"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bill Hicks

Netflix now has four "watch instantly" shows regarding Bill Hicks. Three standups and one posthumous documentary.

Youtube has a number of videos too, including a good portion of the posthumous documentary, and the 2009 Late Show With David Letterman with Bill Hicks' mother. The Late Show decided to censor Hicks' October 1993 appearance.

The following February, Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in his early 30's. Letterman had his mother on in 2009, regretted the censorship and the additional pain it caused in Hicks' last months, then aired the censored performance. Letterman had had Hicks on a dozen times, on his previous 12:30am NBC show.

(Aside: I also recall Letterman had an episode at 12:30am in the 1980s where, during the course of the hour, the broadcast rotated once around the center of the screen. i.e. at 1:00am the show was upside down. An ongoing theme originally was the absurdity of television. There were many ways the show was "toned down" for the 11:30pm slot.)

There are a handful of social critics/satirists/comedians I continue to rate high my the list:

I'd have to put the Pythons on the list too, from my early teens and their series showing up on PBS, waiting each week for the next one, trying to memorize as much as possible in the half-hour. I didn't really recognize the Pythons or Carlin as social critics at the time. And Andy Kaufman, in his own way. More recently, Bill Maher and probably Eddie Izzard.

Hicks and I were born the same year. I wonder where he'd have gone over the last 17 years. He was pretty far out on the edge back then, and he didn't seem to hold anything back.

"It's just a ride... a choice right now, between fear and love." -Bill Hicks

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.