I cannot believe that it’s been 16 years since the legendary American comedian Bill Hicks died. I included him on a previous post I made about the 32 Most Influential Comedians. It only seems like yesterday that I had discovered his comedy on a compilation cassette tape (told you it
was a long time ago) when I heard that he’d died. Channel 4 aired a tribute show called “It’s Just a Ride” which also featured his last U.K. performance titled “Revelations”.
Here’s the quote that inspired that documentary’s title and also the
title of this post: “The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round.
“It has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question – is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say ‘Hey! Don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.’ And we…kill those people”.
I still think there’s a lot that we are comedians and humorous speakers can learn from Hicks. If you can’t get beyond his profanity then you’ve missed the point of what a great wordsmith, comedian and “preacher” (his words) he was.
There has been so much written about Bill Hicks over the years that I don’t want to add anything to that. I’ll just leave you with an extract of material that talks about the first Gulf War (and had strange a resonance on the second)
Here’s a quote from Bill Hicks that adorned his comedy albums contains “everything your parents hate, everything your church preaches against, and everything your government fears. Enjoy”.
(This clip is 4m 54secs)
Additional information can be found over at the Bill Hicks website.