STAND-UP PERFORMER BILL HICKS DIED ALMOST TWENTY TWO YEARS AGO. TO REFER TO HIM AS A COMIC DOESN’T DO MUCH JUSTICE TO THE DEPTH OF HIS WORLD VIEW – IT WAS OFTEN ‘BEYOND COMEDY’ AND INTO THE REALMS OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE AND PHILOSOPHY. HIS STATUS AS A LATE-20TH CENTURY VISIONARY – A PROPHET, EVEN – WOULD PROBABLY SURPRISE AND EMBARRASS HIM, BUT IN THE TWO DECADES SINCE HIS DEATH HIS INCISIVE AND UNRESTRAINED VIEWS ON THE DESTRUCTIVE SYSTEMS IMPOSED BY THE CAPITALIST WEST AND THE RESTRICTIVE TOURNIQUET OF RELIGION HAVE GARNERED NEW GENERATIONS OF ADMIRERS ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE.
Earlier this year an eighteen-disc box set of his work was issued and, recently, a three disc set comprising highlights from it has been released. ULTIMATE BILL HICKS features five programmes including four stand-up routines and a documentary. IT’S JUST A RIDE outlines the career of a man who constantly proved himself to be one of the most distinct voices in comedy. SANE MAN is the earliest representation of Hicks’s live act; a show recorded in 1989 which became the foundation of his signature material. Funny and thought-provoking (as ever) Hicks attacks corporate America with great venom. ONE NIGHT STAND is a TV special featuring his views on smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, drinking, sex, music and advertising. RELENTLESS (from 1992) sees Hicks in fully-formed mode, launching a head-on attack on pornography, religion, war and mortality. REVELATIONS was the last special he filmed, at a sell-out show in London. Reiterating his beliefs in no uncertain terms, Hicks’s message from two decades ago still resonates in the uncertain times of today – that we need to expose the self-interested hypocrisy and ludicrousness of those who control the world around us. In this warm and sometimes emotional new edition of The Mouthcast, Bill Hicks’s elder brother Steve discusses his life, work and legacy…
The three-disc set ULTIMATE BILL HICKS can be ordered here
The eighteen-disc set BILL HICKS – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION can be ordered here