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Totally Bill Hicks

1994, Comedy  -   69 Comments
Ratings: 8.92/10 from 73 users.

Totally Bill HicksA celebration of the comedy of Bill Hicks. The film is structured around the different strains of comedy in the Hicks stand-up, sampling the best of his confrontational performance.

Interviewees include two major American chat show hosts, David Letterman and Jay Leno, the actor Eric Bogosian and a wide range of comedians who admired his work including Sean Hughes and Eddie Izzard.

There are also anecdotal contributions from his high school friends and an interview with his parents.

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69 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Euripedes Holm

    Hicks was a bitter, twisted git, without a single funny bone in his body.

    Here is the real joke. All you suckers that rave on about the "genius" of this nasty piece of work that was the oh so unfunny Bill Hicks...

  2. Rorster

    Ah you see when you sell your soul you become a success, like Leno and Lettermen. When you dance to the beat of your own drum , you get taken into a room, the lights dim, the projector begins, the limo passes , a gunshot to the head is seen, the lights come back on.... a voice is heard "Get out of line and this is what can happen" Thanks Bill for getting out of line and staying there too protest! RIP. Only the good die young, the evil and corrupt go on to live and kill!

  3. Tony Malone

    This video is, in my opinion, a slap in the face to Bill Hicks. I don't care what the sell outs say. Now they could correct their mistakes, now that the people are waking up. I would love to see them confess to the television watching sheeple how much he was censored and what his message really was. Thanks Bill, RIP

  4. Kim Flåten

    ! Bill IS Alex !

    1. Ando Fiks

      Alex Jones is a grade "A " m*ron , a crazy person, You people comparing him to Bill are extremely misguided. He was talking about facts, Alex thinks everything, including his morning cereal has conspiracy in it.

  5. david benning

    Every mainstream comedian, including many who were interviewed for this rather pathetic "doc-omedy" (an attempt to margainalize Bill Hicks by pretending he was ever "mainstream material") is a sell-out to one degree or another, whether it's the sell-out of sell-outs, "Dave" Letterman, or the well-admired George Carlin. There is an exacting price for "fame" and to Bill Hicks credit, he NEVER paid it. I don't think Bill Hicks is the greatest comedian from a technical standpoint, I don't laugh at all of his gags, but he doesn't do one "gag" that doesn't make me think in a provocative direction, be it personally uncomfortable or personally enlightening. It's his unwillingness to compromise, ultimately, that defines him, it's his "failure" to achieve the mainstream success that his less celebral, less deserving, colleagues enjoye, which endears us to him. This production may appear as a benign vehicle designed to bring overdue exposure to the too-short professional career of a gifted comedian, but I assure you that it's true purpose is to mis-lead and give the false impression that in spite of Bill Hick's death, "everything is okay", because the mainstream gets it, the mainstream can look at itself and critically analyze its past shortcomings and the proof is right before you in all the glowing platitudes of what were Bill Hick's - mainstream-accepted, sell-out - COMPETITORS. This isn't a film about Bill Hicks, it's a film that uses "Bill Hicks" as a device to make you think that all of the people interviewed, in spite of their "mainstream" status, are just like Bill, and just like you or me, too, in their appreciation of his genius. Virtually every comedian who appears in this TV fakery (not every single one, certainly) is using the memory of "Bill Hicks" to associate themselves favorably with his message, even though what they truly represent, and what this fakery represents, is the antithesis of genuine-ness. Look for the pyramid symbology (which marks their territory) that is implanted within this film and listen to the dialogue that accompanies its presence. It occurs during the interview of one particular subject, and they cut back to him 3 or 4 times. The pyramid is the focus of the camera, not the subject, which is a dead-giveaway about the intentions behind this admittedly seductive (but ultimately dodgey) "remembrance"("like a dream"). Bill Hicks was an original who didn't fit into this make-believe world of television amd fame. This make-believe world wants you to know they realize the error of their ways and can do better the next time a round peg tries to fit into their square holes. As Mr. Hicks might sheepishly say, "WAKE-THE-FUCK-UP!"

