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Totally Bill Hicks
featuring: Bill Hicks, David Letterman, Eric Bogosian, and Eddie Izzard

directors: Chris Bould, Rupert Edwards

116 minutes (18) 1994
VCI Channel 4 DVD Region 2 retail
Also available to buy on video
[released 16 September]

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Rob Marshall
In the world of film, black comedy is an acceptable, if unavoidably disreputable form of entertainment. This form of humour may translate to the stage and TV as alternative comedy, and there can be little doubt in the collective subconscious of western audiences that the late Bill Hicks (who died tragically in 1994) was alt comedy's uncrowned king. Or, perhaps, it's dark prince?

Sometimes, his blatant sexism might be offensive, but there's little doubt Hicks' apparent misogyny was simply an act. Any yet, unlike many stand-up superstars, who simply write terrific gags with little more than entertainment value, it's clear that Hicks passionately believed in much of what he said on stage or TV, and his humour was structured around a personal philosophy, rather than merely leading to a punchline. He was a stalker of jokes, targeting ignorance and bigotry with a determinedly confrontational attitude, which upset some American TV executives and got him banned from a premier talk show.

This DVD features the celebratory tribute to Hicks' comedy, It's Just A Ride, in which David Letterman, Sean Hughes, Jay Leno, Eric Bogosian, Eddie Izzard and others discuss the comedian's appeal and his typically outrageous material. These interviewees offer their insights into what made Hicks so angry about the state of the world. Hicks' final live performance was at the Dominion Theatre, London. It was filmed with the title, Revelations, and that too is preserved uncut on this disc.