Bill Hicks
American comedian and social critic
Bill Hicks
William Melvin "Bill" Hicks was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician. His material largely consisted of general discussions about society, religion, politics, philosophy, and personal issues. Hicks's material was often controversial and steeped in dark comedy.
Biography
Bill Hicks's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Bill Hicks from around the web
Some wisdom from the Unholy Trinity - FHSU University Leader
Google News - over 5 years
Call upon what I have now named the Unholy Trilogy: Louis CK, Bill Hicks and George Carlin. Too many are quick to discredit an opinion grounded in the observations of a comedian, but it's an unfair judgment. A stand-up comedian's job has evolved
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The life and times of Bill Hicks - WalesOnline
Google News - over 5 years
Seventeen years after his untimely death, the BBC is to broadcast a revealing documentary about the late US comedian Bill Hicks. Nathan Bevan looks at the confrontational star's legacy of laughter and talks to two Welsh
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Google News article
Mad as hell - Ventura County Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
Black's comedy — the logical heir to the mantle of righteous disgust and anger that reaches back to the late Bill Hicks, Howard Beale's “I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!” speech in the 1976 film Network, HL Mencken and the
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Sandy Valley Local Schools back to school information - Press News
Google News - over 5 years
Bill Hicks and Mary Vickery will be welcomed as new bus drivers to the district. New to the high school this year is a mentoring program where juniors and seniors will be mentoring freshman. There are several events for students and parents to keep
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Look Out: Pornography Judgement Day Is Coming - The Morton Report
Google News - over 5 years
Bill Hicks: "[The] Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts; that's their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmm
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Fraser's Phrases: 'Knackered' - Anglophenia (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
There's a great moment in one of the comedian Bill Hicks's routines, in which he's talking about being annoyed by a child while on British Airways. He's playing to a British audience, and clearly he's just learned a new word that he wants to try out:
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Landmark hotel appeals for memories - Ayrshire Post
Google News - over 5 years
The book, which is being written by former journalists Bill Hicks and Jill Scott, will include details of all of the hotel's famous guests, with pictures as well as stories of former staff members, regular guests and diners
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Inter-Re-View: American: The Bill Hicks Story - Geeks of Doom
Google News - over 5 years
Welcome America, welcome to Bill Hicks. You may have heard of this guy. We have. Not to get on my high-horse about this, but I feel somewhat proud that Bill Hicks adopted the UK as his second home, a place where his comedy seems to fit
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COMEDY; A Brazilian's Comic Mania: Social Media
NYTimes - over 5 years
SÃO PAULO, Brazil -- When an Internet research group recently released a study concluding that the most influential person in the Twitter universe was Rafinha Bastos, a Brazilian comedian who came in well ahead of President Obama, Conan O'Brien and Kim Kardashian, the English-speaking world was predictably baffled. ''Who is @RafinhaBastos?'' Wired
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NYTimes article
Nevadans should be substitute teachers for a day - Las Vegas Sun
Google News - over 5 years
By the way dipstick, I miss Carlin and Bill Hicks. Both were brilliant at pointing out the BS incorporated into the human psyche. By EH122 (Eric Hutson) I think its a hard argument to sell that smaller class sizes will equate to higher student
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Documentary shows highs, lows of comedian Bill Hicks - STLtoday.com
Google News - over 5 years
Bill Hicks was not a household name in the homeland that he satirized. But he was revered by other performers, he was lauded overseas and, since his death in 1994 at age 32, he's been grinning down from atop the list of America's greatest comedians
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American: The Bill Hicks Story - JoBlo.com
Google News - over 5 years
This is the true story of the life and troubles of Bill Hicks, a rare and extremely intelligent mind that took the world of stand up comedy by the balls and never let go. His ten closest family members and friends share their most intimate times with
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NETFLIX PIX: Bill Hicks vs. Gatoroid Edition - Arkansas Times
Google News - over 5 years
First up is the outstanding documentary "American: The Bill Hicks Story," which is now streaming for the first time on Netflix Instant. Hicks, who died in Little Rock in 1994, is THE comedian's comedian, even though he was only 32 when pancreatic
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American: The Bill Hicks Story - JustPressPlay
Google News - over 5 years
Bill Hicks was one of America's bravest comedians. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, he tickled many audiences' funny bones. He was brash and honest, qualities very few comedians of his day, and even today, possess
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Movie Review: American: The Bill Hicks Story (Blu-ray) - Flix 66
Google News - over 5 years
I chose to review AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY because I had heard so much about the comedian that I figured this would be a good way to get his whole story. Several of my friends online had posted clips from his stand-up and at times had photos of
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Fans will Bill Hicks DVD package - Toronto Sun
Google News - over 5 years
American: The Bill Hicks Story is newly released on DVD and Blu-ray. Both are two-disc sets with the same generous menu of bonus materials. Few documentaries have ever come to home entertainment with such extensive extras, among them 30 minutes of
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"Cars 2": Dopey, Pop Art automotive fun - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
By Andrew O'Hehir When Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in 1994, he was just 32 years old but had been a working comedian for more than half his life. He was somewhere on the outer fringes of stardom, having done an HBO special, appeared a dozen
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bill Hicks
    THIRTIES
  • 1994
    Age 32
    Hicks died of pancreatic cancer on February 26, 1994 in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the age of 32.
