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L E’s Stories – “The Story of the Dark Angel of Stand-Up Comedy Legend Bill Hicks: “It’s Always Funny Until Someone Gets Hurt; Then It’s Just Hilarious”


Having been a huge fan of comedy all of my life has given me a keen understanding of what makes comedians tick…..cuz the truth remains that all great comedians live on the edge…..while thinking outside the box…..with a uncanny ability to keep their fingers on the pulse of the world…..as all comedians have an unnatural ability to see the humor in even the saddest of moments…..for the best of all comedians understand understand the thin line between laughter and tragedy…..as evidenced by some of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time like Jonathan Winters, Robin Williams and Bill Hicks, the comedic genius who died at age 32, way before his time…..for each of these three great comedians stood with one foot on solid ground and the other foot being over the edge and somewhere out where the buffalo roam…..as they balanced their lives on the edge of what is considered sane and/or insane.  Today’s showcased comedian, Bill Hicks, was a proponent one such comedian…..who spent much of his career in the realm of dark humor…..and was certainly not any where close to what has ever been considered “mainstream comedy”…..while achieving a solid Top 10 Best All Time Stand-Up Comedian status in just 32 years on this Earth…..which makes him worthy of his showcase here at ImaSportsPhile, the home of sports, comedy and music. 

Comedy – Special Documentary – “American: The Bill Hicks Story” – 2016 – A Chris Tonabike Production Special – “The True Life Story Of The Outlaw Comic Who Tried To Save The World, As Told By The 10 people Who Knew Him Best”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



William Melvin Hicks (December 16, 1961 – February 26, 1994) was an American stand-up comedian and satirist. His material—encompassing a wide range of social issues including religion, politics, and philosophy—was controversial and often steeped in dark comedy.  At the age of 16, Hicks began performing at the Comedy Workshop in Houston, Texas. During the 1980s, he toured the U.S. extensively and made a number of high-profile television appearances, but he amassed a significant fan base in the UK, filling large venues during his 1991 tour.  He also achieved some recognition as a guitarist and songwriter.  Hicks died of pancreatic cancer on February 26, 1994, at the age of 32.  In subsequent years, his work gained significant acclaim in creative circles…..particularly after a series of posthumous album releases…..after which he developed a substantial cult following.  In 2007, he was # 6 on Channel 4’s list of the “100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics”…..and rose to # 4 on the 2010 list…..then in 2017, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him to # 13 on its list of the 50 Best Stand-Up Comics Of All Time.





Comedy – Special Documentary – “Bill Hicks: Reflections: An Intimate Documentary Featuring Bill’s Older Brother, Steve” – 2021 – A Bill Hicks Production Special – “Steve Hicks Discusses Brother Bill’s Childhood And Early Start In Comedy, His Relationship With His Family And The Enduring Legacy 25+ Tears After His Death” 




Hicks was born in Valdosta, Georgia, the son of James Melvin “Jim” Hicks (1923–2006) and Mary (Reese) Hicks…..as he had an older sister, Lynn…..and an older brother, Steve.  The family lived in Alabama, Florida and New Jersey, before settling in Houston, Texas…..when Hicks was 7 years old.  He was drawn to comedy at an early age…..while emulating Woody Allen and Richard Pryor et al with friends and family…..and even wrote routines with his friend Dwight Slade long before he was a teenager.  While attending Stratford High School, he began performing comedy (mostly derivations of Woody Allen material) for his classmates…..and while at home, he wrote his own one-liners…..and slid them under the bedroom door of Steve…..who he thought was a genius for critical analysis…..to which Steve told him, “Keep it up. You’re really good at this.”  By the time Bill Hicks was 19, he was associated with the Texas Outlaw Comics group developed at the Comedy Workshop in Houston in the 1980’s…..when by January 1986, Hicks was using recreational drugs…..and his financial resources had dwindled…..but his career received another upturn in 1987…..when he appeared on Rodney Dangerfield’s Young Comedians Special…..then the same year, he moved to New York City…..where for the next 5 years he performed about 300 times a year.  On his album Relentless, he jokes that he quit using drugs because “once you’ve been taken aboard a UFO, it’s kind of hard to top that”…..albeit in his performances, he continued to enthusiastically praise the virtues of LSD, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.  He eventually fell back to chain smoking…..which was a theme that figured heavily in his performances from then on…..while his nicotine addiction, love of smoking and occasional attempts to quit became a recurring theme in his act throughout his later years.  In 1988, Hicks signed with his first professional business manager, Jack Mondrus.





