Bill Hicks: Anyway, I’m having a conversation about democracy and my dad came out with this statement. “Well the peasants shouldn’t be allowed to vote. That’s how old my dad is he still uses the word peasants… and then he went on to explain that also includes the poor people of this country, and particularly black poor families, because they are quote unquote too ignorant to know what’s going on quote unquote. And I wanted to point out, I said Dad what you are talking about is not America, that’s not democracy. Democracy, I think Thomas Jefferson had a great quote. He said “the only true repository of the powers of the country should be in the hands of the people themselves and if we feel they are not intelligent enough or informed enough to enact their responsibilities with discretion it is not our job to take that power from them but to inform them.” And that’s the way I feel, and so ironically enough … my dad while he thinks himself a patriot is actually an elitist, who thinks that the country should be run by a few people mainly corporate interests who do run this country and not by us which this country was formed under the highest and purest of ideals that we are all created equal. And all men are equal. So ironically I’m the true American and my dad is not … and yet he did not have enough self awareness to understand that, which why I recommended five dried grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
The man I most wish would have been president of the United States is dead now. He was at one time a drunk and a heavy drug user. Before he cleaned up my friend, Grant, met him and told him that he was his hero and how much he had influenced his own stand up career and Hicks said, “Do you have any Cocaine?” We’re all really a work in progress.
From Bill Hicks: Sane Man a must see on DVD.
Comedy Show Satanic and Offensive
My husband and I went to Bill Hicks’ performance expecting comedy. What we got was far from comedy. In two hours we were quote unquote “entertained” by this comedian who delighted us in his opinion in how smoking is great and non-smokers are expletive, drinking and drugs are lots of fun and all fine and dandy. The audience was flipped off by this comedian. This is comedy? Then it got worse. We were given one comedian, his enactment of two young girls performing oral sex on each other. We were shown how former President Reagan screwed us, another vulgar sex imitation! We were shown how a rock star should rape a young girl and how it would hurt her so badly she would yell for her mama. This is comedy? The comedian told us how he doesn’t like porno unless they show … no I don’t even think the newspaper can print that word. Towards the end of the show the comedian stated that he wanted us to think that he was the Anti-Christ. My point is we did not know that Comedy Works dished out two hours of vulgarity. The language alone was enough to make one ill. I would like to inform anyone thinking about going to Bill Hicks’ performance that this is anything but comedy.
Well, that’s certainly not my opinion. Denis Leary became famous by ripping him off word for word, while the world ignored him. When he seemed to finally be on the brink of success, his life was taken short by a tragic illness that left him feverishly trying to spread his gospel with every breath he had left in his body. When he wanted to he could be the funniest person on the planet, but most of the time he was more interested in drilling into your head his dark poetry, which was as far as I’m concerned right about everything (except maybe smoking, but no one has ever been funnier presenting the other side).
On October 1st, 1993, Hicks became the first person censored at the Ed Sullivan Theater since Elvis Presley. Not for swinging his hips (although it’s true Hicks loved to do Elvis impressions), but for his thoughts. That was the day David Letterman died for me. Hicks’ had previously done Letterman 11 times. Even though Jay Leno was a friend of his, he refused to do the Leno show, referring to it as “a cultural train wreck.” As a huge Letterman fan he too was crushed, he compared it to finding out that there was no Santa Claus. As he said, they kept asking him on their show, but they wouldn’t let him be himself. Once, they wouldn’t even let him tell a joke about accidentally blinding a fellow student with a pencil, because apparently that would offend the handicapped. Who are these people?
His set had been pre-approved, but at the last minute the Letterman show decided they couldn’t risk putting on a guy talking about abortion, the double standard of hating homosexuals and yet being excited by lesbians, pro-lifers, and how perhaps Jesus wouldn’t really be excited to see people wearing crosses in his honor, having not had a particularly good experience with them, himself.
Right after his ouster, Hicks performed the exact set that had been censored to a night club audience and then went on one of the most brilliant examinations of free speech and how television executives, with their commercials for alcohol, the number two killer drug in America, were indeed nothing but drug pushers doing their best to keep Americans stupid and happy so they could continue to buy the crap they offered during its commercial breaks.
