What you readin’ for?

Comedians, Comedy

A line from a Bill Hicks’ routine. Even though he died at just 32, the great American stand-up comedian had been performing for more than half his life.

The first few years he would sneak into licensed comedy venues underage to make the people laugh aloud, loudly. And think.

When I was creating the first Memory Pop, Hicks was one of the first pins. Twenty years plus on from his death in 1994 from cancer, Hicks still lives large in my memory for his brilliance.


Bill Hicks, tab in hand

A reminder for everyone of how relevant Hicks remains with the bit about ‘readin’ from all those years ago:

“You know I’ve noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough. I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I’m sitting there and I’m eating and reading a book. I don’t know anybody, I’m alone, I’m eating and I’m reading a book. This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) ‘what you readin’ for?’…wow, I’ve never been asked that; not ‘What am I reading’, ‘What am I reading for?’ Well, goddamnit, you stumped me…I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don’t end up being a fuckin’ waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list. Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says [mocks Southern drawl] ‘Well, looks like we got ourselves a readah’…aahh, what the fuck’s goin’ on? It’s like I walked into a Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better.”

I also created a badge from a ticket of a gig I went to.


Less than a tenner



I had three pints of beer with a friend from Glasgow before going in and needed the toilet the minute Hicks took to the stage to the sound of heavy metal. It wasn’t just how funny he was that saw me risk wetting myself. I didn’t go to the loo because I didn’t want to miss a second. I didn’t wet myself. Honest. But I am now considering a job as a waffle waitress.

There are other special comedians on the Memory Pop to keep Hicks, a true original, company.

Forgive me!



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