Saturday, January 31, 2009

Letterman shows Bill Hicks' banned performance

Last night, Letterman had Mary Hicks on his show. She's the mother of the late, groundbreaking comedian Bill Hicks.

The occasion? Letterman's apology for removing Bill Hicks' performance from the Late Show back in 1993. I wrote about it a couple of days ago here.

The interview was quite touching. Letterman was hard on himself, taking responsibility for removing the segment from his show, and saying, "It probably says more about the kind of guy that I am than the kind of guy that Bill was."

Mary Hicks accepted Letterman's apology, but not before telling him how much pain he had caused the family in 1993; unbeknownst to Letterman, Hicks was fighting cancer at the time of the performance and had moved back in with his parents, who looked after him until he died.

What's most interesting and surprising about the performance is how clean Hicks actually is; he doesn't swear once. Clearly, it was Hicks' take on pro-lifers and Jesus that made Letterman queasy back in the day. My favorite part doesn't get much of a laugh - the tag about going "hog wild" is a classic Hicks moment.

The performance:

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