[-[[caption-width-right:200: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."]]-]

->''See, I think drugs have done some ''good'' things for us. I really do, and if you don't think drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight, and take all your albums, and all your tapes, and all your [=CDs=], and ''burn'' 'em, 'cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music, that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? R-r-r-r-r-r-r-''real'' fuckin' high on drugs.''

William Melvin "Bill" Hicks (December 16, 1961 -- February 26, 1994) was an American [[RecordedAndStandUpComedy stand-up comedian,]] born in Georgia and raised in Texas from the age of 7. He began his stand-up career in the late 1970's, having grown up a big fan of Creator/WoodyAllen and Creator/RichardPryor, and would often sneak out of the house to perform sets at local clubs. His rebellious, free-thinking attitude was obvious at a young age, to the point that his parents actually brought him to a psychoanalyst at age 17; the analyst actually sided with Bill.

His love of recreational drugs took a toll on his finances, but after years of working the nightclub circuit, he finally got his big break on Creator/RodneyDangerfield's ''Young Comedians Special.'' From there, he moved to New York City, and began performing 300 times a year for the next several years. He developed a habit of chain smoking while on stage, which worked its way into his act almost immediately. In 1989, his first video, ''Sane Man,'' was released. In 1990, his first album, ''Dangerous,'' hit the shelves, and a television special, ''One Night Stand,'' came out that same year. Despite the exposure, Hicks never quite broke through like his contemporaries, such as Creator/SamKinison, but he did gain a big following in the UK, where he taped another special, ''Revelations.'' On this special, he debuted his now iconic "It's Just a Ride" speech to close the show.

Bill was part of a particularly infamous moment in late-night talk show history, with his aborted final appearance on ''Late Night With Creator/DavidLetterman'' in 1993. The material in his five minute set included some cynical material about the pro-life movement, which afterward led to the entire set being pulled from the air. To say Bill was displeased [[BerserkButton would be a massive understatement]], and he made no secret of his bitter feelings afterward. This came shortly after Bill's diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. Despite this, he continued performing at his usual rate until he finally went home to be with his parents in Little Rock, Arkansas, in early 1994, where he passed away. Years later, Letterman expressed regret over the incident, and even invited Bill's mother on the show to watch the clip being broadcast at last.

Hicks' caustic style of observational comedy focused mostly on his (very) low opinion of society and the media, with venomous attacks on politicians and shallow pop culture. He also covered his own personal habits and problems, most notably his addiction to cigarettes and psychedelic experiences.

He has a number of high profile fans, including [[Creator/MontyPython John Cleese]], Creator/BillBailey, Richard Jeni, Creator/GeorgeCarlin, Creator/WarrenEllis, Creator/GarthEnnis, Music/HenryRollins, Music/{{Tool}}, and Music/{{Radiohead}}. Hicks also made a posthumous appearance in an issue of ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''.

A documentary film about his life, entitled ''American: The Bill Hicks Story'', was released in 2010.

Due to a [[WeUsedToBeFriends personal rift]] between Hicks and Creator/DenisLeary, fueled by allegations of plagiarizing Hicks' material, it's best not to mention Leary around fans of Hicks. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement We'll just leave it at that]], but Wiki/TheOtherWiki has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Hicks more information]] for the curious, as does the snarkier [[http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Bill_Hicks Uncyclopedia.]]

!! Hicks and his comedy provide examples of the following:

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Boy, was he bitter about that.
-->Hitler had Eva Braun / Manson had Squeaky Fromme / Ted Bundy got lots of dates / I wonder what I'm doin' wrong.
* AntiLoveSong: "Chicks Dig Jerks", quoted in the previous item.
* AtomicFBomb / ClusterFBomb / PrecisionFStrike: Hicks' routines were ''salty'', and covered all the F tropes with gusto, as the quotes on this page demonstrate.
* AuthorFilibuster: Hicks' personal politics and philosophy informed much of his act.
* BerserkButton: Don't heckle Bill Hicks. Just... [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdKpR9qNtg don't.]] '''''{{NSFW}}.'''''
* BileFascination: {{Invoked|Trope}}. From ''Rant in E-Minor:''
-->Is anyone like me in that they are compelled, drawn against their will, to watch the show ''Series/{{COPS}}'' every fucking night? ...I am '''''OBSESSED''''' with that show. I can't not watch it. I'm like a guy with a sore tooth, I can't stop touching it.
* BlackComedy: "Rush Limbaugh munches scat!" and his jokes about abortion, just for starters. He even joked about his own cancer.
* BrickJoke: ''Rant in E-Minor'' has a bit about Gideons[[note]]the people who distribute Bibles and New Testaments in places like hotels[[/note]] at one point, wondering where the hell they come from. Towards the end of the show:
-->Entire nations have flaked and crusted in the hair around my navel... Maybe even Gidea!
* BrokenPedestal: Bill couldn't get a whole lot of momentum on American TV, though he had a frequent spot on the Letterman show and was at one point sponsored by Creator/RodneyDangerfield. One of the things that pained Hicks the most was watching his former idol, Creator/JayLeno, shilling Doritos ('Crunch all ya want. we'll make more!') and becoming a corporate mascot for NBC.
* TheBully: Hicks thought that America itself was this to the rest of the world.
-->I'm so sick of arming the world and then sending troops over to destroy the fucking arms, you know what I mean? We keep arming these little countries then we go and blow the ''shit'' out of 'em. We're like the bullies of the world, you know? We're like Jack Palance in the movie ''Film/{{Shane}}''... Throwing the pistol at the sheep herder's feet:\\
'''Jack Palance''': Pick it up.\\
'''Sheepherder''': I don't wanna pick it up mister, you'll shoot me.\\
'''Jack Palance''': Pick up the gun.\\
'''Sheepherder''': Mister, I don't want no trouble, huh. I just came down town here to get some hard rock candy for my kids, some gingham for my wife. I don't even know what gingham is, but she goes through about 10 rolls a week of that stuff. I ain't looking for no trouble, mister.\\
'''Jack Palance''': [''icy whisper''] Pick up the gun.\\
[''Hicks fearfully leans over and reaches for the gun. Bang bang. Hicks drops to the floor, dead. Pause. Gets up'']\\
'''Jack Palance''': You all saw him. He had a gun.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: He does this occasionally for effect. For example, from the routine "Gays in the Military:"
-->Anyone... '''DUMB ENOUGH'''... to want to be in the military... should be allowed! [...] AREN'T Y'ALL FUCKIN' HIRED KILLERS?! '''SHUT UP!'''
* CaliforniaCollapse: Discussed in the "Arizona Bay" routine.
* ChirpingCrickets: One of his best sound effects; his impression of them was eerily accurate.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Especially regarding [[WhoShotJFK the Kennedy assassination]]; Hicks strongly disbelieved the official version.
* CovertPervert: How he perceived Rush Limbaugh.
* CulturalRebel: Hicks was always ready to bash American politics, or American provincialism, or the dumbing-down of the American media, but when it came to American movies, rock music and porn, he celebrated them, and if he criticised them at all it was for not being more awesome. This has not stopped some people from thinking that he suffered from CulturalCringe.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Hicks wasn't shy about discussing his compensating for being single, and on the ''Dangerous'' CD, worked this into a way to make hotel housekeeping regret barging into his room while he was... occupied.
* DeadArtistsAreBetter:
** Hicks had nothing but ire for modern musicians doing ads or anti-drug campaigns, and lamented the hollowness of their music and personalities.
** Bill's own career wound up being this. During his lifetime, he never quite broke through to the mainstream, save for many late-night talk show appearances. Yet it was only after his death that he gradually became known as one of the most influential stand-ups of all time. Dude's like the [[Music/TheRamones Ramones]] of comedy or something.
* DeadpanSnarker: Just one of his many different brands of snark.
* DeepSouth: One of his favorite targets, due to rampant ignorance and religious belief clashing with his principles.
* DracoInLeatherPants: {{Invoked|Trope}}. This was his view on how some people might treat Satan.
-->'''Female Impression''': What a great butt!\\
'''Bill''': He's Satan!\\
'''Female Impression''': You don't know him like I do.\\
'''Bill''': He's the Prince of Darkness!\\
'''Female Impression''': [[ICanChangeMyBeloved I can change him.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: {{Invoked|Trope}} in the bit about Jay Leno realizing how far his career has fallen while interviewing Joey Lawrence and shooting himself on-stage.
* DrugsAreGood:
** Hicks routinely did material on the benefits of using marijuana and hallucinogens, going so far as a "families should trip together" bit, and likening the effects of mushrooms to a religious experience.
--->Shit, man, not only do I think pot should be legalized... I think it should be mandatory.