Comedy – Stand Up – Rodney Dangerfield’s TV Special “Nothing Goes Right” – 1988 – A Rodney Dangerfield Production – “Rodney Dangerfield Welcomes Bill Hicks to the Stage”                                                      




Comedy – Special – The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast – 2022 – A Powerful JRE Production Special – “The Genius of Bill Hicks” – An Awesome Discussion Of The Misunderstood Dark Angel of Comedy, Bill Hicks




In 1989, he released his first video, Sane Man…..which was a remastered version with 30 minutes of extra footage was released in 1999.  





Comedy – Special Film – Bill Hicks Stand-Up Routine From His Comedy Album “Sane Man” – 1989 – A celestialroad Production Special – “There He Goes. One of God’s Own Prototypes…..A High-Powered Mutant of Some Kind Never Even Considered For Mass Production…..Too Weird To Live, And Too Rare To Die.”




In 1990, Hicks released his 1st album, Dangerous, performed on the HBO special One Night Stand…..and at Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival.  Hicks was later engaged to his manager, Colleen McGarr…..who booked him there.  He was also part of a group of American stand-up comedians performing in London’s West End in November…..whereas, Hicks was a huge hit in the UK and Ireland…..and continued touring there throughout 1991.  That year, he returned to Just for Laughs and filmed his 2nd video, Relentless.                                                                                                                                    




Comedy – Bill Hicks 1st Comedy Album “Dangerous”  – Recorded Live At Caroline’s In London, England (Entire Performance)  – 1990 – An Every Villain Is Lemons Production Special – “Thomas Jefferson’s Quote ‘No Idea Is Dangerous To Society Wherein That Idea Can Be Openly Discussed’…..That’s Why This Album Is Called ‘Dangerous’ Because I’m Discussing Drugs And Things Drugs Do.”




Hicks made a brief detour into musical recording with the Marble Head Johnson album in 1992…..while collaborating with Houston high school friend Kevin Booth and Austin, Texas, drummer Pat Brown.  During the same year, he toured the UK…..where he recorded the Revelations video for Britain’s Channel 4…..when he closed the show with his soon-to become-famous philosophy regarding life, “It’s Just a Ride.”  Also in that tour, he recorded the stand-up performance released in its entirety on a double CD titled Salvation.  Hicks was voted “Hot Standup Comic” by Rolling Stone magazine in 1993.





Comedy – Bill Hicks Video – Live In Concert at the Dominion Theatre, London – 1993 – A Red Scotland Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Revelations”     




Progressive metal band Tool invited Hicks to open a number of their concerts in its 1993 Lollapalooza appearances…..where Hicks once asked the audience to look for a contact lens he had lost…..and thousands of people complied.  Members of Tool felt that Hicks and they “were resonating similar concepts” …..while intending to raise awareness about Hicks’s material and ideas, Tool dedicated their triple-platinum album Ænima in 1996 to Hicks…..when both the lenticular casing of the Ænima album packaging…..and the chorus of the title track “Ænema” make reference to a sketch from Hicks’s Arizona Bay  album…..in which he contemplates the idea of Los Angeles falling into the Pacific Ocean.  Ænimas final track, “Third Eye”, contains samples from Hicks’s Dangerous and Relentless albums…..while an alternate version of the  Ænima artwork shows a painting of Bill Hicks, calling him “Another Dead Hero”…..as mentions of Hicks are found both in the liner notes and on the record.





