AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Storyis a captivating animated documentary drama on the legendary Texas outlaw comic Bill Hicks, whose profound observations on American life changed the face of comedy forever. The film will be playing at the Belcourt Theatre May 2-5, preceded by sets from Nashville-based comedians Chris Crofton, Chad Riden, James Austin Johnson, Gary Fletcher and Sean Parrott.
The film has been called:
“a deeply perceptive, fittingly honest tribute…”
– London Film Festival
“inventive and daring…one of the few great docs for 2010 that has balls.”
“Visually fantastic….completely absorbing and incredibly entertaining”
– Aint It Cool News
Here’s the official trailer:
Bill’s “outlaw” comic reputation and his relentless search for truth with such a brilliant comedic mind has inspired and infuriated comedians at every level of success. Go to any open mic and you can spot young comics who have been listening to his albums – the same way you can identify a HUGE Mitch Hedberg fan or someone who watches a lot of Daniel Tosh. You can spot that influence in comics who haven’t figured out the unique way they are funny yet.
Among seasoned comics, there are guys who can rant about soulless politicians, corrupt religions, bullshit advertising, the ratings obsessed eye-candy media, and evil global corporations.. but not many can do that while being as hilarious and original as Bill Hicks was. Hicks was so good at what he did, it makes me constantly look at my act and think, “what crap!” (BTW, no need to write ‘yeah, me too’ in the comments, I KNOW.) It’s humbling when you take a look at how fantastic stand-up comedy can be.
Bill is such an iconic figure in the world of comedy.. and his story resonates with me on a personal level. I’m a stand-up comic from the South who has zig-zagged across the country doing shows at the Chuckle Huts in the Shithole type towns for years.. and I’ve felt that same frustration and desperation first hand. Bill’s story isn’t just hate-fueled drunken rants, though. The film covers his entire life – sneaking out of the house as a young teenager to go perform at the local club, his struggle on the road, his hate for Los Angeles, his success in the UK, his spiritual journeys and inspiration via psilocybin mushrooms, his fight with cancer, his sobriety, his success and eventual censorship on David Letterman’s show and his redemption when Letterman finally made that right. It’s an incredible film about a legend whose work is still very relevant today.
The film will be playing at the Belcourt Theatre May 2-5, preceded by sets from Nashville-based comedians on the different showings. Tuesday is Chris Crofton night. Wednesday’s late night showing has no special presentation at this time. Thursday night’s two showings will be presented by NashvilleStandUp and feature myself (Chad Riden) and James Austin Johnson at 8pm and Gary Fletcher and Sean Parrott at 10:20.
9:40pm: AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story (film only)
8pm: Chris Crofton, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story
10:20pm: AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story (film only)
10:30pm: AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story (film only)
8pm: Chad Riden, James Austin Johnson, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story
10:20pm: Gary Fletcher, Sean Parrott, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story
The Belcourt Theatre
2102 Belcourt Avenue
(Hillsboro Village behind Pangaea and the Villager Tavern)
A final word from Bill: