Sunday 18 February 2018

Want to feel old? Bill Hicks died 20 years ago today

Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks
Anders Breivik
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of a man who is, for many, the single most important thinker and commentator of the last few decades.

Normally, that's the kind of sentence guaranteed to have the sceptical frantically turning to the next page. After all, few people have the time to wade through some tedious tribute to someone they had never heard of, particularly when it's a comedian. Let's be honest, comedy lovers have a tendency to react as hysterical fan boys, regardless of our age and to the irritation of others, when it comes to speaking about our favourite performers.

But in this case, above all, I'd suggest the sceptics hold off on turning the page. Because William Melvin Hicks, who died at 32 from pancreatic cancer, was no ordinary comedian. After all, how many comedians have their own motion passed in the House of Commons, no less, which said "that this House notes with sadness the 10th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks, on 26th February 1994"?

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