    1. Gary Douglas Davidson

      Interesting take. I watched the film before I read your comment, went back to look for the pyramid, and indeed it was there. The curious thing is that the dude fronting those scenes committed suicide not all that long ago. He kind of sounds sad and regretful when he's talking, too, and his praise of Bill Hicks sort of comes through as a self-indictment. I also found it interesting that the pyramid wasn't complete. It was just the base. All the same, you could still tell it was a pyramid.
      I DO see what you mean, sort of. I mean, this film does make Hicks appear to be famous, well-known, mainstream, a "rock star", but of course, he wasn't any of those things. When I discovered him, quite by accident, I didn't know anybody else who had ever heard of him, and he had already "left the building", so to speak. To this day, I only know a handful of people who are familiar with his name. He's still underground, only now he really IS!
      So, doesn't a film like this potentially HELP Hick's mission in the long run, by turning on more people to his philosophy and perhaps opening the door to them discovering his real material?

      Just a thought.

    2. Tony Malone

      never went that far with the thought process. Good point

    3. Tony Malone

      The only thing wrong with you process is the truth about his celebrity or "ROCK STAR STATUS" is he was famous and did have a following everywhere but here. Just shows how free our press really is.

    4. smithie

      like stephen Wright, Bill Hicks was a big hit in the UK - the Brits got both these guys way before the US.

    5. smithie

      The guy was Richard Jeni another brilliant man lost to us.

    6. Tony Malone

      Well said thanks.

    7. Andy I

      Thank you sir. You were Hickslike in your honesty.

  6. Atheist13

    Pure Genius

    The suck your own c*ck joke is the just the funniest thing ever.
    I’m just waiting for the next evolutionary step.

    G’bye Bill

    Love ya.

  7. avd420

    All I want to say is. Thanks Bill.

  8. Guest

    Bill reminded me a lot of Lenny Bruce, without the extended improvisation. The same anger and outrage over the status quo is there...Every generation needs a comedic commentator of this caliber, so that we can really laugh instead of cry about such crap. I only wish he could've lived long enough to refine it even more, or that he could've been around for the latest Bush debacle. His bit on Barbara Bush and Rush Limbaugh is absolutely one of the funniest things I've ever heard in my life. Pure genius, that one, without a doubt!

  9. altimer5

    Bill is Awesome

  10. AlfBeta

    Glad I had a look, hadn't seen him before, or hardly heard, great.

  11. whydoI needtoputanametogetacal

    Bill Hicks was and is one of the greatest political, intelligent, and hilarious comedians. It is truly unfortunate that he died so soon, as I can only imagine how far his fame and message would be today.

  12. cezy

    Great man. So sad he's dead.

  13. Lord Bob Fates

    @Will, stick to Carrot Top and Dane Cook.

  14. Stand Up Comedy Specials

    He is one of the legends.

    Many have said that most of Denis Leary's work is copied heavily from Bill Hicks.

    Bill Hicks certainly made reference to this on many occasions. Who knows where he would be today or what level of success he would have achieved had he lived passed the young age of 32.

    Bill Hicks, a comedian's comedian.

  15. me

    Alex Jones is Bill Hicks in disquise...

    1. Epicurus

      no alex jones is a nut job who needs therapy and seroquil.

  16. eetwo

    Respect to Bill Hicks. He was a HUGE fan of Terence Mckenna. We need more people in the public eye, like him.

  17. Fuzzy Dunlop

    My 3 favourite comedians (not in order)

    Bill Hicks
    George Carlin
    Doug Stanhope

    1. woabash

      thats my same list nice;)

    2. Paul Hogan

      my list to with maybe dave chappelle added also

    3. bumpercrop

      Thanks for turning us on to Doug Stanhope. As Tallulah Bankhead was heard to utter from the Hitchcock film, "Lifeboat",
      "In a word, wow."
      Long live Bill Hicks, (and Carlin), long live laughing at human stupidity. Long live the Top Documentary Films community.

  18. Casey

    The acid news story joke and 'It's just a ride' should be played over and over till everyone gets it !! The best ever sum up of everything you need to know about life :) RIP Bill !

  19. Ivor

    Nice "clean" video, sure Bill would hate it, but he was a Genius, and like people that share the awareness about the false mask this society carries - he shared his idea with most of all religions and philosophical ideas that say - be aware, question world and work for the better of comunity - what Socrates, Budha, Konfucius, Jesus, Mohammad and many more, all say in their original writings - but over the time the classes that MANAGE society pollute and shape all preachings to their use, benefit.
    Bill was a fighter for a free people, and by God he would have done amazing stuff... and he died at what, 33? I hope I got that wrong...

    Love you Bill, hope you liked the Ride.

