A special two-DVD edition of the 2010 documentary, American: The Bill Hicks Story, finally arrives in America on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. And one lucky reader of The Comic's Comic can win it for free!
The two-disc set includes more than five hours of extras, rarely seen footage, plus footage from the 2010 SXSW festival as well as festivals in the U.K. with the Hicks family, Bill's own personal audio journal, and a collector's booklet. Take a look:
Now how do you win yourself all of this for free?
How about this. In the comments of this post, please name your favorite Bill Hicks quote and tell us why it means so much to you. OK? Go!
I was fortunate enough last night to meet Mary and Steve Hicks, the mother and brother of late, great comedian Bill Hicks. They were in New York City to attend a screening of American: The Bill Hicks Story. I'm not sure which of the other cities they'll be visiting as the 2010 documentary about Hicks makes a theatrical run in cities across North America.
But I do know that Mary Hicks carries these cards and sometimes hands them out to comedy fans, to remember her son.
Here is the front:
And this is the back:
American: The Bill Hicks Story, debuted a year ago on the film festival circuit.
Starting tonight in New York City, and continuing through the weekend, the visually stunning and compelling documentary of the late, great stand-up comedian gets a new theatrical run -- complete with live panels featuring friends and family of Hicks. The theatrical run will extend to about 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada over the next month. It'll also be available to watch on demand via iTunes and Amazon.com if the film doesn't make it near you, and also on DVD in America this June.
It opens tonight for a weeklong run at Cinema Village in Manhattan's East Village, with directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas on hand for a panel after the 7 p.m. screening alongside Eddie Brill, Jamie Kilstein, John Farneti, Steve Hicks and a special guest moderator (whom you may recognize from the cable television). Farneti also will perform a 10-minute set before the 9:15 screening tonight; Saturday features an in-depth Q&A with the directors after the 7:15 p.m. screening, with Farneti again on duty for the 9:15; Sunday features pre-screening sets from Nate Bargatze, Dan Soder and Harris Stanton.
In Los Angeles next week, The Comedy Store hosts an invite-only screening on April 13.
When the film debuts at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on April 15, Paul Provenza will host the first night's screening with a panel that includes Kelly Carlin, with Bob Weide hosting an in-depth Q&A with the filmmakers on April 16, and Colin Hanks interviewing Kevin Booth on April 17. That weekend also sees the start of runs at Seattle's Grand Illusion and Portland's Hollywood Theater.
The following weekend sees special events in both Austin and Houston, Hicks' comedy home. The directors and surprise guests will host the April 22 screening at Austin's Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. In Houston, the film will screen at the Alamo Drafthouse West Oaks, with a special comedy evening with John Wessling and a Q&A on April 24.
Other cities and start dates:
Dallas TX – April 22 Texas Theater
Portland ME – April 27 (only) Space Gallery
Chicago IL – April 29 Siskel Theater
Detroit MI – April 29 Burton Theater
Phoenix AZ – April 30 (only) Madcap Theater
Nashville TN – May 4-5 Belcourt Theater
Toronto – April 15 The Royal
Ottawa – April 22 Mayfair Theatre
Calgary – April 22 Uptown Stage & Screen
Vancouver – April 29 Vancity Theater
Edmonton – April 29 Citadel
Here's the revised, official trailer. Roll it!
Sometimes you come down with a case of the Mondays, but the Internet certainly wanted to change that tune yesterday as it unveiled two completely different yet equally insightful interviews of and about the late stand-up comedian Bill Hicks.
When British comic Nick Doody was in college, he had the chance to chat up Hicks in late 1992 before he performed overseas. That full interview appeared online on Doubling Up, the podcast Doody does now with Rob Heeney (thanks to Chortle for the tip). Hicks talks about his career, the 1992 presidential election, his place in comedy, and more. Doody said he was embarrassed to listen to it all of these years later, but it's only the ending that gets a little weird. But he lets us hear it all in its entirety. Enjoy!
Also yesterday, Jesse Thorn of The Sound of Young America put up a video interview he conducted at SXSW with Steve Hicks, Bill's "boring accountant" brother, and director Matt Harlock about his new documentary, American: The Bill Hicks Story. Also includes some classic and rare video footage of Hicks onstage. Roll it!
