Dante Nero, who sometimes opened for him, recalled one college gig when a young woman yelled, “Say something funny!” during one of Patrice’s philosophical disquisitions. “You didn’t hear anyone else laughing?” O’Neal began. “Is it because you weren’t laughing? You the type of person who wants everyone to be miserable if you’re miserable?” Then he turned to her friends: “Why do you hang out with her?” The girl stood up to leave, demanding her boyfriend join her, but he sat there, frozen, and O’Neal zeroed in on him — as an ally. “If you stay, it’ll be over,” O’Neal said encouragingly. “Ride it out.” The audience started to weigh in. The girl began to cry.