Music – TOOL From the Album AEnima – 1993 – A Sumtik MeOff Production Special – “Tool & Bill Hicks – Aenima Remix – Learn to Swim…..See you in Arizona Bay…..and Bye Bye L.A”




In 1984, Hicks was invited to appear on Late Night with David Letterman for the 1st of many subsequent times.  He had a joke that he used frequently in comedy clubs about how he caused a serious accident that left a classmate using a wheelchair…..when unbeknownst to Hicks, NBC had a policy that no jokes about the handicapped could be aired…..which made his stand-up routine difficult to perform without mentioning words such as “wheelchair”.  





Comedy & Talk Shows – Special Bill Hicks Collection From Late Night With David Letterman – 1984 To 1993 – A Don Giller Production Special – “Montage of Comedian Bill Hicks 12 Appearances Live On Late Night with David Letterman”




On October 1, 1993, Hicks was scheduled to appear on Late Show with David Letterman on CBS…..where Letterman had recently moved…..which was his 12th appearance on a Letterman late-night show…..but his entire performance was removed from the broadcast.  At that point, it was the only occasion where a comedian’s entire routine was cut after taping…..which Hicks said was because Letterman’s producers believed the material, which included jokes involving religion and the anti-abortion movement, was unsuitable for broadcast.  Producer Robert Morton initially blamed CBS….. which denied responsibility…..as Morton later conceded it was his decision.  Although Letterman later expressed regret at the way the situation had been handled, Hicks did not appear on the show again.  Hicks was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of his final Late Show appearance…..when knowledge of his disease was unbeknownst to Letterman and most others outside of Hicks’s family…..as he died less than four months later.  Letterman aired the censored routine in its entirety on January 30, 2009. Hicks’s mother, Mary, was present in the studio…..who appeared on-camera as a guest.  Letterman took responsibility for the original decision to remove Hicks’s set from the 1993 show. “It says more about me as a guy than it says about Bill,” he said, after the set aired, “because there was absolutely nothing wrong with that”.                                                                                                                             

Comedy & Talk Shows – David Letterman Late Show Special – “Why Did David Letterman Censor Bill Hicks” – 1993 – A Weird History Production Special – “In Less Than Seven Minutes Comedian Bill Hicks Delivered Some Of His Most Stinging Commentary On America To Date”   




Talk Shows & Comedy – Late Night With David Letterman With Bill Hicks’ Mom As They Watches His Censored Stand-Up Appearance From 1993 – 2009 – A Letterman Production Special – “Dave Apologizes To Mary Hicks For His Decision To Remove Bill’s Appearance From A 1993 Show”                                                               


Hicks’s performance style was seen as a play on his audience’s emotions….. while he expressed anger, disgust and apathy when addressing the audience in a casual and personal manner…..which he likened to merely conversing with his friends.  He would invite his audiences to challenge authority and the existential nature of “accepted truth.”  One such message, which he often used in his shows, was delivered in the style of a news report (to draw attention to the negative slant news organizations give to any story about drugs):  “Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration–that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively.  There is no such thing as death…..life is only a dream…..and we’re the imagination of ourselves.  Here’s Tom with the weather.”  American philosopher and ethnomycologist Terence McKenna was a frequent source of Hicks’s most controversial psychedelic and philosophical counter-cultural material…..while he infamously acted out an abridged version of McKenna’s “Stoned Ape” model of human evolution as a routine during several of his final shows.





