- THIS IS THE FIRST EVER DVD RELEASE OF THIS HISTORIC PERFORMANCE FILM, WITH A MAJOR UPGRADE AND BONUS EXTRAS! - THE FIRST FULL-LENGTH BILL HICKS PERFORMANCE EVER FILMED! - 120 + MINUTES - INCLUDES RARE HICKS MATERIAL, NOT SEEN OR HEARD ON PREVIOUS RELEASES - BONUS EXTRAS INCLUDE: OUTTAKES FROM SANE MAN, HICKS BIOGRAPHY, PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN FOOTAGE FROM THE EARLY HOUSTON OUTLAW YEARS, HICKS AS "THE KING" (IN FULL SUIT!), "HICKS ON TV" ESSAY, ...ANDA FEW SURPRISES!
Comic Bill Hicks's star shone so bright and emitted such intense heat that he almost seemed destined to die before his time--which he did, at age 32 in 1994. But while he was here, Hicks's brilliance enabled him to thrive in circumstances that were sometimes less than ideal. On Flying Saucer Tour Vol. 1
, he turned a gig in front of "the worst audience I've ever faced" into a triumph; and here on Sane Man
, an hour-long, early-career performance recorded in 1989 in Austin, TX, the force of his personality and humor overcome some nagging technical problems. In what amounts to a glorified home video, the picture is grainy and the audio is indistinct; the latter is the bigger problem, as it lessens the impact of Hicks's delivery. But his sheer presence--not just what he says, but his restless physicality and wild vocalisms--eventually trump those distractions. Fans will recognize many of these bits, as Hicks's riffs on smoking, drinking (he was newly sober at the time), and drugs ("not only do I think pot should be legal, it should be mandatory") were staples of his repertoire throughout his career. So were his takes on pop music, but although they're somewhat dated now (cf. potshots at Kenny Rogers and George Michael), they provide the funniest and most extreme moments here, including a hilariously raunchy fantasy involving Debbie Gibson and Tiffany that proves yet again that Hicks had no peer when it came to pure, unalloyed bile. Sane Man
's bonus features are generous, to say the least: an extended (by about 20 minutes) version of the main feature, lengthy clips from other performances, a long text bio, and even a CD/DVD "Hicksography" with audio clips accompanying every entry. --Sam Graham