Friday, February 27, 2004

No joke: Bill Hicks


To follow up on our previous Hicks posts, let me poitn you to a terrific read in the British paper Guardian about the late great Bill Hicks, titled "last laugh."

Here's a quick look:

"He was sceptical, scatological, struggling for success on his own terms. Then suddenly life changed for comedian Bill Hicks: his work was being taken seriously - and, at 31, he was dying. Ten years on, John Lahr pays tribute

My New Yorker profile of Bill Hicks, The Goat Boy Rises, sat unpublished at the magazine for nearly four months. Hicks's ban from the David Letterman show and his subsequent 31-page letter to me explaining what had happened provided the impetus to get the profile into print straight away. It appeared on November 1, 1993.

"The phones are ringing off the hook, the offers are pouring in, and all because of you," Hicks wrote to me the following week, signing himself "Willy Hicks"."It's almost as though I've been lifted out of a 10-year rut and placed in a position where the offers finally match my long-held and deeply cherished creative aspirations... Somehow, people are listening in a new light. Somehow the possibilities (creatively) seem limitless."

Rereading Hicks's letter now, 10 years later, the parenthesis in the last sentence hit me like a punch to the heart. Hicks was suddenly, to his amazement, no longer perceived as "a joke blower", the kind of pandering stand-up he hated.



No joke: Bill Hicks
The Guardian
Saturday February 14, 2004,11710,1146768,00.html

Posted at 05:08 AM in Humor | Permalink


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