I’ve got this idea for a book, when I get the time, called Everything You Know Is Wrong. Its job will be to attack all the idiot received ideas of our age — what my father-in-law calls ‘notions’. High on the list of candidates, most definitely, is the commonly held belief (especially among stand-up comics) that Bill Hicks was the greatest comedian who ever lived.
Would people be saying this if Hicks hadn’t died of pancreatic cancer at 32? Probably not. Dead young people are so much easier to project your fantasies of unimpeachable greatness on to than people who are alive and fat and ageing and part of the establishment and just not as funny as they used to be. ‘He never sold out,’ say all his fans. Well, sure. He never had the time.
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