I checked out the stand-up comedian Bill Hicks. There were a bunch of videos of him on YouTube. He was good, but my feelings on him are mixed. Some of his work is pure genius, as far as forum flame wars are concerned. His piece on Rush “scat-munching” Limbaugh is of this variety. Or other ones where the jokes were a bit subsumed under the pure, unbridled righteous fury. But those pieces aren’t the works of a master comedian–they’re the works of someone with a very well-practiced filthy mind and mouth. In those pieces he doesn’t ridicule the people for their positions.
But he has other routines, like his ones on abortion or marketers, which are very funny, yet still very political. And, of course, there’s the clip of his infamous outburst at a heckler where he screamed, “HITLER HAD THE RIGHT IDEA, HE WAS JUST AN UNDERACHIEVER!” and went on to pray to God to give him 40 days and nights of rain to cleanse this planet of human filth. The man strikes a chord with my angry nihilist streak, and I appreciate his efforts in misanthropy for the greater good of humanity. (And, as you see more of his comedy, you realize he’s as socially liberal as anyone in politics right now, but he was saying it onstage 20 years ago. That certainly strikes me as fighting the good fight.)
I should track down his two albums of stand-up. I’m curious what’s in them that I can’t find on youtube.