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BILL HICKS: Porn, Pubic Hair And Reagan’s Neck

WARNING: NSFW

TEXAS MONTHLY: Comedian Bill Hicks died over two decades ago (or at least that’s what the sheeple want you to believe), and while his posthumous catalog has been lovingly curated by his parents and longtime collaborator Kevin Booth, it’s also been fairly stagnant, with the last release in 2005. That’s to be expected for the catalog of someone whose last performance was more than twenty years ago—but it’s also about to change, as comedy distributor Comedy Dynamics, in partnership with Hicks’ estate, releases Bill Hicks: The Complete Collection Friday September 11th. That collection features twelve CDs, six DVDs, and a photo book, and though some of that material includes previously released material, the real jewel of the set is the whopping ten hours of unreleased footage culled from Hicks’ personal recordings from countless nights on the road. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: While his colleagues were busy hawking Doritos and or moistening the sphincter of Hollywood with their all-too-eager tongues in the hopes of landing a walk-on in Police Academy 17, Hicks was working the blue rooms on the highways and byways, the c-list small town circuit of comedy exile. Night after night he would deliver hellfire comedic sermons, smiting the demons of TV-fed ignorance, institutional corruption and the repression of personal liberty with BillHicksPic2transcendental wit, brutal satire and a healthy smattering of dick jokes.

His act was a car bomb parked in front of the Ministry of Disinformation. A middle finger up the ass of hypocrisy. He was punk as fuck, and I’m not sure he knew or cared much about punk rock. As we all know, stickin’ it to The Man is a job that rarely pays well and for his troubles, he died in 1994, poor and relatively unknown, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. Without Bill Hicks, this black comedy we call life is a bit more dark and a good deal less funny.

Raised in the buckle of the bible belt, Hicks witnessed firsthand the lashings of small-mindedness, fear and hatred the region could dole out. The smothering confines of Southern Fundamentalism would fuel the rage of his best comedy and spur his lifelong pursuit of personal freedom and private epiphany. Blessed with a vibrant mind, Hicks’ intellectual and spiritual curiosity lead to a vigorous regimen of reading (The Bible, The Upanishads), writing (numerous doomed screenplays, an autobiography that may one day surface) and Herculean quantities of psychedelic drugs. He would become a Buddha in the land of Bubba. Working in comedy clubs since the tender age of fifteen—he had to sneak into clubs to perform and tell his parents he was studying at the library—he toured relentlessly for the next sixteen. Along the way his inherent comedic gifts—already prodigious—were amplified by the constant repetition of the road. His timing became impeccable, his wit honed slash-your-wrists sharp. All the while, his ideas grew larger. MORE

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