Comedy – Stand-UP – Bill Hicks “Stoned Ape Theory” Routine – 1993 – An Anders Jacobsson Production Special – “Amazing Clip From Bill Hicks’ Show ‘Revelations”




Another of Hicks’s most-delivered lines was given during a gig in Chicago during 1989 (later released as the bootleg I’m Sorry, Folks).  After a heckler repeatedly shouted “Free Bird”, Hicks screamed, “Hitler had the right idea; he was just an underachiever!” ….to which Hicks followed this remark with a misanthropic tirade calling for unbiased genocide against the whole of humanity.  Much of Hicks’s routine involved direct attacks on mainstream society, religion, politics and consumerism.  Asked in a BBC interview why he cannot do a routine that appeals “to everyone”…..to which he said that such an act was impossible…..while he responded by repeating a comment that an audience member once made to him, “We don’t come to comedy to think!”, to which he replied, “Gee, where do you go to think? I’ll meet you there!” When asked whether a “half way” point existed between audience expectations and his own, he said: “but my way is half-way between, I mean, this is a night club, and, you know, these are adults, and what do you expect?”  Hicks was strongly against political correctness…..while jokingly stating that the politically correct should be “hunted down and killed.”                                                                                                                                                        




Comedy – Stand Up – Bill Hicks Live On Stage in Chicago – 1989 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – “Bill Hicks Goes Off On A Heckler In The Crowd Continually Shouting ‘Free Bird'”




For many years, Hicks was friends with fellow comedian Denis Leary…..but  he was angered by Leary’s album No Cure for Cancer in 1993…..which featured lines and subject matter similar to his own routine.  According to American Scream:  The Bill Hicks Story by Cynthia True, upon hearing the album Hicks was furious. “All these years, aside from the occasional jibe, he had pretty much shrugged off Leary’s lifting. Comedians borrowed, stole stuff, and even bought bits from one another. Milton Berle and Robin Williams were famous for it. This was different. Leary had practically taken line for line huge chunks of Bill’s act and recorded it.”  The friendship ended abruptly as a result.  At least three stand-up comedians have gone on the record stating they believe Leary stole Hicks’s material…..as well as his persona and attitude.  In an interview, when Hicks was asked why he had quit smoking, he answered, “I just wanted to see if Denis would, too.”  In another interview, Hicks said, “I have a scoop for you. I stole his [Leary’s] act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.”  During a 2003 Comedy Central Roast of Leary, comedian  Lenny Clarke, a friend of Leary’s, said a carton of cigarettes was backstage from Hicks, with the message, “Wish I had gotten these to you sooner.”….. but this joke was cut from the final broadcast.                                                                                   




Comedy – Special – “Denis Leary Rips Off Bill Hicks” (Full Video) – 2020 – A MojoMusicFilter Production Special – Bill Hicks Commented “Dennis Leary Is My Favorite Cover Band”




Hicks often discussed popular conspiracy theories in his performances….with  most notably being the assassination of President John F. Kennedy…..of which he mocked the Warren Report…..and the official version of Lee Harvey Oswald as a “lone nut assassin.”  He also questioned the guilt of David Koresh and the Branch Davidian compound during the Waco Siege…..as Hicks ended some of his shows, especially those being recorded in front of larger audiences as albums, with a mock “assassination” of himself on stage, making gunshot sound effects into the microphone while falling to the ground.





Comedy – Bill Hicks Stand-Up Routine On The Assassination Of JFL (John F. Kennedy) – Recorded at the Dominion Theatre in London – 1992 – A Bill Hicks Production Special – “He Was the Dark Knight of Stand-Up Comedy….Go Back To Bed America”                                                                                                                                                                                         




Comedy – Bill Hicks Stand-Up Routine On Why Is Marijuana Against The Law? – 1991 – A Bill Hicks Production Special – “Bill Provides The Missing Piece To the Puzzle Of Human Evolution While Managing To Get Big Laughs”




On June 16, 1993, Hicks was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver…..while he still toured and also recorded his album,  Arizona Bay…..while receiving weekly chemotherapy.  Following his cancer diagnosis, Hicks often joked that any given performance could be his last….while knowing that the public was totally unaware of his condition…..as only a few close friends and family members knew of the disease.  He performed the final show of his career at Caroline’s in New York on January 6, 1994…..then he moved back to his parents’ house in Little Rock shortly thereafter.  In his last weeks, Hicks re-read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings…..and made telephone calls to friends to say goodbye before he stopped speaking on February 14, 1994.  He died on February 26 at the age of 32…..and was buried in the family grave plot in Magnolia Cemetery, Leakesville, Mississippi.  Hicks’ albums Arizona Bay and Rant in E-Minor were released posthumously in 1997 on the Voices imprint of the Rykodisc label…..as they were both re-released simultaneously.





