I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy. There’s a lot of people out there who I happen to enjoy listening to. However, to be honest with you, Bill Hicks, who passed away more than a decade ago, is someone I’m not familiar with. From what I understand, portions of this recording were previously released as “Live At The Oxford Playhouse 11.11.1992,” also known as “Shock And Awe.” This two-disc set is the complete and unedited performance of that show. Each disc is almost an hour long. So, that’s a lot of material to take in.
Listening to Bill Hicks was rather interesting. When I first heard this release, I didn’t think it was too funny. But, then again, my first listen was during the day and that’s a big no-no with me. You see, I have this little quirk when it comes to stand-up comedy. I like to listen to it when I’m trying to go to sleep. In fact, if I don’t throw an album on at night, I can’t go to sleep. I lay there on the floor or the couch or wherever I decide to plop my ass down at night…and I just toss and turn. So, for the past few days, as I lay there in the darkness, I’ve been listening to Bill Hicks and, in doing so, his material is starting to sink in. I don’t think he’s laugh-out-loud funny. But, he does have his moments…and some of those moments are pure genius, especially when he’s talkin’ about former President George Bush and Saddam Hussein. He also makes some good points about religion and drugs.
I don’t know too much about Bill Hicks other than the fact that he died at age 32 from pancreatic cancer. He left this world a lot sooner than he should have. Had he lived, there’s no telling where he would be today. I guess we’ll never know the answer to that. At least we can reflect on the material he left behind…and I believe that’s the kind of stand-up comic that he was. He wanted to make you laugh…but…he also wanted to make you think. I believe he accomplished that while he was here.