Matt Harlock is one of the directors of American: The Bill Hicks Story, a documentary about the legendary rebel comic which screened at South by Southwest. Harlock talked with us about the film in Austin, along with Hicks’ brother Steve.
The film tells the story of Bill Hicks, one of the most influential and incendiary comics of the last 25 years. Hicks started performing comedy as a teenager, but found his voice in his mid-20s. Inspired by a group of comics working out of the Comedy Workshop in Houston, Texas, Hicks was fiercely personal and fiercely political, as well. He struggled against drug and alcohol addiction, getting sober in the early 1990s. He became a major star in the UK (Harlock and his co-director Paul Thomas are English), but never achieved the national impact he’d like to have achieved in the United States. In late 1993, Hicks was diagnosed with cancer. He kept the diagnosis secret from all but his closest family. He passed in early 1994 at the age of 32.
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