Comedy – Bill Hicks From His Album Arizona Bay – 1993 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Step On The Gas (L.A. Riots)”                                                                                                                                       




Comedy – Bill Hicks From His Album Arizona Bay – 1993 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Pussywhipped Satan”                                                                                                                                                           




Comedy – Bill Hicks From His Album Arizona Bay – 1993 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Marketing and Advertising”




In early 1995, Hicks’s family released a brief essay he had written weeks before his death:  February 7, 1994 — “I was born William Melvin Hicks on December 16, 1961 in Valdosta, Georgia.  Ugh.  Melvin Hicks from Georgia.  Yee Har!  I already had gotten off to life on the wrong foot.  I was always “awake,” I guess you’d say.  Some part of me clamoring for new insights and new ways to make the world a better place.  All of this came out years down the line…..when in my multitude of creative interests that are the tools I now bring to the Party.  Writing, acting, music, comedy….with a deep love of literature and books.  Thank God for all the artists who’ve helped me.  I’d read these words and off I went –dreaming my own imaginative dreams.  Exercising them at will, eventually to form bands, comedy, more bands, movies, anything creative.  This is the coin of the realm I use in my words — Vision.  On June 16, 1993, I was diagnosed with having “liver cancer…..that had spread from the pancreas.”  One of life’s weirdest and worst jokes imaginable.  I’d been making such progress recently in my attitude,  my career and realizing my dreams that it just stood me on my head for a while.  “Why me!?” I would cry out, and “Why now!?” Well, I know now there may never be any answers to those particular questions, but maybe in telling a little about myself, we can find some other answers to other questions.  That might help our way down our own particular paths, towards realizing my dream of New Hope and New Happiness.  Amen  I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”





Comedy – Bill Hicks From His Album Rant in E-Minor – 1993 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Fevered Egos”                                                                                                                                                                      




Comedy – Bill Hicks From His Album Rant in E-Minor – 1993 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Childbirth Is Not A Miracle”                                                                                                                                      




Comedy – Bill Hicks From His Album Rant in E-Minor – 1993 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – Bill Hicks: Confession Time (Cops)” 




At the time of his death, Hicks was working with comedian Fallon Woodland on a pilot episode of a new talk show, titled Counts of the Netherworld for Channel 4…..when the budget and concept had been approved…..and a pilot was filmed.  The Counts of the Netherworld pilot was shown at the various Tenth-Anniversary Tribute Night events around the world on February 26, 2004.





Comedy – Eye Doctor Skit From The Pilot for Sitcom “Counts of Netherworld” – 1993 – A 1nceBitten2wiceShy Production Special – “The Only Piece of Sketch Comedy Ever Done  By Bill Hicks”




In a 2005 poll to find the Comedian’s Comedian…..that is when comedians and comedy insiders voted Hicks 13th on their list of “The Top 20 Greatest Comedy Acts Ever”…..and in “Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time” in 2004, Hicks was ranked 19th.  In March 2007, he was voted 6th on Britain’s Channel 4 list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics….. and rose to # 4 on the 2010 list.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  




Comedy – Stand-Up – Bill Hicks Live in Edinburg, England – 1988 – A RileyELFuk Production Special – “Highlight Excerpts From Bill Hicks Stand Up Comedy Show In Edinburgh”                                                                   




Comedy – Stand-Up – Bill Hicks Live in London, England – 1989 – A Luke Jose Production Special – Bill Hicks Talks About Crime In England”  