“Anyway, they folded like a house of cards, and meanwhile, Bob Saget is on tonight which gives you an idea of the level of comedy they think you can handle. Do you understand the contempt the networks have for us that put on that puerile bullshit and not give me, not just me, but anyone else with a point of view perhaps, maybe even one you don’t agree with on television. They cow-tow to the special interest groups and a couple of deranged motherfucking people, who hear the word Jesus and immediately think you’re making fun of Jesus, when I did not make fun of Jesus. They hear the word gay. I did not make fun of gays, what I made fun of was a double standard that exists in this fucking country, they think you’re too stupid to see through that and that’s exactly what they fucking count on, while they sell the number two killer drug in this country, fucking alcohol, and they have the gall to do it in your fucking living room with your children there. They don’t even lurk around playgrounds. You drug dealing capitalist motherfucker!
“And here’s the punch line to the whole story, you ready? ‘Bill, we really love you and we want you back on in a couple of weeks.’ Really? I don’t know if I can learn to juggle that quickly! Hi, I’m Bill Hicks. I used to have a social conscience and want to help the world by trying to point out how our belief systems are affecting us negatively. Now, watch this, an apple! Stay stupid America keep drinking beers. Stay Stupid! …”
“You know it amazes how afraid they are of one person, basically, a joke blower … You know what? The majority of people are very reasonable I’ve found, and you know what? They don’t write letters when something offends them on TV, because reasonable people know, IT’S JUST FUCKING TELEVISION! Not only that but reasonable people have… a life! They’re not sitting in some trailer with some fucking crayon in their hands, with some chicken scrawl going “I saw a guy talk about Jesus on your show. I’m not going to tune in no more.” And also reasonable people know ultimately, that they are just fucking jokes. Are you so afraid of a guy telling jokes?”
Doug Stanhope at the end of 2005 wrote something brilliant about Hicks, who by the way was the only entertainer I know that had the guts to loudly criticize the fireworks show known as the first Gulf War.
“Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce are just as relevant today”
You say that as though it’s a good thing.
When comics are known for commenting on the obvious flaws and let-downs of current society, you’d hope that the sooner they are outdated, the better.
But they are not.
Ten years, thirty years. Shit gets worse and less care.
I’d rather have those comics seen as antiquated as a rotary dial or vaginal intercourse than still live in a world where so little has changed.
Stanhope is right, except for the fact that Hicks becomes more and more prescient every day just like George Orwell’s 1984. The celebrity fueled dumbing down of America out to control its people, selling arms to other countries before we go out and blow them up with our own superior versions. The line that Bill Maher basically lost his show Politically Incorrect with after 9-11, was one that he had cribbed from Hicks. Drugs, gun control, Waco, the Rodney King trial, pornography, the evil of celebrity endorsements, the super evil of advertising and marketing, flag burning, the pro-life movement, Religion. He didn’t shy away from any topic and he never sold out. But he was wrong, he wasn’t just a joke blower. He was dangerous. If I have my way hopefully he’ll one day be seen as a prophet.
“…we always kill the guys who try and help us. Isn’t that strange, that we let the little demons run amok, always? John Lennon: murdered. John Kennedy: murdered. Martin Luther King: murdered. Gandhi: murdered. Jesus: murdered. Reagan … wounded. You know. Bad fucking choice.
“But even though that’s the case, where we live in a world where good men are murdered and little demons run amok, I’m sorry I still believe it isn’t; in fact I had a vision of a way we could have no enemies ever again, if you’re interested in this. Anybody interested in hearing this? It’s kind of an interesting theory, and all we have to do is make one decisive act and we can rid the world of all our enemies at once. Here’s what we do. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense ever year? Trillions of dollars. Instead, if we spent this money feeding and clothing the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded … not one … we could as one race explore outer space together in peace, for ever, Thank you very much. You’re great.”
(Sound of three gun shots as Hicks pretends to have been assassinated)