The death of the outspoken comedian Bill Hicks, in early '94, tragically foreshortened a career in which Hicks had proved himself as one of the most distinctive voices in the comedy world. In fact he was the Lennie Bruce of his generation. This 'Prince of Darkness' was a sex drugs and rock 'n' roll comedian! He could be loud and he could be outrageous but on stage he also exposed a creative imagination and a vision of the world which sometimes took him closer to the role of prophet than comic. Winner of the Edinburgh Festival Critics' Award in 1991, Bill was driven by a distinctive passion in his work, a comedy built on conviction, that set him apart from other stand-ups.
It's Just A Ride:
A celebration of the comedy of Bill Hicks. The film is structured around the different strains of comedy in the Hicks stand-up, sampling some of the best of his confrontational performances. Interviewees include two major American chat show hosts, David Letterman and Jay Leno, the actor Eric Bogosian and a wide range of comedians who admired his work including Sean Hughes and Eddie Izzard. There are also anecdotal contributions from his high school friends and an interview with his parents in which is father opines I never could understand why he had to use the F-word. I used to say to him "Bob Hope didn't have to use the F-word", but he didn't like that and he didn't like Bob Hope much either!
The dark and dangerous stand-up is stalking the Dominion Theatre, London, his last, live sell out performance on the Revelations Tour, cloaked in a riding coat and hat. And he is annoyed, you can tell he's in an irritable mood and what's worse, his nerves are shot to pieces because the comedian who mounted a one-man right to smoke campaign has kicked the habit! This show is like a cathartic exploration of his own anger and disappointment at the world. Grieving over the death of the American Dream, Hicks is building up his verbal fire-power to unleash it on some of the most sensitive wounds of the American psyche, ignorance and bigotry. Able to say what most people daren't even think, his calculated and thought-provoking humour has a certain shock value to it, which grabs the attention of his audience and doesn't let go.
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