--->[''referring to mushrooms''] I took what Terence [=McKenna=] refers to as a ''heroic'' dose... [''audience laughs''] Five dried grams... [''audience ooohs''] Yeah, my third eye was squeegeed quite cleanly.
** He also had a problem with the MoralGuardians involved with drugs:
--->Why is the drug czar in this country -- well, let's go back; Why do we ''have'' a "drug czar" in this country? A. B, why is he a cop? Why do they put drug users in jail? They're sick; they're not criminals. Sick people don't get better in prison.
* FamousLastWords: {{Invoked|Trope}}; Bill had a [[http://web.archive.org/web/20070521205803/http://www.billhicks.com/last-word.html verse]] he'd written released after his death, which ends with this:
-->''"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit."''
* FanDisillusionment: A theory Hicks "claimed" explained Music/JudasPriest's apparent desire to kill off their fans.
* FanDisservice: There's a segment on the ''Revelations'' show in which Hicks indulges in his 'Goatboy' persona for about ten minutes, during which the audience is very, ''very'' noticeably squicked out.
* FridgeLogic: {{Invoked|Trope}} as part of his comedy. When recalling the story about Music/JudasPriest apparently putting subliminal messages in their music, telling people to kill themselves, he then asked: "'''''[[NoIndoorVoice WHAT]]''''' [[ArmorPiercingQuestion performer wants his fuckin' audience dead?!]] I don't see the long-term ''gain'' here!" Funnily enough, Judas Priest themselves raised the same question, and ironically, [[MisBlamed didn't even write the song in question]] (it was a cover of "Better by You, Better Than Me," by Spooky Tooth).
* GilliganCut: Used at the end of some of his bits that are particularly critical of rednecks and Christians.
-->A few guys cornered me outside after my last show. They said: "We're Christians, and we take offense at your show." I said, "Forgive me." Later, as I was hangin' from the tree...
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: {{Invoked|Trope}} on [[AuthorAppeal more than one occasion]], especially when he was talking about how bad ''Film/BasicInstinct'' was and how shocked he was that the test audiences didn't like the lesbian scenes that were eventually cut from the film.
-->If I had been in that test audience, the only one protesting would've been Creator/MichaelDouglas demanding that his part be put back in!
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Hicks had a very dim view of nonsmokers and their behavior(s) around smokers, although he also poked fun at his own smoking.
* HigherUnderstandingThroughDrugs: One of his central themes was the use of hallucinogens to open the third eye and expand consciousness.
* HistoryRepeats: A lot of Hicks's political material, from 1988 through 1991, is still depressingly relevant today. Thanks to UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush's Presidency, many of the names have not actually changed, and thanks to the Iraq War, many of the same problems re-appeared in the 2000's.
* HypocriticalHumor: Has a bit where he declares ''Daddy's Roommate'' to be disgusting, while simultaneously declaring ''Heather Has Two Mommies'' to be "[[GirlOnGirlIsHot quite a fetching read]]".
* IconicSongRequest: A heckler repeatedly shouting "[[Music/LynyrdSkynyrd Free Bird]]," triggered one of his most notorious rants (see KillAllHumans below).
* IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney: He claimed this was the only possible excuse you can have to do commercials (apart from Music/WillieNelson, who got a pass for his $24 million tax bill).
* {{Irony}}:
** In one routine, Bill openly brags about all the great technology designed to save people with [[TemptingFate cancer]], whilst declaring that people dying from nothing were screwed.
** He also cited the irony of pro-lifers killing doctors who performed abortions.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Hard as it is to believe, Hicks really did hold out hope for humanity, and felt it could accomplish great things if people stopped living in fear of their own full potential.
* KillAllHumans: Hicks ''exploded'' in the aforementioned "Free Bird" heckler incident.
-->[[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]] had the right idea, he was just an underachiever! Kill 'em all, Adolf, all of 'em! Jew, Mexican, American, white, kill 'em all! Start over, the experiment didn't work!
* LighterAndSofter: ''Revelations'' is this, at least relatively so, partly because Hicks was playing to a UK crowd which adored him and sympathised with his politics, and so he was less inclined to troll and bait the audience.
* ManChild: Calls himself out in one routine, where he notes that the only things he seems to rent from video stores are video games and hardcore lesbian pornography.
-->What am I, thirteen emotionally? I mean, I'm looking at this receipt I got from them, and it's like, ''Clam Lappers'' and ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog.'' That was one weekend. That was ''Easter'' weekend. Something's going on with me, man. That's a pretty scary way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, with ''Clam Lappers'' and Sonic-fucking-Hedgehog.
* MisanthropeSupreme: "I'm tired of this back slapping, aren't humanity neat bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are."
* MoodWhiplash: Hicks liked to immediately follow up his vitriolic rants about musicians doing advertising and / or speaking out against drugs (which inevitably involved calling them "suckers of Satan's cock," along with a roar / inhale sound effect that's hard to describe) with the dark but lighthearted "Beelzebozo, the Clown from Hell" bit, a parody of clowns working at birthday parties.
