I was probably 15 when I saw my first Bill Hicks comedy sketch. One of my closest friends introduced me to his comedy. It was rough, it was political, it was crazed, but most importantly: it was true. Bill Hicks died when a month after I was born. His comedy might be ignored as belonging to another era. But as a Canadian, who grew up in post-911 media, Bill Hick’s attack on The War on Drugs, the Iraq War, and on the way we currently conduct business with the world rang so true. It is eerie how the things Bill Hicks says about George Bush Sr. apply so readily to George Bush Jr. Bill Hicks came into a time in my life when I was learning how to question the world. At 15, I loved philosophy, loved politics, and loved being critical of the world around me. Bill Hicks just furthered that resolve. If you think about the things he says, they are only funny because they carry inherent truth to them. In fact, our world is so insane that to not laugh at it, either means you’re apathetic or crying instead. You are apathetic because you don’t realize how every joke applies to you, or you are in tears because it is so profoundly true. Bill Hicks understood that thought. He is one of the many comedians who have stared into the Absurd, and seen sheer profundity emerge.
My personal favourite of his ‘bits’ is the conclusion to his Revelations comedy tour. It has become so popular that people have remixed it into other works (see MelodySheep as an example). In it, Bill Hicks’ comedy comes into full fruition. If you have not watched Revelations all the way through, it is worth a watch. Bill Hicks sums up the entire point of comedy, the essence of Awe in 3 minutes or so. It is a call to empathy, to compassion, and it is what every single joke is about.
Remember, the world is like a ride.