AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story

| May 4, 2011

Bill HIcks’ name might not be the first that comes to one’s mind when comedians are mentioned. Certainly he never achieved the level of immortality of someone like Johnny Carson or Bill Cosby. But his immeasurable impact on the world of comedy is something that should be as well known, and well-revered.
The fantastic, interesting film American: The Bill Hicks Story seeks to educate about Mr. Hicks’ amazing, tragically brief, life and career. Told in a fascinating combination of live interviews and animated sequences, it is a comprehensive and engrossing blow-by-blow of Mr. Hicks’ life; from beginning to end.
Contributors from Mr. Hicks’ family give intimate portraits of his childhood and formative years, while fond recollections from his close friends and fellow comedians enumerate his adulthood and career.
The film’s creative team, Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas, chose to use beautiful photos of Mr. Hicks from all stages of his life, and use them to create animated sequences that are so real it is startling. The audience gains an intimacy and understanding of Hicks that could only be completed by actual commentary or interviews from the man himself. It gives him such relevancy, such life and vibrance, that it makes it only the more upsetting to reach the ending of the film and endure the painful death of this great man.
Although at times during the animation, one wishes one might see the face of the person telling the story that is being portrayed through picture, it is still an amazing, innovative, beautiful way of storytelling, one that really sets this film apart from other biographies of its kind. It is essential not only for Hicks fans, but for anyone who even has a passing interest in comedy history.

About the Author:

Heather Trow is a nursing assistant and part-time writer. When she is not writing, she is listening to the popular podcast "NEVER NOT FUNNY". Actually, at any given time, most likely, she is listening to the podcast. It's pretty much all she does besides work. It is her favorite thing.
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