Bill Hicks was a comic prophet, a rare breed of human being; he excelled at pointing out the lunacy of right-wing politics and war and he never compromised his comedy which made him a hero to many. Bill died on February the 26th 1994 at the age of 32 and despite, or perhaps because of, years of stand-up on the road he left precious little work behind for us to enjoy. I recommend you seek out all of it and get ready to laugh till it hurts, you might even learn something in the process.
Originally from Texas, Hicks travelled the globe spreading his brand of challenging humour everywhere he went. He started doing stand-up when he was still at school and years of performing for a variety of audiences honed his skills to perfection. He always stood out from the crowd, Bill told the truth about the world, he attacked the rubber-faced republicans and their vicious stranglehold on the world, he attacked stupidity where he saw it and he appealed to our humanity by asking why we couldn´t just make the world a better place.
Bill never got the recognition he deserved in the states but he was adored here in the UK. The big mainstream TV companies were too concerned about pandering to the advertisers or their usually right-wing owners to risk allowing an intelligent criticism, they were too concerned with their mythical middle of the road audience to allow jokes about abortion or religion and despite Bill´s promise that "there are dick jokes coming" they successfully deprived him of a TV career by labelling him as trouble. Channel 4 eventually commissioned a series for the UK but Bill died before there was time to do it.
Trying to describe how funny Bill Hicks was is an impossible task and so you just have to see for yourself, below I´ve compiled some links to available material and a page of my favourite Hicks lines.
Bill Hicks Live reviewed here.
Some great lines from Bill Hicks.
Here is a review of his stand-up video Relentless - Bill Hicks
You can buy any of the stuff below at Amazon by clicking on the cover pictures (US and UK only).