A new documentary about the late Bill Hicks, American: The Bill Hicks Story, is making the film festival rounds, and it's more than fair to say that it's going deep into the heart of Hicks country this month when it screens at Austin's SXSW.
Here's a clip from the movie that not only shows the blend of actual footage with animation the filmmakers have chosen, but also includes comedian Dwight Slade talking about he and his childhood friend Hicks had to sneak out of the house on a school night for their first professional stand-up gig in a comedy club. Roll it!
Here's another clip of Slade talking about one of the first "characters" he and Hicks performed when they were teens.
And so you fans who have questions can ask appropriately, if given the chance, do your homework and watch this footage from last month's Glasgow Film Festival with the filmmakers, Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas.
How many comedians have received personal invitations to contribute their one-liners to the massive Comedy Central Jokes.com database? I don't know the answer to that. But I do know that when Dan Bialek got his invite, he clicked over to the site and saw this (actually, Bialek was kind enough to omit the Harland Williams helmet strap joke out of this screengrab, which appeared below Carlos Mencia). I know, right? Right?!
Let's put aside the Mencia/Shaffir/Rogan incident for a moment. Because we all know that's a super-hack joke they put next to Mencia. And sandwiching Hicks between Mencia and The Amazing Johnathan...well...that is amazing. I can only suspect that the person in charge of swapping in and out the bits thought this would be really hilarious as an inside jokey joke. In fact, the Jokes.com lineup below today's featured video and "spotlight" now has Bill Hicks on top, followed by Patton Oswalt, Demetri Martin and Zach Galifianakis. Happy now, everybody?! (This is where I LOL on my insides)
Today is the 15th anniversary of the day stand-up comedian Bill Hicks died. Over in the U.K., comedy club Jongleurs in Camden held a tribute show last night. Tonight, his childhood friend Dwight Slade performs at Cap City Comedy Club in Austin, Texas, with a special screening of the 2007 tribute film, "Squeegee Your Third Eye," and a Q&A session. And as trends go, it's not surprising to see people have a dedicated Twitter hashtag for #billhicksday.
Further background: What happened when Letterman censored Bill Hicks.
Will have more to say on this later, but here is a link to edited footage of David Letterman acting very gracious with Mary Hicks, mother of the late comedian Bill Hicks, before airing the Oct. 1, 1993 set Hicks performed that got cut from the initial broadcast. Click here, or watch here:
Mary Hicks, mother of the late Bill Hicks, is taping an appearance this afternoon on Late Show with David Letterman that will air Friday and include the twelfth and final performance by Hicks that the show had censored back in 1993. Why the change of heart now? We'll find out soon enough. Next month is the 15th anniversary of his early death, with events planned in England (the Brits always loved Hicks) and in Portland, Ore. (where childhood friend/comedian Dwight Slade lives). And later this year, the British-produced documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story should make it to the big screen.
In this segment from an earlier documentary about "Outlaw Comic" Hicks that I recall seeing at the HBO Aspen festival in 2002, Janeane Garofalo says in a voiceover how Mary Hicks received the only existing tape of the set from CBS and the show, but they couldn't use it at the time. Instead, they show part of the final performance ever from Hicks in 1994. Were he alive today, you can imagine how he'd feel about Miley Cyrus...
And in this public access TV appearance, Bill Hicks himself talks at length about his disputed appearance on Letterman:
Related: This is the 1993 New Yorker profile of Bill Hicks that he mentions in the above video.
HBO Comedy features an early-morning treat at 5:25 a.m. Tuesday with the rebroadcast of Rodney Dangerfield's 1987 young comedians' special, "Nothin' Goes Right." What makes this special special? How about an early look at what would become Andrew "Dice" Clay, on the same lineup with Bill Hicks, Carol Leifer, Dom Irrera, Robert Schimmel and Lenny Clarke. Haven't seen this show in a year or so, but I can tell you already that Clarke's bit about terrorist hijackers might not wear its age so well. Let's give the whole episode a new look-see and reconvene here tomorrow.