Modern standup has been around in one form or another since vaudeville, but it’s only been since the late ‘70s that the standup special has gained traction as the crowning achievement of a successful comic. Fortunately, the beginnings of the standup special were as fertile as rock ‘n’ roll’s birth 25 years prior, with many of the all-time greats setting templates right from the start.
The material always comes first, of course, but as a video document of a honed act it’s also important to appreciate the visual elements — the framing, editing, and backdrop — and how they enhance or detract from the pacing and quality of the jokes. [...]
Early next year, fake gladiator Russell Crowe is set to make his directorial debut with a movie about comedy legend Bill Hicks. The film was written by Mark Staufer, a screenwriting newbie/high school friend of Crowe's. Crowe was originally rumored to play Hicks but that's thankfully no longer the case. Hicks does have a very interesting, tragic story and would've undoubtedly hated however this film will get marketed.
It’s no secret that sometimes comedy is taken a bit too seriously. Comedy obsessives love not just the jokes, but the mechanics and emotions of the comedy world. There are a raft of comedy documentaries exploring comedy and comedians, but do they really have anything significant to add to the discussion? This series looks at comedy documentaries and whether they’re interesting, insightful, and possibly even…funny?
Bill Hicks is a legend. His name is spoken in rarefied tones; his reputation is outlandish. He was loud and mean, with a cigarette always in hand, screaming at the world and his own audience.
Unlike I Am Comic or Comedian , [...]
The late Bill Hicks always reminded me of Johnny Cash — perhaps it’s a combination of the black suit, Southern twang, and onstage chain smoking (some of his best bits are about whiny non-smokers). Plus, in his HBO special, he wears a cowboy hat. Both Hicks, a Texan, and Cash, an Arkansasian, seemed to tap into that uniquely Southern vein of Americanism that is equal parts idealism and rage; none of your New York-style flippant irony here.
But while Cash enjoyed mainstream success and lived to a ripe old age, Hicks died at 32 and achieved only moderate fame in the U.S., where he’s known as a “comedian’s comedian,” [...]
The first offering from Aye Jay's Pop Sub Print Club is a series of four 7-inch screenprints, all based on comedians. You've got BillHicksFits, Lärrydavhead, Constanzig and a print of Don Rickles. The club sends you a different set of four prints based around a different theme every month. I'm guessing the next set won't focus on comedians, but they should turn some of these into t-shirts. They'd be surprised how many Seinfeld nerds are also really into 80's Metal. [via]