Comedy – Stand-Up – Bill Hicks Live at Paramount City BBC TV in London, England – 1991 – A licensetodrive Production Special – Bill Hicks Talks About Going To The Beach + Loving The Cold Weather Et Al”                                                                                                                                                                                                        




Comedy – Bill Hicks Album “Salvation” Recorded Live at Oxford (Entire Album) – November 11, 1992 – A recoveryLund Production Special – “Bill Hicks – Salvation Full Set”                                                                                                 



Devotees have incorporated Hicks’s words, image, and attitude into their own creations.  By means of audio sampling, fragments of his rants, diatribes, social criticisms, and philosophies have found their way into many musical works, such as the live version of “Super Furry Animals”…..”The Man Don’t Give a Fuck”…..and Adam Freeland’s “We Want Your Soul”.  His influence on the band Tool is well documented…..as he is sampled at the beginning of their song “Third Eye”Ænima in 1996…..plus, he “appears” on the Fila Brazillia  album Maim That Tune in 1995…..and on SPA’s eponymously titled album SPA in 1997…..which are both dedicated to Hicks…..and the British band Radiohead’s 2nd album The Bends in 1995 is also dedicated to his memory.   Hicks’ joke “It’s always funny until someone gets hurt; then it’s just hilarious” is used as a refrain on the Faith No More album King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime.  American indie rock band Built to Spill’s song “Planting Seeds” on its 2009 album There Is No Enemy alludes to Hicks’s routine on advertising and marketing, which appears on the performance film Bill Hicks: Revelations.  Singer/songwriter Tom Waits listed Rant in E-Minor as one of his 20 most cherished albums of all time.  Suffice to say, opinions are many when it comes to Bill Hicks….but mine is that he ALWAYS spoke the truth…..as viewed in his live interviews…..  and those characteristics are so rare in humanity…..especially those folks in the public eye.  Viewing these videos has allowed me a totally different perspective of Bill Hicks….. which has allowed me to hear and understand what he had to say…..thus giving me a much different opinion…..because it takes time and thought to really listen to what Bill Hicks…..and this collection at ImaSportsPhile really shows that to the viewer, who he was and what he had to say…..which at this point seems to be profound to me.                                                                                                                                                                                               




Comedy –  Bill Hicks Interviewed By Chicago Radio Personality Kevin Matthews (Part 1) – 1990 – A zacheh Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Worst Gig Ever”                                                                                                                          




Comedy –  Bill Hicks Interviewed By Chicago Radio Personality Kevin Matthews (Part 2) – 1990 – A zacheh Production Special – Bill Hicks: “1st Paid Gig”                                                                                                                                                




Comedy –  Bill Hicks Interviewed By Chicago Radio Personality Kevin Matthews (Part 3) – 1990 – A zacheh Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Terrible Stand-Up Venues”                                                                                                                    




Comedy –  Bill Hicks Interviewed By Chicago Radio Personality Kevin Matthews (Part 4) – 1990 – A zacheh Production Special – Bill Hicks: “Bad Gig in San Francisco”




Comedians who have cited Hicks as an inspiration include Joe Rogan, Dave Attell, Lewis Black, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Russell Brand, Ron White, Frankie Boyle, Jimmy Dore, Lee Camp and Brendon Burns.  The political cartoonist “Mr. Fish” described in 2022 how he learned from Hicks.





Comedy & Talk Shows – The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast – Joe Rogan & Ron White Discuss The Impact Of Bill Hicks On Comedy – 2009 – A Joe Rogan Experience Production Special – “A Real Tribute To The Comedic Genius Of Bill Hicks”                                                                                                                                                   




British actor Chas Early portrayed Hicks in the one-man stage show Bill Hicks: Slight Return, which premiered in 2004.  The show was co-written by Early and Richard Hurst, and imagined Hicks’s view of the world 10 years after his death.





Comedy – Stand Up – Bill Hicks Live on Stage – 1988 – A Jeff Helmick Production Special – “Bill Hicks:  His Thoughts On Music To The Anti-Christ!”   