  20. Danny in Ireland

    What a legend,you are sorely missed Bill,but never forgotten.


  21. Cinema

    The Joe Strummer of Comedy.

  22. ez2b12

    Its good to see the majority here got Bill. I miss him so much, he was the street corner profit for my little gang of heads I guess you'd say. His humor was very often pessimistic but I think he was better summed up by the bit he did at the end of the show. He obviousely thought we could change, even if we wouldn't. He obviousely held a deep honest love for mankind even though he was able to see our faults clearly- and for that i applaud him. The good ones always die sooner than we would like, we should honor them by trying to absorb their message and truly understand it in the context of our lives. Bill made it easy to listen and hard not to think about what you had heard, what a gift.

  23. Al vaporis

    26m.26sec. look at those heroin eyes;) /

  24. Al vaporis

    26m.26sec. look at those heroin eyes;)

  25. Joanne Landers

    I miss that man :)

  26. Milton Babb

    I'm not Bill Hicks or George Carlin or Thomas Jefferson but I know what is wrong with our country, I would be able to fix it (USA) if I were President.
    Milton Babb for president by public acclaim.

  27. nickozzy

    well damn this was a good bio... not great but good. Bill was by far the best part! People like these are great. A dying breed for sure. Why cant everybody be like this instead of bein pricks. RIP BILL YOUR IMPRESSION HAS BEEN MADE!!!!

  28. narentheone

    the greatest social critic / comedian ever.... even surpasses george carlin... never backed down, never went mainstream.

  29. Brian Cohen

    This is my kind of comedian. Bill told it like it is,and exposed the many incongruities in our reality and the status quo.One of the greats.

  30. Grimeandreason

    R.I.P indeed, were I to believe in that sort of thing. When I first saw his stand up, I didnt realise he was dead. I thought he was talking about Bush Jnr until he mentioned Dan Quayle.

    Hicks and John Peel are probably the only two famous people who would make my life considerably better were they to come back. We need more people like Hicks.

  31. Randy


    Absolutely! What would he have said about these times?

    *sigh* What a great loss to us all...

  32. phil88

    f--king brilliant, RIP hicks. I only wish he were alive today, would love to hear his take on the war on terror, global warming and the economical state. Too bad americans are so heavily dumbed down to dismiss this legend, he will always have a fond place in the hearts of so many brits...

  33. Randy

    @Christpuncher (fantastic name!)

    I love Hicks, but I, too, am a follower of, my personal guru, The Great Philosopher- George Carlin!

    My brother Irishman, Carlin, opened my eyes to so much, he was like my own personal jesus! (Boy, would he ever punch me for saying that!)

    The day he died, whew... did I ever "tie one on" in his honor... I had my own Irish wake for him!

  34. ChristPuncher

    You shoulod notice that it isnt a correlation between people speaking their mind, but what professions they all got into. The entertainment industry is a killer.

    I dont think anyone spoke their mind anymore freely than the late great george carlin, and he was a wrinkly old nutsack when he stopped making us laugh for eternity. So there goes that theory!

  35. BoB

    If Bill was here now he'd be really pissed off with all of us 'cos it hasnt got any better. Everything he said is happening all the time. Little countries. Big Guns. Bullies. narrow minds. Jimi, janis, jim, Bob, John, Bill etc etc gone too soon. Anyone speaking the truth goes (very quickly) . funny that . . . not being a conspiracy theorist here, just my view. I'm going for a Ride. My girlfriend thinks people are essentially good and locks her car door - I think we're essentially bad - but leave my car unlocked to give y'all a chance to shape up.

  36. DancingSpiderman

    Annie, maybe Jay Leno didn't hate Bill Hicks; maybe Jay wasn't so petty as to "hate" people who hated him.
    Hate, a word that is often misused and used wayyy too often.
    Would the word dislike be more apropos?

  37. annie from Fremantle

    Bill hated Jay Leno and here he is, arse kissing.

  38. Milton Babb

    DancingSpiderman? Guess you didn't think of anything clever to say, too smoked up huh.

  39. Randy

    Bill Hicks was a great, great, great man that I loved and who spoke for me.

    I am still sad, to this day, that he died at a young age. His story mirrors mine very closely.

