6 April 2011 8:00 AM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of the Texas stand-up comedian Bill Hicks, who died in 1994 at age 32, having found resounding success overseas and little more than professional respect at home. Since then, I’ve devoured several hours of his comedy specials on my Netflix Instant account, marveling at the way this artist managed to blend blisteringly caustic commentaries on sex, politics, rock music, religion, and drug addiction with a weirdly humane, almost holistic philosophy of life. Stand-up comedy in any form is not normally my thing, but I’ve become rather attached to The World According to Hicks.

Heir to Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, Hicks was a hard-working club habitué who built his material from life experience — he was raised in a strict Southern Baptist home in Houston and was transformed head to toe by an experience with psychedelic mushrooms before he ever touched a drop of alcohol. »

- Damon Smith

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