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"I've been back every year and, uh, they like me now."
September 22, 2010 10:11 PM   Subscribe

"Tell me the worst night of your professional career." A sit-down story with Bill Hicks.
posted by Taft (39 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
sounds like every day for me in high school.
posted by mwhybark at 10:39 PM on September 22, 2010


Well, not *every* day.
posted by mwhybark at 10:40 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goodness, I miss him.
posted by scody at 10:42 PM on September 22, 2010


I ran into Dennis Leary the other day and he told me this exact same story!
posted by quadog at 10:43 PM on September 22, 2010 [54 favorites]


.
posted by brevator at 10:49 PM on September 22, 2010


Bill Hicks, haunting and entertaining us from beyond the grave once again.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:56 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Later, as I was hanging from the tree..."
posted by dansdata at 10:58 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


So on Night 2 he got 22 minutes into a 45 minute set, tripping with a crowd brandishing guns?

Me want hear now.
posted by mannequito at 11:01 PM on September 22, 2010


Man. I think if I had a night as bad as the first one, I don't think my response would be "Let's do it again but on acid"
posted by delmoi at 11:20 PM on September 22, 2010


My epitaph reads as follows: "Let's do it again, but on acid."
posted by d1rge at 11:27 PM on September 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


"They were all... armed."
posted by bicyclefish at 11:47 PM on September 22, 2010


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's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.

Here's Tom with the weather.
posted by notion at 11:48 PM on September 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


Thanks for finding this, Taft. I really can`t help but feel that the world would be a much better place with Bill still in it.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:04 AM on September 23, 2010


I've fairly often thought about Bill Hicks during the dubya years, and what amazing stuff he could've come up with.
posted by nevercalm at 12:26 AM on September 23, 2010


This man is the pinnacle of an era.
posted by Chipmazing at 1:05 AM on September 23, 2010


I've fairly often thought about Bill Hicks during the dubya years, and what amazing stuff he could've come up with.

If the cancer hadn't killed him, eight years of Dubya sure would've.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:46 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw Bill Hicks live. Iraq War One was going on at the time, and he had a whole routine about how the Scud Missile was only a useful weapon for "people who hated everybody". He ran around the stage wildly and erratically pretending to be a Scud, then exploded in a random corner, then mimicked an Iraqi shrugging and saying "yeah, we hated them".

He wasn't exactly a bleeding heart liberal even back then, and people tend to get more right wing as they get older and richer. I suspect if he'd survived he would have drifted steadily more towards the libertarian right wing, and by now would probably be in the same kind of place as Dennis Leary and P.J. O'Rourke.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:11 AM on September 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Hey buddy, we're Christians, we don't like what you said."
I said "Then forgive me."

If you listen to his stuff about the first Iraq War, it applies to Iraq II: Electric Boogaloo. Kind of eerie.
posted by Hactar at 2:53 AM on September 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the link. I'm gonna bookmark this for later use, so whenever I get the idea that I ought to try doing stand-up comedy, I can listen to Hicks tell his story and I'll (hopefully) come to my senses.
posted by spoobnooble at 3:50 AM on September 23, 2010


Bill would've probably joined Hunter in his kitchen that afternoon...
posted by i_cola at 4:30 AM on September 23, 2010


This is great, Thanks! There are 3 other parts to the interview that are worth seeing as well:
Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4.
posted by TedW at 4:40 AM on September 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Good stuff, thanks for posting.
posted by jquinby at 5:57 AM on September 23, 2010


That was most certainly the Altamont of comedy.
posted by NoMich at 6:13 AM on September 23, 2010


He wasn't exactly a bleeding heart liberal even back then, and people tend to get more right wing as they get older and richer. I suspect if he'd survived he would have drifted steadily more towards the libertarian right wing, and by now would probably be in the same kind of place as Dennis Leary and P.J. O'Rourke.

I just don't see that, in large part because one of the animating spirits of his work was staunch anti-authoritarianism and a career-long loathing of the right. Go look at his Clinton jokes; they're a critique, sure, but they're in no sense a critique from the right. Was he willing to be offensive or insensitive if it was funny? Sure, just like every other nationally successful standup comedian. Doesn't make him a right-winger, or (like O'Rourke and Leary) dim.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:58 AM on September 23, 2010


by now would probably be in the same kind of place as Dennis Leary and P.J. O'Rourke.

