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NEW YORK TIMES: ARTS | ON COMEDY

Bill Hicks, Revived on Video

to Jar Viewers Out of Apathy


The oeuvre of the comic Bill Hicks (in 1991) is coming to video and will be available on demand.
Credit



Years ago, the comedian Bill Hicks began one of his stand-up specials with a video of himself riding a white horse and wearing a cowboy hat while talking about fighting corruption and evil. In another, he walked onstage in a black turtleneck sweater, arms extended like a guru welcoming his acolytes. He called himself a “dark poet” and an artist trying “to illuminate the collective unconscious and help humanity.”

Mr. Hicks regularly attacked the marketing of artists, but he was also pretty good at it. The theater critic John Lahr was one of his first and most committed champions in the media, celebrating his “messianic mission to attack America’s unrelenting refusal to think.” Mr. Hicks, he wrote, was “the real Dionysian deal.”

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