-->'''PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKING HEEEEAAAAAARRRT!!!''' *{{beat}}* I am available for children's parties, by the way.
* MurderSimulators: "''WHAT'' performer wants his audience dead?!?"
* MyDadCanBeatUpYourDad: Brought up when Hicks was talking about his parents:
-->I never got along with my dad. Kids used to come up to me and say: "My dad can beat up your dad." I'd say "Yeah? When?"
* NoSell: Many of his contemporaries were in awe of his ability to completely ignore and outright revel in some of his early crowds' indifference to his style of comedy (before he gained his loyal following). Joe Rogan is fond of telling a story about a time at The Comedy Store where the crowd was not at all into him and he blithely went into a five minute long gag of The Devil shitting out Geraldo Rivera that was mostly grunts and strains. Half of the crowd walked out; meanwhile, his fellow comedians in the back were ''dying.''
* OverlyLongGag:
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d: "Okay Bill, stop with the Goatboy thing; we get it, alright? It's kinda amusing but... Okay."
** "The man that brings [[Music/ElvisPresley me]] my scarves and my water, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RLucBPZsbw Mr. Charlie Hodge."]] This gets repeated in some form or fashion at least a dozen times in the "Elvis" bit.
* PornStash: Hicks joked about having one that was sizable, including his mother finding it after he dies, dying herself from horror, and chasing Bill through heaven, hitting him with a switch.
* PublicServiceAnnouncement: Hicks wasn't impressed by the government's anti-drugs message... and that they didn't mention that drugs hadn't managed to kill Music/KeithRichards.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Most notably, at a show in Chicago when he verbally tore a heckler to pieces. Later during the show, he had a spectacular meltdown because of a bunch of other hecklers, which culminated in him yelling: '''''"[[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler HITLER]] HAD THE RIGHT IDEA, HE WAS JUST AN UNDERACHIEVER!"''''' This in the middle of a '''''BLISTERING''''' seven-minute rant on how the mere existence of the people he was chewing out was a valid argument in favor of exterminating the ''entire human race''. There's been few people alive who have made such a hardcore TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to a person who was standing in front of them.
* RefugeInAudacity:
** Most of Hicks' material lives and breathes this trope.
-->If you work in advertising or marketing... Kill yourself. *''crowd laughs''* No, seriously. This is not a joke. You're thinking there's gonna be a joke coming -- there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage. Kill yourself.
** The killer joke (that he's been setting up from the start): "I know what all the marketing people here are thinking, (marketer impression) you know what Bill's doing? He's going after the anti-marketing dollar, that's a good market. He's very smart. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo He's very smart.]]" Hicks was a genius at setting up punchlines with long, seemingly meandering set ups.
* RunningGag:
** Many of his rants and monologues about people he found morally detestable involved calling them: "suckers of Satan's cock," often with accompanying sound effects.
** He often bursts out in manic laughter after saying something hideously dark. On Waco:
--->Anyway, the major news said that the Branch Davidians started the fire. Now I'm not mistaken, correct me if I go off the story here, and that all they did was shoot in tear gas -- yet I've seen with my own eyes [...] footage of a Bradley tank shooting fire into the compound which... Isn't that odd that no major news source has picked up on that? How do you think that's newsworthy? Because that basically means that the government, from the FBI, the ATF, up to Janet Reno, and including Clinton are... Ummm... LIARS AND MURDERERS! HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!
* SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud: Bill was good at imitating gunshots and similar sound effects, sometimes bordering on VoiceChangeling.
* SexForProduct: Taken to its LogicalExtreme.
-->Here is the commercial they ''want'' to do... Here's the woman's face. Beautiful. Camera pulls back, naked breasts. Camera pulls back, she's totally naked, legs apart, two fingers right here... And it just says: "Drink Coke." Now I don't understand the connection, but Coke is on my shopping list this week! [''later, he bends over at the camera''] Snnnnnnnnnnickers!
* SexierAlterEgo: Randy Pan the Goatboy ([[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext Bill's sex crazed alter ego who happens to be half goat]]), who can seduce anyone with a pulse and goes for AnythingThatMoves.
* SmugStraightEdge: How he saw non-smokers as a smoker.
-->The worst kind of non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and cough. That's pretty fucking cruel, isn't it? Do you go up to cripples and dance too?
* SuicideDare: Played for dark humour when he encourages any [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo marketing professionals]] in the audience to kill themselves.
* TakeThat: Bill wouldn't exist without it. He called his routine "comedy of hate," and one track on ''Rant in E-Minor'' is called "'You're Wrong' Night" for a reason.
* TakeThatAudience: Hicks would frequently shoot barbs at his crowds, some joking, some not so much.
-->*''to someone near the stage''* How many packs a day do you smoke? *''barely audible answer''* A pack and a half?! You little puss! Why don't you put on a dress and swish around for us? *''sing-song''* Pack and a haaaaalf, I smoke a pack and a haaaaalf... Makes me ill. I go through two ''lighters'' a day.

