Every comic has the fear of growing old, going stale, losing their audience and ruining their reputation. But what happens when a comic doesn’t get the right amount of time to grow old and mature their material? What if some material never needed to be matured? Mature, wise as hell, and only thirty two when he passed away, Bill Hicks to this day remains one of comedies most talented icons.
While Bill Hicks is credited as one of the greatest comedians of all time, he never achieved the level of success that he had wanted. In fact, in the coming months before his untimely death in 1993, Bill had gone on Late Night with David Letterman and performed what Hicks claimed was one of his best performances ever. However, Letterman disagreed and thought that audiences and the network would find it too offensive, which is crazy when you see the show yourself.
Hicks’ comedy could be described as…well, not comedy at all. He talked about his feelings behind politics and the world, while merely stating facts, and you know what? It worked. He spoke against politicians and right wing conservatives. He spoke against those opposed to marijuana, abortion, and all other sensitive topics. His famous phrase,
“It’s just a ride”
is still one of the greatest pieces of life advice I ever heard.
In 1993, Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Understanding that he didn’t have a lot of time, he still continued to work, doing interviews and performances while undergoing extreme pain and weakness. He passed away on February 26, 1994.
The question that comes to mind for me is, what would have happened had Bill still been alive today? For one, he’d have a HELL of a lot to say about this country. However, I can’t help but wonder if he would have gotten better or worse? I can’t imagine him being funnier. He was and still is one of the funniest people to have ever walked this Earth in my opinion. I don’t know if I’d want to witness him being booed off of stages or having to lower ticket prices at shows. Part of me thinks he left at the right time, leaving behind him a plethora of stand up that always leaves me wanting more.
Now, for the people who weren’t aware of Bill’s existence until now: Hi, where the hell have you been? I don’t want Bill’s name to disappear into thin air. I feel he didn’t get the recognition he deserved as a comedian and I want to make sure as many people can know about him as possible. Here’s the link to his website
Share his videos, share his material, but most importantly, share his voice. His voice is one of truth and promise. The last thing I want is for the world to forget about William Melvin Hicks.