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Bill Hicks: The Lost Hour

March 8, 2009

A 63 minute set by Bill Hicks from the weeks after his axing from the Letterman Show (see the first post in this blog) has seen the internet light of day.
Those very au fait with his final album Rant in E-Minor and the fact that he knows he is dying of pancreatic cancer, will recognise the cathartic score settling Hicks is indulging in. In this case, it’s the Letterman show controversy itself.
It’s not classic Hicks and is an often uncomfortable hour, you can clearly hear some groans and ‘oh no’s’ as Hicks runs through his deeply felt upset.
There are, however, some brilliant lines – ‘Gee, I don’t know whether I can learn to juggle that quickly,’ is one when he recounts being asked to come back on the show a fortnight later to do less controversial material.
Letterman has since aired a wonderful tribute to Hicks, including an interview with the comic’s mum Mary (and a touchingly sincere apology for his own censorship).
Hicks’ set is a much watered down version of the Rant… anti pro-life segment, but shows his ability to tailor material to an audience.
Also, who else has the class or chutzpah to successfully start a usually anodyne Letterman set with the punchline: ‘Let’s hunt and kill Billy Ray Cyrus?’

Have a look at both:
Hicks lost hour

Letterman apology

Hicks’ Letterman set

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