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American: The Bill Hicks Story

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Whenever I listen to recordings of Bill Hicks doing his stand-up comedy, while I’m always entertained, deep down there’s a certain feeling of somberness. A particularly good example of this can be found in one of his routines in which he talks about the porn collection stashed under his bed. He wonders—if he were to die—what his parents would think when they ultimately found the cornucopia of smut. Always reminded of Hicks’ death at this point, I think, ‘his parents probably did find the porn.’ This somehow makes the joke so much sadder yet funnier and almost beautiful.

Regardless, it’s such a strangely hilarious and relatable image Hicks conjures, and that’s what he did best: he was able to get the audience to relate to him by showing them just how hypocritical the real world is. Though misanthropic and sometimes offensive, he was all about exposing society. But how much of himself did he expose whilst doing so?

You should totally head to ACMI at Federation Square some time in the next week to check out the documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story. Playing every night from now until November 23rd, it’s a great chance for fans to rekindle their love of Hicks and for the uninitiated to find out about a genius comic that died before his time.

Here’s a favourite clip of mine from Hicks’ Sane Man… for old times’ sake:

Session times are listed on the ACMI website.


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