A Conversation for Bill Hicks - Comedian
YalsonKSA - "I'm glad birthdays don't come round regularly, as I'm not sure I could do that too often." Started conversation Apr 20, 2005
For those who can't find Hicks DVDs/Videos or can't afford them, there's a great book that came out recently called 'Love All The People' that compiles a lot of his material. It features transcriptions of interviews, stand-up routines, articles and all manner of other Hicks-related stuff and is an absolutely cracking read. Even though many of the routines in the book are similar in many ways, you get to chart the development of his act from very early on to his very last shows. And they're all drop dead funny, despite the fact that some of his gags appear several times.
I'm astonished to learn that he wasn't aware of the work of Lenny Bruce, though. Their acts share so many common features that it's almost uncanny. Both had that satirical edge with regard to sex, religion, the law and other favourite targets. They even have similar timing and delivery. Take Bruce's 'To is a preposition, Come is a verb' and compare it to, say, one of Hicks' 'Goatboy' sections and the similarity in attitude, intelligence and sheer fearlessness is uncanny. I think that this was something that marked out Hicks - he was clever enough to tell people things they really already knew but didn't know how to express. It marked out Bruce, too, but he had even more problems. He was arrested numerous times for obscenity, which is something that Hicks fortunately never had to face.
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