  40. DancingSpiderman

    Whenever I desire to hear someone, other than me talking to myself, accurately sum up the current status of various aspects of our Reality, I listen to the rants of truth by people like Bill Hicks. To all the h8ers, the truth doesn't hurt when you let go of your brainwashed Point Of View. Moral: Don't invest so much Time/Effort/Money/Emotion on sugar-coated jingoistic cover-ups. Take off the shades; you don't look cool in them anyway.

    RIP Bill Hicks. You were #1. #2 is barely good enough.

    I'm gonna relax, wind down now, and listen to some Brian Regan comedy. "...what's the plural of box? BOXEN..."

  41. Milton Babb

    We laugh at the Irony of our stupidity. In that instance the laughter preserves our sanity in the face of terrible facts. That is what Hicks did he delivered the bad news that we would not see on the evening news and lets us laugh at him so that we would not go insane, knowing that we were powerless to do anything to save ourselves.

    Milton Babb for president

  42. Milton Babb

    ? Did Hicks die of the same disease that killed John Lennon?

    1. cezy

      is this irony or do you genuinely think that being shot is a disease?

    2. David Rodrigues

      bill didnt get shot...did of cancer wasnt it?

    3. cezy

      I was replying to this post by milton something: "Did Hicks die of the same disease that killed John Lennon? "
      now that the replies are not linked to the original comment is quite hard to follow the conversation

    4. jbanana

      5 gunshots to the back isn't a disease.

  43. Eff

    Bill saw the grim reality of the troubled world's state of being and said something about it. He took people's controlled minds out of the closet dusted them off, and turned them inside out.

    I can just imagine? What he thought or may have said about the corporate comedians like Lettermen...something like: F*** YOU DAVE...I am GOD! And I don't kiss anyone's ass... (can't wait to view the Bill Hicks Story). Now if they could only find someone like Bill and get him into the White house.

  44. LJRabq

    It's always interesting to see the different responses Mr. Hicks provokes. For those who think he was not funny, well then please go listen to someone on your own level and stop with your petty need to denigrate those you don't understand. For the rest of us, we'll continue to enjoy his work and mourn his all-too-short life. Rock on Bill.

  45. tim

    Funny or not, you got the message which is the main reason he did what he did.

  46. Will

    Yah, yah... best comic ever.

    Yah, yah... Most ingenious mind to grace the stage.

    Yah, yah... Greatest comedic mind to ever live.

    Except, of course... assuming you forget the fact that nothing he said was EVER funny, ever.

    Not saying he's not right. Not saying he didn't have a point or didn't have somethign to say, but c'mon... He's just not f--king funny!


    He's right. What he says is true... he's just not funny.


    P.S. And, by the way, having the last word be "And God opened himself up to Bill and said 'Welcome home'..." and all that nonsense just goes to show how people fail to understand what this guy was all about, even the people who claim to know him best.

  47. Brent

    Possibly the greatest comedian of all time. A truth teller, which is what kept him essentially unknown. The world needs more people like him. Wonderful.

  48. kyle

    Very informative and thoroughly entertaining. RIP Bill Hicks

  49. Squeegee

    THEE best comic to grace a stage, period! The John Lennon of comedy. This was my first introduction to Bill about 10yrs ago now, and after reading 2 books and seeing nearly every piece of footage available online I realise how poor this documentary and especially the geusts were. I mean who thought Letterman or Leno would be good people to comment on Bill. He was surely rolling in his grave.

    I strongly recommend (Vlatko if you could please link) the accompanying show in London as its one of his best.

    For all you fans out there, start salivating as a true fan has made a documentary called American: The Bill Hicks Story due to be released in March '10 :) WITH COMMENTS FROM HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY, not that censoring corporate shill Letterman and "comics" who barely knew him.

  50. mazzy

    I first heard of Bill Hicks through some clips of his material included in the album 'Aenima' by Tool. He is one of my favorites now. Look up 'bill hicks and his dog' on you tube, it is sidesplitting!

  51. tim

    Not watched the doc yet,there is a great clip on you tube when Bill really loses it with a female heckler.

  52. john

    also wanted to add that just recently david letterman aired the segment that got cut way back when. they made a big deal about it and invited his mom to come on the show and sit next to dave while they broadcast it. im sure you could see it on youtube if you search for it.

  53. john

    Hey, i had heard about bill hicks... but wasnt very familair with his material except for a few clips i had watched here in there of some of his stand up. thought it was a great documentary, and even better if you are a fan of his. really interesting story, peppered with some of his famous 'controversial' material that is quite funny at times. would recommend!