Hard-hitting stand-up Bill Hicks made his debut in Houston, while still at high school, at the city’s Comedy Workshop as part of a duo with his friend Dwight Slade. After graduating, Hicks moved to LA, where he worked with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Garry Shandling but, after two years, moved back to Houston and began touring.
Along the way he developed a huge appetite for drink and drugs. After hopping on the wagon 1988, his work, always confrontational and angry, but also highly intelligent and compassionate, benefited from a sharper and more refined delivery, as he moved into the most successful phase of his career. Like the Ramones, Hicks played clubs at home but theatres over here, where he found fame on the TV programme Just For Laughs in the early 90s. More importantly, he found an audience that “got” his rock’n’roll approach to acerbic, comic truth-telling. Then, sadly, he died of pancreatic cancer, in 1994, at the age of just 32.
American tells his story perfectly, with marvellous clips, unusual animation techniques and extensive interviews with family, friends and fellow comedians. This set is also packed with hours of extras, including rare clips, extended interviews, featurettes and deleted scenes.