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-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-real fuckin' high on drugs.
William Melvin Hicks (December 16, 1961 — February 26, 1994) was an American stand-up comedian, born in Georgia and raised in Texas from the age of 7. He began his stand-up career in the late 1970s, and continued until his death from pancreatic cancer.Hicks' caustic style of observational comedy focused mostly on his low opinion of society and the media, with venomous attacks on politicians, but 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 John Cleese, Bill Bailey, Richard Jeni, George Carlin, Warren Ellis, Henry Rollins, and the band Tool. Hicks also made a posthumous appearance in an issue of Preacher.A documentary film about his life, entitled American: The Bill Hicks Story was released in 2010.Don't mentionDenis Learyto a fan of Hicks. Let's leave it at that.YMMV page here.
Hicks and his comedy provide examples of the following:
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.
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.
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.
Irony: In one routine, Bill openly brags about all the great technology designed to save people with cancer, whilst declaring that people dying from nothing were screwed.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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.
Kill All Humans: "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!"
Memetic Mutation: While never a mainstream success, his effect on the stand-up comedy world is HUGE. His style is probably one of the most commonly sited as being imitated. To the point nearly every comedy club in America has graffitti in the green room saying "Stop Trying to be Hicks."
Misanthrope Supreme: "I'm tired of this back-slapping, aren't-humanity-neat bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are."
No Sell: Many of his contemporaries were in awe of his ability to completely ignore and outright revel in some of his early crowd's 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 the crowd walked out, meanwhile his fellow comedians in the back were dying.
Porn Stash: Hicks joked about having one that was sizable.
You should see my video rental records. Porno movies and video games. What am I, thirteen? I was looking at a receipt I had, for Clam Lappers and Sonic the Hedgehog. That was one weekend. That was Easter weekend. That's a hell of a way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, with Clam Lappers and Sonic-fucking-Hedgehog.
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.
To be fair he does follow up an extended series of lines like that with 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. He's very smart." Hicks was a genius at setting up punchlines with long, seemingly meandering set ups.
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!
Chirping Crickets: One of his best sound effects; his impression of them was eerily accurate.
Sex for Product: Taken to its Logical Extreme (i.e.: camera starts with a close-up on a beautiful woman's face, pulling back to reveal she's naked and masturbating, and then the words appear: Drink Coke!)
Take That: 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.
Take That, Audience!: 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...
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.
With Due Respect: Hicks on Ronald Reagan: "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. (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 Moral Dilemma in your head about how to answer that question, I'll answer it for ya: None of your fucking business."