Denis Leary: No Cure for Cancer (1993) Poster

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Commentary on Hicks-Leary comparison in as objective form as i possibly can muster.
Oyaji29113 November 2004
The only thing I have to say about the comparisons between Bill Hicks and Denis Leary is this- Bill made his special, "Dangerous", in the 1980's. Leary's "No Cure For Cancer" came out in the early 1990's. I'm just saying this because I'm tired of the people who praise him saying "If I'd heard hicks first, blah blah blah." Well, there's your proof of Leary's theft.

Anyway, I happen to like Leary's style. To be honest, I think the guy's talented as hell. But, because of his unfortunate sellout to animated movies and commercials, I cannot keep myself in any state of respect for him. Not to mention his theft of Hicks' style which put him on the map in the first place. I like Leary, but what he's done is unforgivable as far as I'm concerned.

As for this special, it's a decent comedy special with enough political insight for you to get your kicks off on (if you were so intrigued by it). While he manages to get a couple of laughs (Especially with the French material) I myself could not find myself laughing merely because of the fact that was previously stated. Not a bad special, just wish he would have at least admitted to his wrongdoings.
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Justice appears to have been served
inaneindamembrane1 November 2004
I love the way that this site have given Bill Hicks and uncredited writing "credit" for this - seems like they know the score and have bigger testicles than I ever game them credit for - I wonder how many packs a day they smoke :-)

for those of you who don't know, before Leary became a corporate sell out and did beer commercials, he lifted his style, delivery, and most of his material (often verbatim) from a fellow comedian called Bill Hicks.

He does it quite well though and No Cure for Cancer is worth a chuckle, and its easy to see why Leary's watered down, corporately acceptable, and mass marketable versions of Hicks' style and material earned Leary the success that it did - the same success and recognition that eluded Hicks during his lifetime.

If you want your ranting and non-conformist comedy of a ultimately non challenging variety then Leary will probably do for you.

Otherwise I suggest you try the originator of Leary's work first
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RyuKenAkuma15930 March 2002
PERFECT! This was a great special. I have this on CD on I laughed my A** off. Denis is a great actor and a great comic who tells great stories....and great trash talk. his songs are full of hillarious lyrics about serious things. He is my 1st favorite comic/actor. My 2nd favorite is George Carlin. This deserves a 9/10.
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Everything a concert movie should be and more...
CoenSis22 September 2000
This is one of the few stand-up performances that actually justifies "concert" movies. With just a pack of cigarettes, a microphone and his incredible talent, Denis Leary takes on an arsenal of subjects with wit, passion and scathing commentary. Why isn't this man a bigger star? If his movies could capture even an ounce of the intelligence and charisma he displays prowling the stage in this one-hour special, he should be making more money than Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey put together. Even when he turns reflective and introspective, he doesn't let sentiment get in the way of his hilarious act. The next time you're complaining there's no funny movies to rent, take this home--no excuses!
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One of the most poignant and hilarious comedy specials ever
MisterWhiplash21 June 2000
I never knew Denis Leary was a comic until I saw this special (I just thought he was a talented actor). Now I know he is a talented comic/actor. Here, he examines how the country has changed with drugs, rehab, more drugs, smoking, meat and many other things that show he is insane in his comedy. But he is also sincere when he talks about his son and his father (though I never laughed so hard at the thought of wood paneling). Great comedian, great fun, with a very memorable song to sing along with. A+
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He ripped off Bill Hicks!
mullethaiku2 July 2004
All of you who were like me in thinking how great and original Leary's material should think again! I recently discovered the comedy of Bill Hicks, who died in '94 at 32 before he was well known in the USA. A good portion of Leary's stuff was ripped off from Hicks. A few jokes are almost verbatim Hicks jokes! I read the bio book on Hicks "American Scream" and there were times when other comedians would catch Leary stealing Hicks' jokes and using them. Bill died of cancer ironically around the same time Leary hit it big with "no cure for cancer" Also, Leary has other writers on his 2nd stand up show "Lock and Load" ..which sucks...stand up should be written only by the performer..just my opinion....Bill Hicks is in my opinion..the best stand up of all time.
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I don't care if he "stole" from Bill Hicks; it's damned funny.
MovieAddict201630 November 2005
Only recently have I heard that Denis Leary allegedly "stole" from the late comedian Bill Hicks. What is ironic is that Hicks stayed out of the spotlight until his death, and now that Leary has become more popular Hicks is, in essence, becoming more famous AFTER his death due to the "Leary/Hicks" controversy.