Not sure I agree, since I think it would have been even worse than that. Huge fan and all, but judging by his later stuff he was on the road to becoming a funny version of Alex Jones.
posted by daveje at 8:16 AM on September 23, 2010


I love Bill, really I do, but the stupid southerner bit is really fucking grating.
posted by waraw at 8:19 AM on September 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, how dare that Texan make fun of Southerners!
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:41 AM on September 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


He's telling a story about a redneck dive in Louisiana. What accent would you rather he use?
posted by Optamystic at 8:45 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is a great example of the art of storytelling.
posted by WhitenoisE at 9:05 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that. Anything new from Bill I haven't seen is a treasure.
posted by zzazazz at 9:50 AM on September 23, 2010


He's telling a story about a redneck dive in Louisiana. What accent would you rather he use?

Cockney 17th Century Aristocratic naturally.
posted by wcfields at 10:02 AM on September 23, 2010


I love Bill, really I do, but the stupid southerner bit is really fucking grating

People could always, y'know, not live up to the stereotype. Besides, what's he supposed to do, pretend his factual accounting took place elsewhere?
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:02 AM on September 23, 2010


He wasn't exactly a bleeding heart liberal even back then, and people tend to get more right wing as they get older and richer. I suspect if he'd survived he would have drifted steadily more towards the libertarian right wing, and by now would probably be in the same kind of place as Dennis Leary and P.J. O'Rourke.

All speculation, obviously, but I don't think Bill Hicks was good at maintaining cognitive dissonance, so I doubt he'd have been able to stay in that kind of mental place for long.
posted by davejay at 10:18 AM on September 23, 2010


I didn't know Hicks' stuff till long after he was gone. And I miss him.

If you listen to his stuff about the first Iraq War, it applies to Iraq II: Electric Boogaloo. Kind of eerie.

Yeah, it's a little freaky listening to him talk about George Bush's motivations for war in Iraq and having it apply to events after his death without even changing the names.
posted by Zed at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2010


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3026666663113592701#
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:57 AM on September 23, 2010


would probably be in the same kind of place as Dennis Leary and P.J. O'Rourke.
George Carlin.

What seems to kill comedians is not their politics but their willingness to shill. Dennis Miller, for example, didn't seem to have a political shift. He was always on the right side of the spectrum on some issues. He was a Gingrich fan. Not particularly funny, but recognizable as a humorist. It was when he started fellating as a commercial enterprise that he went off the rails. It probably wouldn't have made a difference either way but the guy touts it as some sort of virtuous act. Like it's the only way to make a buck in show business. Of course I have to bullshit you for a living, I have a family dammit.
Something wrong with doing lousy movies and making investments? Bill Murray's just waiting for his big break to sell M&Ms and do talk radio I guess.


Given Hicks' comments on marketing folks, I'm going to have to say he probably wouldn't have gone that way, wherever his political winds eventually blew him.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:12 PM on September 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


You do a commercial, you're off the artistic roll call forever, end of story. You're another corporate fucking shill, another whore at the capitalist gang-bang, if you do a commercial everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink. Do a commercial and every word you say is suspect, you're a corporate whore and uh...end of story.

And yes I have been offered commercials, so I'm not jealous, and I turned 'em all down becaaaauuuuse... I'm not a salesman. HAHAHAHA! And I don't need money that's built on blood, okay? Okay.

(Voice from crowd) Who offered 'em to ya?

Well, in England, I did this-classic England- I get offered a- this is the product, you ready? "Orange Drink"

I'm going "Okay, what's the name of it?"

"Orange Drink. It's called Orange Drink!" Classic England, man, socialist fucking nightmare. I said "yeah guys, you really got my act down good, that'll be great."

(In Announcers voice) "You know, when I'm done, uh, ranting about elite power that rules the earth under a totalitarian government that uses the media to keep people stupid... my throat gets parched! That's why I drink... ORANGE DRINK!"

Yeah right, guys, don't you see how it would all fit in? Don't you see how every word I said would be hollow and filled with nothing?".
Somehow I don't see Bill Hicks shilling.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:40 PM on September 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Hey Bill, welcome back, let me fill you in on what you missed."

"Sure, great, I bet I missed a lot of good stuff, hit me with it..."

*3 hours later*

"... and get this.. There were never any weapons of mass destruction..."

And then Bill Hicks hangs himself.
posted by empath at 6:27 PM on September 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Empath, that was glorious.
posted by Optamystic at 4:08 PM on September 24, 2010


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