-->How you doin' folks? Gotta bear with me folks, I'm very tired of [...] traveling, and, ah, very tired of doing comedy, and, ah, very tired of staring out at your vacant faces looking back at me, wanting me to fill your empty lives with humor you couldn't possibly think of yourselves. Good evening.
* TemptingFate: Again, his little routine declaring people dying from nothing were screwed, whereas people like him who smoked had "[[ExactWords all sortsa neat gadgets lined up]]."
* ThereIsAGod: In his album ''Arizona Bay,'' Bill responds to California sliding into the Pacific Ocean this way.
-->There is a God, he loves us all so much...
* ThirtyMinutesOrItsFree: Hicks' recipe for a perfect world? Let everyone stay home, get stoned, and order pizza.
-->Domino's Pizza trucks passing each other on the highway. Let ''them'' get stuck in traffic -- ''all'' our pizza will be free!
* TransparentCloset: His perception of Rush Limbaugh.
* WithDueRespect: Hicks on UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan:
-->Why don't you answer a question like a man, you fucking lying, B-actor, dickweed, Mr. President-sir, with all due respect.

->''Here is my final thought. ([[SelfDeprecation Oh, thank God.]]) About drugs. About alcohol. About pornography, whatever that is. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, or take into my body, as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet? And for those of you out there having a little MoralDilemma in your head about how to answer that question, I'll answer it for ya: '''None''' of your fucking business.''