Bill Hicks, Vindicated (16 Years Later)

Last night on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN , they did something really out of the ordinary. Letterman had Bill Hicks’s mother Mary on the show and then he aired the last stand-up segment that Hicks ever did for the show back on October 1, 1993. I don’t know if anyone else remembers this, but when Hicks originally did his act back then, it was yanked at the last second and not aired because he did some jokes that Letterman and his producers thought would offend some members of the audience. Hicks was furious about this backthen (I remember him going on The Howard Stern Show at the time, to rant about it). They actually taped this segment one month before Hicks died of pancreatic cancer (very few people knew he was dying).

For some people (myself included) Hicks is considered the king of all stand-up comics. The Elvis of funnymen. Which is why this was such a big deal.

So Letterman felt it was time to right an old wrong. He apologized for not airing the segment in 1993, and had Bill’s mother on to talk about Bill. Then they aired the stand-up (which was a killer set).

I’ve never seen someone do something like this before. Not only did Letterman actually apologize for something he did 16 years ago, but he also aired the segment in its entirety and devoted the whole show to Bill Hicks and his mother.  (The only non-Hicks guests were the band The Gaslight Anthem, who played at the very end, and were pretty good).

I came upon it completely by accident, and I’m not sure how much CBS publicized this, but it was a fucking milestone, and most people I know didn’t even know about it..

But it was cool as hell. Seeing  Bill perform again was really terrific. Glad I caught it.

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