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Bill Hicks on Letterman, Finally

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posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:36 AM
As other members have pointed out, his style and jokes weren't for everyone, but he was an incredibly funny and intelligent guy, and I'm convinced what he wanted to do, more than make people laugh, was to make people think.

Some people will only think about things after you capture their attention, and most of them will only give you their attention after you shock them, and Bill knew this better than anyone.

He would make you go through a roller coaster ride of emotions and thoughts, effectively shocking your mind like a defibrillator jolts a heart. If you saw one of his routines and in the end thoughts of "wow I never thought of our society like that, we really need to change" didn't cross your mind, then you are beyond 'saving'.

He used to end his routines with this (those who have seen Zeitgeist you'll find it familiar):

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's real, because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly coloured, and it's very loud and it's fun for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say "Hey! Don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride." And we... kill those people. Ha ha ha. "Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter because it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.

RIP Bill Hicks

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:54 AM
Thanks for this thread, I have starred you. To have these youtube videos here in a sequence really gives a perspective. This was a great way to spend a superbowl sunday morning. I listened to all these videos and was amazed also at how real and spry Dave's guest was. He was humbled, i felt.

I think Dave is a good person, trying always to play the middle and give people what they want, but fact is that Hicks was a friend of the show, and there was much love between the two parties. Dave himself said the whole thing was more about him, and it takes a man, to admit when in retrospect, he'd chosen incorrectly.

Hey, was pancreatic cancer weaponized by 1990? I forget when that happened? Anyway, I guess a lot of people felt that his cancer was swift and sudden justice from God because of Hick's material? Perhaps he was just a little too effective in his subversion? Some entities don't want to be shown up at their own game.

Hicks was a master of sarcasm, and though people fear it, it is effective across all cultural groups.

Highlights: Where he admits he is dividing every crowd he performs in front of, and also that his routine has always been based around the idea of having "every audience member as my friend, and I'm having a conversation with them."

INTERVIEWER: "But you're supposed to entertain them, not make them think."

HICKS: "When did thinking become 'not entertaining'"?

INTERVIEWER: "But people don't want it."

HICKS: [pleads to the camera] "...Can I get some jugglers in here?"

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 12:09 PM
I discovered Bill Hicks ten years ago when I was 14 years old. He was hilarious and extremely caustic. "Nazi's had the right idea! Only they were underachievers, kill EVERYBODY. " I remember the look of horror on the audience face when he said this. By this time Bill had already been dead for about 4 or 5 years. I was sad that I had missed out on this mans' life.

Good to see him getting honored like this.

RIP Mr. Hicks.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:04 PM
Having Hicks life and career end when it did goes beyond sad... it really pissed me off. He was much more then a comedian, we was a brilliant social-critic. Adding insult to injury on his premature departure, we are left to witness Denis Leary having a successful run hacking Hick's material and stealing his persona... just prior and after Hick's passed away.

"The comics I hate are thieves. Nothing's more disgusting than a guy who steals another person's ideas and tries to claim them as his own. Stand-up comedy is supposed to be "Here's the world through my eyes." It's supposed to be your observations, your thoughts and views on life. When you snatch little pieces of other people's lives and try to palm them off as your own, that's more disgusting than anything. Robin Williams is a huge thief. Denis Leary is a huge thief. His whole stand-up career is based on Bill Hicks, a brilliant guy who died years ago." (joe rogan in playboy interview)

Bill Hicks himself sure thought Denis was ripping off his work - "A reporter once asked Hicks why he'd stopped smoking. His reply: 'I wanted to see if Denis Leary would.'" Over at, there's a firsthand account from Kevin Booth, a lifelong friend of Bill's, that goes as follows:

"I personally do not have the patience to sift through any of his material to even try and pinpoint. I hear about Leary all the time. I just know that when Bill and I were driving to go see the branch Davidian siege, he had just bought the Leary album and put it on and was just playing it and just seething, seething in a way of like, '...great, this guy is selling a zillion copies on Warner Brothers, doing all of my ideas and material...', This is what was annoying to him."


On the up side... this is proof that if Hicks was with us today he most likely would have cased a shadow on the likes of Leary.

[edit on 1-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 09:45 PM
Found an old ATS thread that reconfirms my previous post
Leary Rips off Bill Hicks!!

As the saying goes, "imitation is the greatest form of flattery",
though i would imagine it's pretty hard to take as such, especially when those who are "flattering" you are being handsomely rewarded for your creative works.

[edit on 3-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 09:13 AM
For those who are into JFK CTs here's a brilliantly funny bit by Hicks. He also side steps into his crucifix necklace bit that he used on letterman but with a slight variation to make another brutally brilliant point. i was saying earlier, Hicks would have loved ATS as much as we love him.

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 09:23 AM
Post removed due to foulness.

[edit on 3-2-2009 by Cadbury]

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 09:27 AM
I'm going to have to agree with Drea2up (welcome, by the way). I've never been a fan of Hicks' stand up work. I can appreciate the talent, but he wasn't someone I'd go out of my way to see. And not surprisingly, I don't particularly care for Leary's stand up act, either.

And yet I love Lewis Black. Go figure.

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 11:02 AM
I'll tip my hat to lewis black... very much of the same genre, i still think some of his best work was on the daily show.

It might just be a matter of delivery/persona/attitude that you have a preference, the content these guys dabble in is all very similar... they shishkabob all the taboo subjects in an effort to "deny ignorance".

There was a rare candid moment when hicks reminded me a lot of black and sam kinnison ... when dealing with a heckler at some dive of a comedy club but it shows the amount of anger just bubbling below the surface... boy did he let her have it
and then when he collected his composure he played it off like a pro... again the brilliance shines through.

disclaimer: for those who have fragile dispositions, you'll need to do some word substitution here... he says "fudge" and "coot" a lot

or to be safe just don't go there

For those emotionally mature enough to handle some foul language
go to and enter Bill Hicks Hates Hecklers

(Mods i hope you make note of the effort i have made here. Despite being labeled a burden in the past, i do recognize how frustratingly ridiculous of a task it is to attempt to make ATS a "family friendly" site... kudos to cadbury for giving me a heads up)

[edit on 3-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 11:21 PM
On an even more serious note...
Reverend Hick's Sermon "What is the point to Life?"

One very deep enlightened guy.

[edit on 3-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]

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