Samuel Burl "Sam" Kinison (December 8, 1953 April 10, 1992) was a prominent American ex-Pentecostal preacher who began a new career as a stand-up comedian from 1984 until his death in a DUI car crash in 1992 (the other driver was the drunken one).
A Preacher's Kid who dabbled in the family business himself as a young man, Kinison brought the fire-and-brimstone speaking style to the American comedy stage, and combined it with Refuge in Audacity turned Up to Eleven.
Kinison's memorable bits included "gay necrophilia"; "lick the alphabet"; "Jesus on the cross" (which included pounding the microphone on the floor to simulate the nails being hammered); "execute Pee Wee Herman"; "Russians are space pussies"; "the Kurds are the most fucked people on earth"; "I'm not afraid of Hell, I was married for two fucking years"; "shoot the homeless"; "emotional tampon" (about being 'just friends' with a woman); "move the Ethiopians to where the food is", and countless attacks on homosexuality.
His most famous media appearance was his portrayal of a whacked-out history professor in Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School. He also recorded a novelty version of The Troggs' pop song "Wild Thing". The music video was a huge hit on MTV (and featured Jessica Hahn, the church secretary in the Jim Bakker scandal, about whom Kinison said "if you're going to lose a kingdom for some pussy, this is the girl"). He also starred in Charlie Hoover, a Herman's Head-like sitcom, which ended after seven episodes because of Kinison's death.
"THESE TROPES ARE LOUDER THAN HELL!":
- Anti-Love Song: Several, most famously his version the song "Wild Thing", and the song he played on the piano after his "emotional tampon" bit.
- Awful Wedded Life: Part of his routine, softly asking an audience member if he's considering marriage. If he says yes, Sam gives his advice as only he can (by yelling in his face).
- Berserk Button: While his first marriage caused a few snarls to pass Sam's lips, anything to do with his second marriage sent him into full-on "I LIVE IN HELL" rage.
- Cluster F-Bomb: His albums didn't get warning stickers for nothing.
- Country Matters: He heartily encouraged the Alphabet for guys to use on the ladies. For starters, it helped with spelling...
- Death by Irony: "We don't WANT to drink and drive ... But there's no other way to get the fucking CAR back to the HOUSE!! How are we supposed to get fucking home??!!"
- For the unenlightened: after years of Do Not Do This Cool Thing, he was killed by a drunk driver while completely sober.
- Disproportionate Retribution: One of his jokes involved an ex-girlfriend putting a loaded .38 in his airline carry-on bag in retaliation for him cheating on her. Him calling up audience members' ex-girlfriends to scream nasty words at them borders on this as well.
- One joke has him suggesting you do every sexually deviant thing you can think of with your girlfriend. So that if she leaves you for another guy, that next guy isn't going to be able to do anything exciting with her at all. Not even The Alphabet.
- Drugs Are Bad: Inverted; like his contemporary Bill Hicks, Kinison advocated drug use in his material.
You were on ACID, MANSON! ...You'd have gotten the same message out of the Monkees you fucking dickhead...
- On the other hand, he dissed Charles Manson for his interpretation of The White Album, saying he only heard those messages because he was on acid.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While talking about the Pope's tour of America.God, he was tough on the gays. I mean, I'm tough on 'em, but I'm a fuckin' comedian, this is the Pope, man.
- Famous Last Words: I dont want to die. I dont want to die...but why...okay, okay, okay". According to those at the scene, Kinison appeared to be having a full on conversation with something from the other side during his dying moments.
- Heavy Metal: The video for "Wild Thing" included appearances by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Robbin Crosby, Slash and Steven Adler, C.C. DeVille, Tommy Lee and Billy Idol. Kinison could probably have had a good Loudness War with the best of them, and that's without guitars, drums and stacked amplifiers.
- A Hell of a Time: One of his bits was about how a man who has seen the horrors of marriage would not be frightened by Hell, to the point that Satan would offer a married man a job as an assistant.
- Hypocritical Humor: For all his rants about the horrors of marriage, Sam went and married a third time just before his death.
- While he would rant against marriage, he recognized that falling in love and being in relationships are normal things to do... which is where he suggests to his audience that they get raunchy as hell.
- His material on religion, especially corrupt preachers, would comment on the hypocrisy of "saintly" Christians wallowing in excess and sin.
- Hey, Write What You Know, right?
- Incoming Ham: OH! OHHHHHHHH!
- It's a Wonderful Plot: A Christmas Episode of Married... with Children built around this guest-stars Kinison as Al Bundy's guardian angel.
- What Could Have Been: Kinison himself was suggested at one point to play Al Bundy. The series was pitched to Fox with him in mind, and he was offered the part. His manager turned it down, saying that Sam was going to become a big movie star.
- Large Ham: Oh yeah..
- "Last Supper" Steal: The cover of his third album, Leader of the Banned.
- Love Hurts: Which part of "I WAS MARRIED FOR TWO FUCKING YEARS!" do you think highlights this trope?
- Mad Love: Emphasis on mad.
- Marijuana Is LSD: In his airplane story (with the loaded gun) he mentions that he was nervous before the flight, so he smoked a joint on the way to the airport to calm his nerves. He describes walking through the terminal as seeing visions and Aztec temples.
- Nice Hat: As shown above. He wasn't shown without one.
- No Indoor Voice: It didn't come much louder than Sam.
- Notable Music Videos: He appeared in Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" and Mötley Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart."
- The Noun and the Noun: "The Butt and The Bible," from Have You Seen Me Lately?
- Old Shame: "I Missed The Joan Rivers Show"
- He did express regret about his AIDS jokes regarding the homosexual community, although he remained defiant about other anti-gay routines.
- Pun-Based Title: His third album, Leader of the Banned.
- Questioning Title?: His second album, Have You Seen Me Lately?. The first track is titled "Rock Against Drugs?"
- Refuge in Audacity: He didn't so much find refuge as he builds a goddamn cathedral there.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Kinison mentions on Side One of his second album that God was gonna come calling about all those Jesus jokes. Complete with ten minutes of dead silence as The Mighty Smiter gives Sam a heart attack... (relax, he's gotten better by Side Two)
- With references to his ex-preacher career throughout most of his stand-up routines.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Would actually start out very soft spoken, until he went into FULL ON SCREAMING! This would go on for his entire routine.
- Up to Eleven: Or twelve. Or twenty.
- Worst News Judgment Ever: The opening bit on his album Live From Hell: "There's a guy in Milwaukee with heads in his icebox, but our top story tonight: Sam Kinison missed The Joan Rivers Show."