Like his ex-wife, producer Shaunie O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, has plans for a booming empire rooted in entertainment. However, whereas Shaunie O’Neal is thus far the reigning champ of ratchet (said with love and admiration), Shaq has his sights on becoming “the Pat Riley of comedy.” Yeah, I didn’t get that reference initially either, but the man explains it well in his new profile in the Associated Press.
The four-time NBA champion likens himself to the famed basketball coach with his ability to pick the right comedians for his “All Star Comedy Jam.”
“Humor is a big way to relieve stress, so me being a great leader and being an expert at organizational leadership, I could pick a team, I could pick a street ball team, I could pick a kickball team, I definitely could pick comedians,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal says he wanted provide a forum for comics similar to Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam.” He was a big fan of HBO series that launched the careers of Dave Chappelle, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Chris Tucker, and others.
But O’Neal said his revue not just about black comedy.
“I am not biased. Even though I’m African-American, even though I’m urban, I don’t just like urban comedy,” O’Neal said. “The guy Jeff Foxworthy — that’s some of the best comedy ever — ‘You know you’re a redneck. ‘I can relate to that because I went to school in Louisiana and Texas.”
I imagine that comment about ‘urban comedy’ will stuck out to many, too.