This was passed along to me from Andy Kline about a Bill Hicks' tribute that will be on Letterman tonight. So if you're out at a bar somewhere at around 11:30 or midnight, have the bartender turn the TV to Late Night and tell everyone to shut-up for second. Or Tivo.
Bill Hicks was only 32 years old when he died of cancer in 1994. If you've never heard of him, or heard of him but didn't get a chance to see any of his work, tune into The Late Show with David Letterman this Friday night.
One of Letterman's guests will be Hicks' mom (the show was taped earlier this week). She'll be there to mark the 15th anniversary of Hicks' death. Now, this may seem like an odd thing for a talk show to do, have the mom of a deceased comic on, but there's special meaning behind this appearance. Just five months before his death, Hicks appeared on The Late Show and did a scathing stand-up routine (the kind he usually did) which attacked everything from religion to politics. Unfortunately, it was too hot for the show and the performance was never shown, and this really hurt Hicks. On Friday, Letterman is finally going to show the performance.
Hicks wasn't for everyone, but you have to admire how much he threw himself into his role as a stand-up comic. A lot of people say that Denis Leary borrowed a lot of his act from Hicks, and I don't know if that's true or fair, but I think it is fair to say that a lot of comics were heavily influenced by him. Russell Crowe might play Hicks in a movie.