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On Legendary Comedian Bill Hicks Was Definitely a Legend, but Was He a Comedian?

As with most of comedy, it's all about taste. Freud once wrote that the basic understanding of comedy was in making the meaningless meaningful, and/or making the meaningful meaningless. Can anyone deny that Bill Hicks was the definition of irreverence to just about all we took to be true or 'important'? He seemed to be a propagator of unity and understanding and hated the social and societal constructs we are all born into and never seem to shake. Personally, I feel that the greatest of comedians were philosophers at heart, because the only way to be able to effectively comment on society is to be an active part in it and observe your surroundings. I think that just because you find his mechanics of joke delivery easily dissected, doesn't negate the work that went into it. He was seasoned. He was in clubs every night. He got laughs, not all the time, but he got them. An excerpt in your article reads, "He cared about enlightening others, and he used comedy to do so." That statement could be used to describe many more comics than just the one you're besmirching now. I'm wondering where you found that definition for 'comedian', because it had never occurred to me that was the sole function of a comic. Just to get laughs. By this definition, it would seem that you would have hated George Carlin's last 20-30 years of work.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm 1