Pumped Premieres TONIGHT!

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The Speed Channel’s new game show “Pumped!”, Hosted by Greg Fitzsimmons debuts Thursday, November 17th 9PM/PST!

Pumped! on Fox Sports!

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Check out Greg in these Pumped! clips!

He has never looked so tan!

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