Bill Hicks

Let me tell you kids, there was never such a great comedian as the tremendous Bill Hicks. I had the good fortune of knowing him, even opening for him at the beginning of my career in show business and life. I loved him and worshipped him and I was not alone. My friend attended his funeral and said he had never witnessed so many tough grown men crying. We loved Bill so much. He was our mentor and our friend.

I remember him most vividly at comedy day in San Francisco. This might have been 1990 or before or later. The years blend into themselves and fold back on themselves and I can’t remember which happened first or last but I do remember it all. Bill came into the tent, setting down a black garment bag, with multiple tags, the kind that folds a man’s suit in half. He looked at me kindly, as he always did, as I was then the girlfriend of a Houston comic, a real good ol’ boy, and so technically I was family, as Texans are intensely familial and ancestral and filial and all that.

Bill was Houston, as he was New York and also London. Bill was the world. He pointed his eyes at me, the sweetness in his face just bubbling over and asked after me and my life and he wore a bloodstained postal worker’s cap on his handsome head and I felt special and like a woman even though I was still just a girl and I felt alive and important and like everything I had wanted to happen was happening and this was good. I have chased that feeling ever since, of being young and your life unrolling like a magic carpet in front of you and all that exists is the future and the brightness of it hurts to look at.

Bill was our Jesus. That’s what I recall Brett Butler saying, “Bill, well he just wanted to be Jesus.” The truest statement that was an image that Bill had wanted to convey and what we all as struggling comics needed to exist, a messiah. Bill was our lord and I think of him still in this way and I think many do. All of us who loved him do.

2 thoughts on “Bill Hicks

  1. There was more to the Brett Butler quote though. Something along the line of “Bill wanted to be Jesus, but he got stuck in the part where he was kicking the money lenders out of the temple”.

    RIP Bill, you are missed by so many.

  2. still one of my favorite comedians of all time. i grew up listening to george carlin but was introduced to bill hicks shortly after his death. once i heard that george carlin thought he was one of the greatest lesser known (at the time) comedians he’d ever seen, i knew that bill was taken from us way too soon. thanks for this post, he was a god indeed.

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