On February 25, 2004, British MP Stephen Pound tabled an early day motion titled “Anniversary of the Death of Bill Hicks” (EDM 678 of the 2003–04 session), the text of which reads:  “That this House notes with sadness the 10th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks, on 26th February 1994, at the age of 33 [sic]; recalls his assertion that his words would be a bullet in the heart of consumerism, capitalism and the American Dream; and mourns the passing of one of the few people who may be mentioned as being worth of inclusion with Lenny Bruce in any list of unflinching and painfully honest political philosophers.”





Comedy & Talk Shows – Live on London’s Channel 4 Clive Anderson Talks Back Show With Guest Comedian Bill Hicks – 1992 – A VHS Video vault Production Special – “Bill Hick: The Brits Favorite Yank Stand-Up Comedian”




Editor’s Note:  In the video below…..Bill Hicks says “I doubt I’ll make older age”…..and like many things he said (having the benefit of hindsight)…..as history has proven that he was right…..and he had the courage to say them.





Comedy & Talk Shows – Live on the BBC’s Pebble Mill show with Judi Spiers in a wide-ranging discussion on everything from varying his comedy act for UK audiences to an idea for a screenplay involving Elvis – 1992 – A BBC Archive Production Special – “I talk to the audience like I talk to my friends.” 




Hicks is the subject of at least two tribute songs, including “Bill Hicks” released in 2000 by fellow Texan Ed Hamell of Hamell on Trial…..and the 2007 “Bill Hicks” by Australian gypsy-blues group Juke Baritone and the Swamp Dogs.





 Music – Ed Hamell – From the Album “Hamell On Trial” – 2011 – A Douglas Loren Production Special – “Hamell On Trial – Bill Hicks”                                                                                                                                                




 Music – – From the Album “Juke Baritone” – 2012 – A Juke Baritone – Topic Production Special – “Juke Baritone Performs Bill Hicks”                                                                                                                                                           


English songwriter-musician Charlie Dore wrote the folk ballad song, “When Bill Hicks Died”, for her album, Cuckoo Hill, released in 2006.





Music & Comedy – Official Music Video – From the Album “Cuckoo Hill” By English Songwriter Charlie Dore – 2006 – A princessdingling Production Special – “All Wonderful Reminders On What A Rare Beautiful Soul Bill Hicks Was”




Relentless (1992): Recorded at the Centaur Theatre during the annual Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, despite the title, the CD version of Relentless was recorded at a separate performance, after the Just for Laughs festival had closed.





Comedy – Stand Up Comedy Show – Bill Hicks is “Relentless” at the Montreal International Just For Laughs Comedy Festival – 1991 – A Bill Hicks – Topic Production Special – “Bill Hicks – Sex On Trial”                                     




In 1986, Bill Hicks performed at Annex Houston …..as seen in the video below…..with an early stand-up performance live in Texas…..while proving at a young age that he was already one of the best stand-up comedians of all time at the age of 24.





Comedy – Bill Hicks Live at the Comedy Workshop In Houston, TX – 1986 – A Bill Hicks Production Special – “Bill Hicks Performs Live In Houston Just 7 Months After Graduating From High School”                                          




Comedy –  Film “Ninja Bachelor Party” By Bill Hicks + Kevin Booth + David Johndrow – 1986 – A Melinda Savage Production Special – “The ONE and ONLY Piece of Sketch Comedy Ever Done By Stand-Up Legend Bill Hicks!”                                                                                                                                                                                              

Russell Crowe announced in 2012 that he would direct a Bill Hicks biopic.  Crowe was originally thought to be playing the comedian, but Mark Staufer, the actor’s schoolmate and writer on the film, suggested the part is now open for casting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was frequently mentioned as a choice by fans.  Production was expected to start in 2013, but, as of 2018, no further announcements regarding the film’s progress have been made.                                                                                         