    More Details Hide Details In subsequent years his work gained a significant measure of acclaim in creative circles—particularly after a series of posthumous album releases—and he developed a substantial cult following. In 2007 he was voted sixth on Britain's Channel 4 list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics, and rose to number four on the 2010 list. Hicks was born in Valdosta, Georgia, the son of James Melvin "Jim" Hicks (1923–2006) and Mary Reese Hicks, and younger sibling of Lynn and Steve. The family lived in Florida, Alabama, and New Jersey before settling in Houston, Texas, when Bill was seven. He was drawn to comedy at an early age, emulating Woody Allen and Richard Pryor, and writing routines with his friend Dwight Slade. At school he began performing comedy—mostly derivations of Woody Allen material—for his classmates. At home, he would write his own one-liners and slide them under the bedroom door of his brother Steve—the only family member Bill respected—for his critical analysis. "Keep it up", Steve told him. "You're really good at this."
    Hicks performed the final show of his career at Caroline's in New York on January 6, 1994.
    More Details Hide Details He moved back to his parents' house in Little Rock, Arkansas, shortly thereafter. He called his friends to say goodbye before he stopped speaking on February 14.
  • 1993
    Age 31
    On June 16, 1993, Hicks was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver.
    More Details Hide Details He started receiving weekly chemotherapy, while still touring and also recording his album, Arizona Bay, with Booth. He was also working with comedian Fallon Woodland on a pilot episode of a new talk show, titled Counts of the Netherworld for Channel 4 at the time of his death. 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. After being diagnosed with cancer, Hicks would often joke that any given performance would be his last. The public, however, was unaware of Hicks's condition. Only a few close friends and family members knew of his disease.
    For many years, Hicks was friends with fellow comedian Denis Leary. But in 1993, Hicks was angered by Leary's album No Cure for Cancer, which featured lines and subject matter similar to Hicks's routine.
    More Details Hide Details According to American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story by Cynthia True, upon hearing the album "Bill 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 Denis Leary, comedian Lenny Clarke, a friend of Leary's, said there was a carton of cigarettes backstage from Bill Hicks with the message, "Wish I had gotten these to you sooner." This joke was cut from the final broadcast.
    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."
    More Details Hide Details
    On October 1, 1993, Hicks was scheduled to appear on Late Show with David Letterman, where Letterman had recently moved to CBS.
    More Details Hide Details It was his 12th appearance on a Letterman late-night show, but his entire performance was removed from the broadcast; until that point the only occasion where a comedian's entire routine was cut after taping. Hicks' stand-up routine was removed from the show, Hicks said, 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; Morton later conceded it was his decision. Although Letterman later expressed regret at the way Hicks had been handled, Hicks did not appear on the show again. Letterman finally aired the censored routine in its entirety on January 30, 2009. Hicks's mother, Mary, was present in the studio and appeared on-camera as a guest.
    Progressive metal band Tool invited Hicks to open a number of concerts in its 1993 Lollapalooza appearances, where Hicks once asked the audience to look for a contact lens he had lost.
    More Details Hide Details Thousands of people complied. Members of Tool felt that they and Hicks "were resonating similar concepts". Intending to raise awareness about Hicks's material and ideas, Tool dedicated their triple-platinum album Ænima (1996) to Hicks. Both the lenticular casing of the Ænima album packaging as well as 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. An alternate version of the Ænima artwork shows a painting of Bill Hicks, calling him "Another Dead Hero," and mentions of Hicks are found both in the liner notes and on the record. In 1984, Hicks was invited to appear on Late Night with David Letterman for the first time. 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. NBC had a policy that no handicapped jokes could be aired on the show, making his stand-up routine difficult to perform without mentioning words such as "wheelchair."
  • 1992
    Age 30
    He moved to Los Angeles in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details
    Hicks made a brief detour into musical recording with the Marble Head Johnson album in 1992 collaborating with Houston high school friend Kevin Booth and Austin Texas drummer Pat Brown.
    More Details Hide Details During the same year he toured the UK, where he recorded the Revelations video for Channel 4. 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.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1991
    Age 29
    Hicks was a huge hit in the UK and Ireland and continued touring there throughout 1991.
    More Details Hide Details That year, he returned to Just for Laughs and filmed his second video, Relentless.
    During the 1980s, he toured the United States extensively and made a number of high-profile television appearances; but it was in the UK that he amassed a significant fan base, filling large venues during his 1991 tour.
    More Details Hide Details He also achieved a modicum of recognition as a guitarist and songwriter.
  • 1990
    Age 28
    In 1990, Hicks released his first album, Dangerous, performed on the HBO special One Night Stand, and performed at Montreal's Just for Laughs festival.
    More Details Hide Details He was also part of a group of American stand-up comedians performing in London's West End in November.
  • 1989
    Age 27
    In 1989, he released his first video, Sane Man; a remastered version with 30 minutes of extra footage was released in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1988
    Age 26
    In 1988, Hicks signed on with his first professional business manager, Jack Mondrus.
    More Details Hide Details On the track "Modern Bummer" of his 1990 album Dangerous, Hicks says he quit drinking alcohol in 1988.
  • 1987
    Age 25
    His career received another upturn in 1987, however, when he appeared on Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians Special.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, he moved to New York City, and for the next five years performed about 300 times a year. On the 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", although in his performances, he continued to extol the virtues of LSD, marijuana, and psychedelic mushrooms. He eventually fell back to chain-smoking, a theme that would figure heavily in his performances from then on. His nicotine addiction, love of smoking, and occasional attempts to quit became a recurring theme in his act throughout his later years.
  • 1986
    Age 24
    By January 1986, Hicks was using recreational drugs and his financial resources had dwindled.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1961
    Born
    Born on December 16, 1961.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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