I have never been big on Halloween, partly because I am bitter towards it as a holiday. My birthday is October 30, and thus I hold a grudge against Halloween for distracting people from the important task of lavishing me with attention on that date. This year, however, I found the kind of Halloween-related event I can really get behind. A comedian friend organized a cover show in the spirit of the holiday, and several of us did short sets as comedians that have been particularly influential to us. So that's why, for approximately 12 minutes on Wednesday evening, I was Bill Hicks:
Goat Boy rises
It was the most fun I had doing…anything, really, in the past year. Part of that statement reflects how much the past year has sucked for me. The rest reflects how exciting and rewarding it was to play make believe for a few minutes.
Two things were especially interesting. One is how awkward it felt to get silence from some of the material. But in reality, if you listen to any recordings of Hicks before he started to become semi-popular and build an audience, he's mostly met by a wall of silence. Listen to Dangerous with decent headphones and you'll realize that nearly all of the laughter is canned, added during the production process. People mostly just stared at this guy when he performed, excepting his more devoted following in the UK. After the show one of my friends told me "Well, they were all staring at you, which means you nailed it." Second, it's really hard to do someone else's jokes. Or to adopt someone else's persona. Or delivery. Or accent. Or whatever.
The previous statement is inapplicable to my friend Nate Mitchell, who did Emo Phillips so perfectly it was kind of scary (not to mention funnier than the actual Emo Phillips):
Way to set the bar high, Nate. Unfortunately I couldn't turn myself into a fat, sweaty, pasty, mulleted Bill Hicks in terms of appearance, but I think I did the material a bit of justice. Even though most of you don't care, it was a pretty big deal for me. What with the channeling dead heroes and all.