Dying is typically a great career move for one of three reasons: Either the deceased would have been unable to top his or her earlier output creatively, would have made horrible life decisions or would have completely sold out and embraced everything they stood against. Two of those concerns were completely off the table when Bill Hicks tragically died at thirty-two. Comedy isn't like sports. Your heyday isn’t over by your early thirties. The great ones continue to get better and better. Just look at Bill Murray. He’s funny in a different way now, sure, but the timing and the off the cuff improv are better than ever. Selling out also wasn’t a concern with Bill Hicks. That was a man who would have given up everything before becoming head writer of some tired, clichéd sitcom. So, that just leaves us with the potential for horrible life decisions, and something tells me all of his fans would have taken a hooker scandal or a few marijuana charges in exchange for another ten brilliant, anti-establishment years.

Bill Hicks never had a hit movie, a big television show or even a stadium-sized following. He thrived and died screaming his message to the select people who cared to listen, but it’s a true testament to someone’s talent when his or her voice rings loudest amongst their peers. Bill Hicks is just as important to other comedians today as he was twenty years ago. He’s a god in certain circles, and while the new documentary chronicling his life will be unlikely to crush in Middle America, it will be very widely viewed within certain circles. The trailer debuted on YouTube today, and I implore you to take a look below…

Last year, Cinema Blend Head Honcho Josh Tyler called American: The Bill Hicks Story one of the best films of the year, and though I haven’t seen it, the subject matter, his recommendation and this trailer are enough to convince me. Often, documentaries are stuffy fare that can really drag, but one look at the interesting graphics in the trailer should be put those fears to rest. Plus, I would gladly watch an hour and a half of Bill Hicks stand-up without the story of his life included.

Bill Hicks may still be considered the greatest American comedian ever amongst some, but he’s beloved in the way Andy Kaufman or George Carlin are beloved, which is in no way similar to the way Jerry Seinfeld or Bill Cosby are beloved. If you love Bill Hicks, please go see this movie and bring a friend. If you’re unsure about whether you like Bill Hicks, please head over to YouTube and watch some stand-up. There will always be a place for his unique voice, you might just need to brush a few other people off and make room.

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