I haven't heard enough Hicks to be able to intelligently debate whether or not one "stole" from the other - all I know is that Denis Leary makes me laugh. And whether or not he stole from Hicks, he's since gone on to do his own acts and form his own style and appear in films - "The Ref," for example (one of the most underrated comedies ever), is great largely due to Leary. His fierce attitude and energy and rough attitude are all him. He may have stolen some tricks from Hicks but Hicks is dead now, and he's been dead for a while, and Leary's continued on churning out stuff that I think is very funny - and which is NOT stolen from anyone.

On the IMDb message boards a user named Tom Myers writes: "Hicks didn't write any of Leary's material. Sure, they talk about similar things, but I own all of Leary's and Hicks' albums and there is no blatant ripping-off of a joke. Yes, there are similarities in personalities, but given that the two men did not emerge until the early 1990s, there is no way to figure out which comedian originally came up with which piece of material. There is even a possibility that Hicks could have used some of Leary's material (Jim Fixx, voice boxes) as Leary mentions in his book, also titled "No Cure For Cancer," that he was doing bits about drugs and smoking as early as the 1980s. According to many Hicks biographies, Hicks did not take up smoking until he gave up drugs in 1984/85, long after Leary started doing bits about smoking." Anyway, this comedy standup act is classic. It contains some of the best rants of all time and Leary goes from one to the next like a madman. I really enjoy listening to it and watching it from time to time, and a lot of the stuff he talks about I can find myself relating to.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to laugh. Ignore the controversy, see it for yourself and if you like it, go get some Bill Hicks and compare.
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Good "outraged" comedy but too much in common with Hicks is distracting
bob the moo4 August 2008
I was using some long journeys and my mp3 player to catch up on some audio-books and comedy shows that I had missed or not heard of for years. I was of the age at the time of this show where I was familiar with Denis Leary but not with Bill Hicks and I remember being quite impacted by the angry comedy of Leary. This time round I listened to No Cure for Cancer having listened to a few Bill Hicks shows (including Relentless)and was surprised by the similarity between the two. The boards are full of "influenced/stolen" debate so I'll not get too much into it here but I do have to say that in this show Leary is not just doing the same "themes" as Hicks but is often doing the same joke using slightly different language. The Jim Fix reference is the oft-quoted one but when you add John Lennon's murder, metal fans committing suicide, warnings on cigarette packs and so on then it is hard not to be distracted by just how much common jokes there are – not common ground, but actual jokes.

This aside though the show is still funny and enjoyable, mainly because Leary keeps the energy high by simply never stopping ranting and shouting. Some here have called him the greatest ever stand-up and, while I think they are way off the mark here, he is a good performer. His material is mostly good but not great, mostly because he doesn't inform it so much as shout it. However this shouting is what works and you can feel his anger to the point where you end up laughing along with him whether you agree or not. Sadly beyond this he doesn't have a lot in this show; time has shown him to have more range that has helped his career but he plays his strongest card here throughout.

No Cure for Cancer is not brilliant but it is a good example of "outraged" comedy. No doubt it is far too similar to Hicks' material to be of comfort but Leary himself helps by being convincingly and consistently angry, keeping the show's energy high throughout.
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newkidontheblock1 July 2004
Man, this had to be one of the best comedy specials of all time. Dennis Leary's No Cure for Cancer made me laugh so hard, I almost died. Leary, who is a comic from Massacusitts, is a rare type of comic that doesn't tell jokes, he rants. And oh does he rant. Dennis Leary is the best ranting comic out there today. In his specials, he talks and insults everything from Smoking to Drinking to ego to meat.

Now I was only an infant when this special came out the first time around. But I caught it on Comedy Central because I saw Dennis Leary on comics come home (re-run) about a week before. I almost wet myself when I saw it. So bravo Dennis Leary you chain-smoking egotistic ***hole.
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Meat, drugs, and irish immigrants
Max_Doobermin24 August 2002
This is one of the funniest comedies specials I have ever seen. I highly recommend it. He expresses his views on meat, drugs, alcohol, ciggarrettes, his family, and cancer. Funny stories, funny faces, funny sounds, and funny songs help along this hilarious routine.
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