Earlier in the year we were lucky enough to meet comedian Vince Fluke as well as Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas the director and producer of the fantastic documentary “American: The Bill Hicks Story” at the Comedy Café theatre in London. The interview that followed focused on Hicks’s impact on comedy, music, his genius, and his personality while fondly remembering his style of comedy.
Interviewed: Vince Fluke, Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas
We later met Steve Hicks, Bill’s brother who gives a personal insight into the man behind the comedy, and about his spiritual and political arguments; many of which are relevant today.
With Steve Hicks
The interviews are now online and available to watch here.
Bill Hicks’s style of comedy was more than comedy, or your average political satire. He didn’t just muse on witty observations like most comedians do when talking about politics and the world around them He was a quasi-philosopher who managed to expand his own mind beyond the constant drivel of the American media, and as a consequence he helped expand the mind of all those who listened, as well as inspiring us to believe that the world doesn’t have to be this way. And he was pretty fucking funny while doing it.
Often referred to as the comedian’s comedian, his angry and philosophical comedic style went on to influence a plethora of comics: George Carlin, Russell Brand and David Cross just to name a few. The political comedic movement of which he has become a symbol did for comedy what Bob Dylan did for music.
Bill Hicks has been ranked in the UK as the fourth best comedian, yet he still remains an unfairly ignored artist. In addition to his comic genius, which you can see in the video below, he was incredibly talented musically and went on to release several beautiful albums. Perhaps the fact that he was a musician as well meant that he could inspire people emotionally through his comedy as well, rather than just making you laugh. Watching Hicks is a comic epiphany. It’s like a Shaolin monk doing a comedy routine. And it works so well.
Bill Hicks rants on music
A beautiful instrumental by Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks has been sampled by many musicians, such as the Super Furry Animals. His quotes have also been used in revolutionary films by groups such as The Zeitgeist Movement, so it’s impossible to regard him as just another comedian. I mean, it’s hard to imagine Joe Pasquale’s impression of Amy Winehouse doing some flower arranging being used in a Super Furry Animals music video.
It's Just A Ride
The world that Bill Hicks was so passionately against is now even more prevalent: 24 hour disgusting crap on the TV; music being controlled by people who know nothing about it; people enslaved by debt and surrounded by governments that constantly lie to us. But if we listen to Hicks, we realize that it doesn’t have to be like this. The human race ISN’T like that. And even though he was so ignored in America (he was cut from David Letterman’s show while suffering from cancer and played smaller and smaller venues in the states), he is now held in legendary regard. Although today we see truly awful comedians such as Dane Cook all over the place, I live in the relative comfort that they will be forgotten about in 50 years, but Bill’s words of wisdom will be with us forever.