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"Revelations" was my first Bill Hicks experience but unfortunately, one of his last performances. After viewing this video, Bill Hicks immediately became my favorite stand-up comedian. Probably because I share most of his views which were brilliantly expresses with his brutally hilarious humor. At times he gets a feverish intensity beyond typical humor and really makes you think about what he says whether you like it or not. What he said was more that just comedy club material, it had a meaning behind it. Maybe that's why, since his untimely death (cancer), he has been referenced and quoted by such people as the band Tool (on their 1996 "Aenima" album) and Author David Icke (in quite a few of his books). Half way through I started to wonder if this guy had any faith in humanity, but by the end his sincere closing remarks just might restore YOUR OWN faith in humanity.
This video captures Bill live in London, and is the last video he made before he died. He is on fire, ranting and raving about the hypocrisy that surrounds us leaving no sacred cows. Not too many people know of Bill, he died before making it really big. If however you ever want to know what all the fuss, that some of us make, is about him check it out. I swear you will not regret it.
I watched all of the specials attached to Bill's Dec. 2004 DVD release, and I have to say, to see them in chronological order showed me one thing. Bill Hicks was a guy who needed focus, and as time went on, it was developing. The first 10 minutes of Revelations is funnier than his HBO half hour and Relentless combined. Not that those two weren't funny, but Revelations was focused, and he just kept pounding the audience with jokes. In his earlier days he tended to ramble, not knowing when to end a joke. As a comic, I can tell you that this is a hard thing to learn, and Bill was really getting there in Revelations. Had he survived cancer, we'd see him as a polished and brilliant comic today. Denis Leary may only be a footnote in comedy had Hicks lived on.
Along with Andy Kaufman and Steven Wright, Bill Hicks is one of the most
redeeming factors of American comedy. Forget about your John Belushi's or
Tim Allen's or Robin Williams, Hicks was the real deal and angry, sensitive,
rip-roaringly funny, acerbic comedic talent of epic proportions. Hicks was
no-holds barred comedy, trampling upon his audience with a barage of
put-downs and come-back lines. Where as most comedians stop at the
punchline, Hicks went that one step further and punched the punchline. A man
full of contradictions: loved his mum and pap, but ruthlessly satirised them
in his stand-ups; was full of venom and bile on stage, but was achingly
sensitive and caring off; In short Hicks was a maestro.
Revel in an all-out comedic assault and maybe you might get on the space ships too.
Bill Hicks is brilliant. This is no exception. Sadly since its now ten
old it is dated but if you have any brain at all you can work past it. Its
especially interesting to hear Bill's comments on George Bush Snr. The
comments that are being used now about Jnr?
Well you should watch this, either you'll get it and love it or miss the point. It isn't a wild ride of none stop jokes, its a more thoughtful almost introspective comedy video. Almost sad in places, he doesn't look well.
I'm afraid I didn't pay for it, I downloaded it. Its worth buying if you can find a copy though and as soon as its on DVD i'll get me one!
The best comedian ever, in his last video before his untimely death. Bill shows the world what we are now missing. How this guy is better known here in Britain than in his home country, where he did most of his work still amazes me.
Bill Hicks, the late prophet. As a stand up comic he may not supply sitcom-style laughs every twelve seconds, but his act is the intellectual equivalent of reading twelve books. Bill Hicks opens our eyes and minds to the hypocrisy and ludicrousness of the world around us, when he presents some hard facts about alcohol versus drugs, the mind blowing statistics of alcohol induced death as opposed to death cause by virtually all other illegal drugs combined, the irony of anti marijuana campaigns followed by shameless beer commercials, the countless ways religions have strayed off of their paths to become nothing more than organized superstitions, and the list goes on. Study him, learn his words by heart, and realize how much better countries/governments/life could be if it made half the sense he does.
Over the last two years, four different Bill Hicks shows have been
released on DVD in North America. Of the four, Revelations, filmed in
late 1992 at London's Dominion Theater, is the last chronologically,
recorded mere months before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,
which ultimately killed him at the age of 32.
At the time he was tragically struck down, Hicks was at his creative peak. A thinking comedian, more Voltaire than Carrot Top, his act challenged his audience's beliefs about politics, religion, sex and popular culture. Add to that a decade spent working hostile audiences in bad comedy clubs, which polished his stand-up comedy skills and made him extremely comfortable in front of any sort of crowd imaginable.
After a decade spent in obscurity in his native USA, he had become a popular and respected performer in the UK, which he toured regularly after 1991. The British crowds welcomed Hicks' topical humor, and it is in this context that he recorded Revelations in November 1992.
Hicks' material, although heavily based on current events of the early 90's, has aged gracefully. Revelations was filmed only days after Bill Clinton's election and Hicks is obviously thrilled to see the end of twelve years of fundamentalist conservatism. He also goes back to the first Gulf War (the source of some of his greatest material), the LA Riots and the JFK assassination. He also attacks what he sees as case examples of the lousy state of American culture, such as American Gladiators or Basic Instinct, and the marketing machine behind them.
Despite often leaning towards misanthropy, Bill Hicks' message remained optimistic and positive. His parting words ('It's Just A Ride') remains one of his best and most oft-quoted allegories, describing as a poet would his view of the meaning of life.
Altogether, Revelations is Bill Hicks at the peak of his powers as a comic/poet/philosopher/goatboy. It is the most compelling proof on film as to why, twelve years after his untimely death, his star is still rising.
Bill Hicks was the best comic of his generation and when i read from
todays top comics (Bill Bailley for instance) dropping his name as an
influence it makes me confident that Bills legacy will continue.
The only problem i have with this performance is that i'm always hit with a tinge of sadness in his closing words.
Quite ironically Bill is one of 'the good guys'he speaks about he himself one of those who stops to tell us not to live in fear that life is just a ride and cruelly as with the other truth-sayers that came before nature robbed us of him!!!
not exactly bill in peak form, but nonetheless a relic from the life a brilliant, sincere, intellectual mastermind who weaved tapestries of social commentary that provoked, intrigued, or just plain made you stand at attention. it is all just a ride and with Hicks as conductor, you're sure to understand it all a little better. you get a little bit of everything here on revelations. not all the best material is here, but like her always said "i'm not a f'n jukebox, okay?" To hear all the gems, pick up his 4 essential albums on rykodisc. you must just be inspired to squeegee open your third eye and see beyond the wool thats been draped down over you.
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