By total fucking coincidence, I just discovered today, Dec. 16th, is Bill Hick’s birthday. Was looking on wikipedia after watching a bunch of comedy videos throughout the evening and landing on his last performance on David Letterman that was filmed in 1993 but wasn’t aired until 2009 when his mother, Mary Hicks, was invited on the show:
Bill Hicks passed away in 1994… 20 years ago, at age 32. Pancreatic cancer claimed his life. Returned to live with his mother in Arkansas in January after what turned out to be his final performance and then died in late February. Very sad. But he went on up to the end, gotta give him that.
I really appreciated seeing his mother and listening to what she had to say. Not normally into Letterman, but this segment I am glad to find. (Though I don’t doubt it all boiled down to ratings/money, in 1993 just as in 2009.)
Bill did a good job that night.
Not one of the cult followers of Bill Hicks, but he did add his $.02 to the bucket and said what he had to say and I respect him for putting himself out there and taking a chance and thinking broadly.
It’s said that he had tough times with substances, but I’m no saint myself and am not looking to point a finger there. Can’t agree with all he put out there, but I can appreciate the spirit in which it appeared to be intended.
Earlier watched his reaction from a 1989 Chicago performance where he freaked out on hecklers, so that’s also fresh in my mind. He was definitely angry at what we human beings had become, which to a large extent I can understand. But we are what we are. People are people. I get it though. We’re a bunch of monkeys making a mess of things for ourselves. But Bill Hicks managed to turn out more cynical than I have, now at age 33. Oh, we’re going down all right. But I don’t relish it at all. And, at bottom, I don’t think Bill Hicks did either. That’s why he got so mad with all of us (and likely with himself too).
But he decided to go ahead and cast his pearls before swine, and we take from it what we can.
And also, on a side-note, according to what’s posted on wikipedia, Denis Leary is said to have stolen material from Hicks. If that’s true, it’s fucked up. Resulted in their friendship ending. Hmm… That upsets me a bit because Leary’s “No Cure For Cancer” album is the only comedy from him I ever really got into. If he basically plagiarized Hicks, then that sucks.
*Rest in Peace*