Comedy – Stand Up – Bill Hicks Live In Indianapolis, Indiana (Complete Show) – 1985 – A Bill Hicks Production Special – “This Is A Younger Bill Who Is Still Developing His Chops Will Finding His Comedic Voice”




Entering the conclusion portion of this post showcasing the life and legend of stand-up comedian Bill Hicks…..as I feel like I have been through a metamorphisis in my opinion of Bill Hicks…..while considering that I came from a position of not knowing much about his work, regardless of the fact that we are basically the same vintage…..as I have been alive throughout his entire life while having been born 14 years prior to Bill…..and still going today in 2024.  When you consider that comedy has been a big part of my life from the early days of television in the early 1950’s…..but from a censorship standpoint, Bill Hicks stand-up routine just wasn’t fit for prime time television in the 1950’s…..which meant that Bill Hicks never appeared on the TV at our house…..so, our comedians were Jonathon Winters, Jackie Gleason, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Tennessee Earnie Ford, Milton Berle, et al…..but Bill Hicks was just a little too raunchy and honest for prime time TV.  Without a doubt, he was ahead of his time…..but Bill Hicks wasn’t just a masterful comedian…..for he was also a truth teller…..who wanted to make the audience understand the real problems of the world that needed to be faced…..when he always had a speech near the end of every gig that he did that addressed subjects of concerned interest that Bill Hicks had…..which makes us believe that everyone should have to listen to Bill Hicks albums which exposed that he had such meaningful points to his comedy…..and since I’ve now listened to quite a bit of his routines from 20-30 years ago…..but his points still hit the nail on the head regarding his points all these years after expressing these concerns.  I mean, the fact that he was making jokes about psychedelics and the stoned ape theory way before anyone else was really looking into it is simply amazing.  He discussed things that were not only way before his time, but is still being discussed and is relevant today.  It is Bill Hicks’ concept that life is just a ride that is brilliant beyond its years…..cuz remember, “the world is like a ride in an amusement park…..and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are…..while the ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while.  Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?”  And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.”  It’s just a ride…..but we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok …..but it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride.  And we can change it any time we want.  It’s only a choice.  No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money.  Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off.  The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.  Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” Bill Hicks…..for there he goes, one of God’s own prototypes…..as a high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die…..but one thing about Bill is that often he wasn’t joking…..as Bill knew the whole gig about this place we call home…..and many many off us are finally getting it long after his death.  Bill Hicks was a preacher in a way…..I wish I could hear his thoughts about todays society…..while he was more than a comedian…..when he made people think. I mean, “Anyone ever notice how the only legal drugs are the taxed drugs?” A true legend!  Hicks didn’t just follow the beat of a different drummer, he was the drummer.  His bit about people who work in advertising and marketing is literal fuel for your soul if you know how to channel it properly.  The news by Bill, “Today a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather”.  Comedy was different after Bill.  Not many change the art form like he did.





Comedy – Stand-Up – Bill Hicks Live (at the Height of His Genius) Performs “Revelations – It’s Just A Ride” at the Dominion Theatre – 1992 – A Bill Hicks Production Special – “Bill Hicks Opens Our Eyes and Minds to the Hypocrisy and Ludicrousness of the World Around Us” – Brilliant!! 

Bill Hicks lifelong friend, Dwight Slade, who was at his beside while Bill was dying, tells the story that Bill accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was on his death bed….which really comes as no surprise to me, because I am of the opinion that Bill Hicks was sent to Earth as a messenger of God, kind of like Jesus was way back when…..albeit Jesus was sent as the King of Kings and Lord and Savior of humanity….where as Bill was sent as a Dark Angel of comedy to help the people of the world to understand that there is far more to learn than what the government and media are telling us…..and to be sure and question authority…..while believing in yourself….. and do not depend on the establishment…..as Bill Hicks provided humanity with an alternative view of what organized religion should be.  





Comedy -Special – Bill Hicks Documentary BBC – 2018 – A Random Vidz Production Special – “The BBC Looking At The Comedic Genius of Bill Hicks”




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