Seventeen years after his death, Bill Hicks has taken a permanent place in the cultural landscape and is widely recognized as one of the greatest American comedians of the modern era. Described as many things - philosopher, social satirist, even preacher - Hicks was ultimately a performer who, for many, changed what comedy could be. He believed that comedy played a vital role in any free and just society, and that the comedian, a free spirit detached from political or corporate agendas, was able to voice what others wouldn't, challenging convention and presenting ideas that would stimulate the minds of the audiences. Hicks had no difficulty making people laugh- but what he really wanted to do was make them think. His life tragically cut short at the age of 32, Hicks' timeless material lives on, revered today by both comedians (many who cite him as an influence) and fans alike. Hicks' remarkable journey is brought to life in the documentary feature AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY. Combining revealing new interviews from those who knew him best with a bold new photographic animation technique, AMERICAN takes the audience inside Hicks' unfolding life story using archival footage and animated photographs, many from Hicks' personal collection and previously unseen. It's a film that innovates, inspires, and outrages- while being funny as hell in the process.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Recounts a bright-burning life while leaving us mostly in the dark.Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 04.07.2011
Ultimately, the doc comes off as yet another reminder that, in showbiz and elsewhere, one of the greatest tragedies in life is unfulfilled promise.Joe Leydon, Variety, 04.15.2011
Posthumous albums and now this film are securing his legacy and enduring influence.Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, 04.14.2011
A portrait of the short-lived artist that will move fans while letting the uninitiated witness enough onstage highlights to leave them wanting more.John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, 04.15.2011