part of his act

Part of His Act
by steve hellyard swartz
So I’m sitting with Bill Hicks, this is 1986, mid-winter in Austin at The Comedy Workshop, and Bill’s done for the night Bill’s been a royal pain in the ass since he arrived the day before, but I will give him this – he’s fucking brilliant, I’ve seen his act twice now and it’s amazing, smart, insane, but brilliant all the same, but he’s such a pain, staring through the haze of his millionth cigarette, that All Good Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes superior smirk, I want to just ditch the bitch, get some takeout, go home, watch re-runs of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
So okay Bill Let’s call it a night, what do you say? Time to roll?
In the parking lot of the motel that night, Bill rolled down the window of my car, even though it was a cold February night, lit another smoke
Bill’s got a theory Bill believes it wasn’t James Earl Ray that shot and killed Dr. King Bill believes it was Fran Tarkenton, the Viking quarterback?
I laugh I look out to the access road of 35 You got something in the fridge, Mr. Manager? You wanna take a shit, Mr. Manager? Well, just remember this night, sitting here with the great Bill Hicks, cuz one day this is all gonna be mine This whole goddamned motel is gonna be mine Then you’ll be sorry, loser
1992 Walking through Greenwich Village, I see this sign outside a club ONE NIGHT ONLY COMIC BILL HICKS I go inside, walk down a flight of stairs, and there he is, smoking a cigarette, riffing on how he doesn’t drink anymore or do drugs Bill sweating, his drink too
Bill: It’s a fucking club soda! This is my cross to bear! Why? Cuz Bill Hicks feels too much! Bill pours the drink on his head, his cigarette fizzes, his arms Jesus’ed in a too-tight jacket
The crowd is laughing, clapping Bill doing the Christ on the cross routine I leave my drink untouched, cross to the stairs As I go upstairs, Bill shouts into the mike: Do I know you? Do I know you? Huge laughs
I mean – Jesus Christ! Do I fucking know you?
I’m not sure when it was, a year after that night in the Village, two? I read that Bill Hicks had died

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