Bill Hicks vs. CBS
After his 12th and final performance on CBS’ Late Night, Bill Hicks likened his association with David Letterman’s show as an “Abusive Relationship,” with him playing the role as the beaten wife.
“Standards and Practices” and “Network Hypocrisies” are two extended bits (20 minutes) in the middle of Bill’s October 7, 1993 performance at The Comedy Corner in West Palm Beach, Florida, his first after CBS refused to air his twelfth appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (October 1, 1993).
With the CBS rejection fresh on his mind, Bill aims his pointed and often pornographic opinion at the “offensive” corporate culture of American network television. In doing so, Hicks recalls (repeats) both his first and last Letterman sets (1988/1993).
Standards and Practices?
This rare, bootleg recording (often misidentified online) was taped by Miami Herald editorial cartoonist Jim Morin, as he sat with Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel photographer Jim Virga and me at a table in the back of The Comedy Corner, the West Palm Beach club that Bill called home for the last three years of his life.
We were three of the fortunate forty who saw one of Bill’s finest final performances. Four months later, the pancreatic cancer Bill had fought (and performed with) for nearly two years had killed him.
America’s most powerful left-wing voice, truthful social commentator, and best stand-up comedian had been silenced. Bill was 32 years old when he died.