Monday, February 2, 2009

The Brief (and Welcome) Return of Bill Hicks to Television

This is amazing.

My brother and I were walking around Green Lake on Friday and our conversation turned to the topic of stand-up comedians. This inevitably got me talking about how great Bill Hicks was and how welcome his voice would have been these last 8 years.

I had watched the Bill Hicks Live DVD the night before and couldn't get over how funny it was and just how well his material has held up. What also struck me was how humble and genuinely upset David Letterman sounded in the documentary portion of the DVD for having cut Bill Hicks's last performance from his show (unaware, of course, that it would be his last performance).

And, man... what I would have given to see his last Letterman performance.

So, guess what played later that evening?

Bill Hicks on Letterman, Finally
(via TV Eye):
"A 1993 standup performance by Bill Hicks on David Letterman that was cut from the telecast 15 years ago finally saw light of day on an unusual episode of 'Late Show with David Letterman' on Friday.

Suddenly awash with guilt for cutting the performance in its entirety, months before the edgy comic died of pancreatic cancer, Letterman not only showed the entire performance, he also invited the comic's mother, Mary Hicks, on the show so he could say how sorry he was for the whole thing.

'Let me again apologize for the heartache and sadness my decision caused your family,' Letterman told the white-haired lady.

'I appreciate you saying that,' she said."
And I thought Letterman seemed humble before.

I'm not sure how long it will be online but you can see a video of it here. (The site doesn't give the option to embed.) I won't comment on the material so you can enjoy it on your own (we can discuss it in the comments if you'd like), but I will say 2 things:
  1. When I watched it, they preceded it with a Christina Aguilera Target commercial. Does anyone see the head-shaking irony of including that before a Bill Hicks clip?
  2. Can't lie, hearing the David Letterman of 2009 say "Here's the very funny... Bill Hicks" got me all choked up.

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