See, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do, and if you don't think drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all your albums and all your tapes and all your CDs and burn 'em, 'cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-real fuckin' high on drugs.
William Melvin Hicks was an American stand-up comedian, born in Georgia in 1961 and raised in Texas from the age of 7. He began his stand-up career in the late 1970s, and continued until his death from pancreatic cancer in 1994.
Hicks' caustic style of observational comedy focused mostly on his low opinion of society and the media, with venomous attacks on politicians, but he also covered his own personal habits and problems, most notably his addiction to cigarettes and psychedelic experiences.
He has a number of high-profile fans, including John Cleese, Bill Bailey, Richard Jeni, George Carlin, Warren Ellis, and the band Tool. Hicks also made a posthumous appearance in an issue of Preacher (Comic Book).
A documentary film about his life, entitled American: The Bill Hicks Story was released in 2010.
Hicks and his comedy provide examples of the following:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys -- And, damn, was he bitter about that.
Hitler had Eva Braun/Manson had Squeaky Fromme/Ted Bundy got lots of dates/I wonder what I'm doin' wrong
- Anti-Love Song -- "Chicks Dig Jerks", quoted in the previous item.
- Atomic F-Bomb/Cluster F-Bomb/Precision F-Strike -- Hicks' routines were salty, and covered all the F tropes with gusto, as the quotes on the page demonstrate.
- Author Filibuster -- Hicks' personal politics and philosophy informed much of his act.
- Berserk Button -- Don't heckle Bill Hicks. Just... don't. NSFW.
- Careful with That Axe -- He does this occasionally for effect. For example, from the routine "Gays in the Military":
Anyone... DUMB ENOUGH... to want to be in the military... should be allowed!
AREN'T Y'ALL FUCKIN' HIRED KILLERS?! SHUT UP!
- California Collapse: Discussed in the "Arizona Bay" routine.
- Conspiracy Theorist -- Especially regarding...
- Who Shot JFK? -- Hicks strongly disbelieved the official version.
- Dead Artists Are Better: "PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKING HEAAAAAART!!!!!!"
- Dead Baby Comedy -- "Rush Limbaugh munches scat!" and his jokes about abortion, just for starters. He even joked about his own cancer.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Drugs Are Bad -- Inverted, bigtime. Hicks routinely did material on the benefits of using marijuana and hallucinogens, going so far as a "families should trip together" bit and likening the effects of mushrooms to a religious experience.
Shit, man, not only do I think pot should be legalized... I think it should be mandatory.
I took what Terence McKenna refers to as a heroic dose... (audience laughs) Five dried grams... (audience ooohs) Yeah, my third eye was squeegeed quite cleanly.
- Draco in Leather Pants -- This was his view on how some people might treat Satan.
Female Impression: What a great butt!
Bill: He's Satan!
Female Impression: You don't know him like I do.
Bill: He's the Prince of Darkness!
Female Impression: I can change him.
- Fan Disillusionment -- A theory Hicks "claimed" explained Judas Priest's apparent desire to kill off their fans.
- Fan Disservice -- There's a segment on the 'Revelations' show in which Hicks indulges in his 'Goatboy' persona for about ten minutes... during which, the audience is very, very noticeably squicked out.
- Gilligan Cut
A few guys cornered me outside after my last show. They said "We're Christians, and we take offense at your show." I said, "Forgive me." Later, as I was hangin' from the tree...
- Good Is Not Nice
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking -- Hicks had a very dim view of nonsmokers and their behavior(s) around smokers, although he also poked fun at his own smoking.
- A Hell of a Time
- Humans Are Bastards -- "I'm tired of this back-slapping, isn't-humanity-neat bullshit. We're a virus with shoes."
- I Was Young and Needed the Money -- He claimed this was the only possible excuse you can have to do commercials (apart from Willie Nelson, who got a pass for his $24 million tax bill).
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold -- Hard as it is to believe, Hicks really did hold out hope for humanity and felt it could accomplish great things if people stopped living in fear of their own full potential.
- Kill All Humans -- "Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever! Kill 'em all, Adolf, all of 'em! Jew, Mexican, American, white, kill 'em all! Start over, the experiment didn't work!"
- Murder Simulators -- "What performer wants his audience dead?!?"
- My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad -- "When?"
- Overly Long Gag -- Lampshaded: "Okay Bill, stop with the Goatboy thing, we get it alright. It's kinda amusing but... okay."
- Porn Stash -- Hicks joked about having one that was sizable.
You should see my video rental records. Porno movies and video games. What am I, thirteen? I was looking at a receipt I had, for Clam Lappers and Sonic the Hedgehog. That was one weekend. That was Easter weekend. That's a hell of a way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, with Clam Lappers and Sonic-fucking-Hedgehog.
- Public Service Announcement -- Hicks wasn't impressed by the government's anti-drugs message...and that they didn't mention that drugs hadn't managed to kill Keith Richards.
- Refuge in Audacity -- Most of Hicks' material lives and breathes this trope.
If you work in advertising or marketing... kill yourself.
No, seriously. This is not a joke. You're thinking, there's gonna be a joke coming -- there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage. Kill yourself.
- Running Gag:
- Many of his rants and monologues about people he found morally detestable involved calling them "suckers of Satan's cock", often with accompanying sound effects.
- He often bursts out in manic laughter after saying something hideously dark. On Waco:
Anyway, the major news said that the Branch Davidians started the fire. Now I'm not mistaken, correct me if I go off the story here, and that all they did was shoot in Tear gas - yet I've seen with my own eyes (...) footage of a Bradley tank shooting fire into the compound which...isn't that odd that no major news source has picked up on that? How do you think that's newsworthy? Because that basically means that the government; from the FBI, the ATF, up to Janet Reno and including Clinton are...ummm...LIARS AND MURDERERS! HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud -- Bill was good at imitating gunshots and similar sound effects, sometimes bordering on Voice Changeling.
- Chirping Crickets -- One of his better sound effects.
- Sex for Product -- Taken to its Logical Extreme (i.e.: camera starts with a close-up on a beautiful woman's face, pulling back to reveal she's naked and masturbating, and then the words appear: Drink Coke!)
- Sexier Alter Ego: Randy Pan the Goatboy (Bill's sex-crazed alter ego who happens to be half goat) who can seduce anyone with a pulse, and goes for Anything That Moves.
- Smoking Is Cool
- Take That - Bill wouldn't exist without it. He called his routine "comedy of hate", and one track on Rant in E-Minor is called "You're Wrong Night" for a reason.
Here is my final thought. (Oh, thank God.) About drugs. About alcohol. About pornography, whatever that is. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, or take into my body as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet? And for those of you out there having a little Moral Dilemma in your head about how to answer that question, I'll answer it for ya: None of your fucking business.