Am I in favor of a Bill Hicks biopic? Of course. Despite being the most intelligent, thoughtful, dark, hilarious stand-up comedian in the history of guys telling jokes to an audience, Bill Hicks is still relatively unknown. At least in the states. In Britain, he is worshiped for the comedy profit he is and it was in Britain that I first learned about him. Still, you can see his influence in the more popular “indie” comedians of today: Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt and especially David Cross.
Bill Hicks died from cancer at age 32. This was, as they say, too young; not just because of his age, but because we desperately need Hicks around today. Hicks was angry. Anger was a huge part of his act. Of course, it wasn’t an act. When he was on stage, he utterly exposed his soul. You could see it and hear it. Probably touch it if you got close enough. He had a lot to be angry about. We were a nation involved in a futile war, having been driven there by a poor “Commander-in-Chief”. Mental junkfood filled our television networks and air waves. The American public had become a reactionary mob. Sound familiar?
Hicks saw through all of it and had the balls to talk about it plainly. He did this because it troubled him and he wanted to bring these problems to light so that we wouldn’t destroy ourselves. He also threw some jokes in there. He was a furious fireball surrounding a big white light of hope. I get misty just typing these words. I hate to sound all “Candle in the Wind” about it but I miss him terribly and I never even met him. He died when I was 16. I didn’t even learn about him until 2 years later. But at least I learned about him. And I want everyone to know about him. I want his message spread to the young people who still think comedy is Dane Cook and to the older folks who he somehow eluded. But not this way. Not with a two-dimensional, middle-aged goon filling his shoes.
I’m referring to Russell Crowe, the “actor” who is rumored to be donning black urban cowboy threads and learning to bellow into a microphone for an upcoming Bill Hicks biopic.
Well, I’m with those South Park boys. Russell Crowe is an awful person. That is why it literally pains me to hear there’s a good chance he will be the one bringing Bill Hicks into the collective consciousness. Since Hicks is still relatively obscure and Crowe is a big overrated movie star, his portrayal will become Bill Hicks’ shorthand. The worst part is that Bill Hicks would have hated Russell Crowe too. He would have loathed his vapid pseudodrama roles in A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man. And he would have been especially appalled by Crowe: the man whatwithwith his awful vanity band and hooligan tendencies.
So before this happens, I’m going to fire on all cylinders to spread the gospel of Hicks…the REAL Hicks. First, drop whatever you’re doing and spend the afternoon watching the man in action. Language is NSFW so wear headphones or sneak out of the office.
Next buy this book: “American Scream” is a fantastic biography. I knew the ending and I still bawled like a baby.
Finally, do yourself a favor and buy the entire audio catalog. Load up your ipod and jump into the River Hicks to, as the man himself would say, squeegee your third eye. That way you’ll know the truth on the day that Russell Crowe drops a metaphorical turd onto the memory of this great American poet.