William Melvin Hicks was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician.
39 Facts About Bill Hicks
At the age of 16, while still in high school, Bill Hicks began performing at the Comedy Workshop in Houston, Texas.
Bill Hicks achieved some recognition as a guitarist and songwriter.
Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer on February 26,1994, at the age of 32.
Bill Hicks had an older sister, Lynn, and an older brother, Steve.
The family lived in Alabama, Florida, and New Jersey, before settling in Houston, Texas, when Bill Hicks was seven years old.
Early on, Bill Hicks began to mock his family's Southern Baptist religious beliefs.
Bill Hicks was close with his family his whole life, though, and he did not reject spiritual ideology itself, and throughout his life, he sought various alternative methods of experiencing it.
Bill Hicks was associated with the Texas Outlaw Comics group developed at the Comedy Workshop in Houston in the 1980s.
Bill Hicks's career received another upturn in 1987 when he appeared on Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians Special.
Bill Hicks eventually fell back to chain smoking, a theme that figured heavily in his performances from then on.
In 1988, Bill Hicks signed with his first professional business manager, Jack Mondrus.
In 1990, Bill Hicks released his first album, Dangerous, performed on the HBO special One Night Stand, and performed at Montreal's Just for Laughs festival.
Bill Hicks was later engaged to his manager, Colleen McGarr, who booked him there.
Bill Hicks was a huge hit in the UK and Ireland and continued touring there throughout 1991.
Bill Hicks made a brief detour into musical recording with the Marble Head Johnson album in 1992, collaborating with Houston high school friend Kevin Booth and Austin, Texas, drummer Pat Brown.
Bill Hicks was voted "Hot Standup Comic" by Rolling Stone magazine in 1993.
In 1984, Bill Hicks was invited to appear on Late Night with David Letterman for the first time.
Bill Hicks had a joke that he used frequently in comedy clubs about how he caused a serious accident that left a classmate using a wheelchair.
On October 1,1993, Bill Hicks was scheduled to appear on Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, where Letterman had recently moved.
Bill Hicks was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of his final Late Show appearance, unbeknownst to Letterman and most others outside of Bill Hicks's family, and died less than four months later.
Letterman took responsibility for the original decision to remove Bill Hicks's set from the 1993 show.
For many years, Bill Hicks was friends with fellow comedian Denis Leary, but in 1993, he was angered by Leary's album No Cure for Cancer, which featured lines and subject matter similar to his own routine.
Leary had practically taken line for line huge chunks of Bill Hicks's act and recorded it.
Bill Hicks expressed anger, disgust, and apathy while addressing the audience in a casual and personal manner, which he likened to merely conversing with his friends.
Much of Bill Hicks's routine involved direct attacks on mainstream society, religion, politics, and consumerism.
Bill Hicks ended some of his shows, especially those being recorded in front of larger audiences as albums, with a mock "assassination" of himself on stage, making gunshot sound effects into the microphone while falling to the ground.
On June 16,1993, Bill Hicks was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver.
Bill Hicks started receiving weekly chemotherapy, while still touring and recording his album, Arizona Bay, with Booth.
Bill Hicks was working with comedian Fallon Woodland on a pilot episode of a new talk show, titled Counts of the Netherworld for Channel 4 at the time of his death.
Bill Hicks performed the final show of his career at Caroline's in New York on January 6,1994; he moved back to his parents' house in Little Rock shortly thereafter.
Bill Hicks died on February 26,1994, in Little Rock at the age of 32.
Bill Hicks was buried in the family grave plot in Magnolia Cemetery, Leakesville, Mississippi.
In early 1995, Bill Hicks' family released a brief essay he had written mere weeks before his death:.
In "Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time", Bill Hicks was ranked 19th.
Bill Hicks is mentioned in the 1999 British film Human Traffic.
Bill Hicks appeared in a flashback scene in writer Garth Ennis's Vertigo comic-book series Preacher, in the story "Underworld" in issue No 31.
English songwriter-musician Charlie Dore wrote the folk ballad song, "When Bill Hicks Died", for her album, Cuckoo Hill, released in 2006.