American: The Bill Hicks... (2009)

# 14762 IMDb Not Rated 

American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009

taglineThe greatest comic of his generation. Kicked ass. Took names. Changed the game.

By Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas

Documentary, Animation, Biography, Comedy (1h 42min)


Fine! Rated 7.8 after 4,506 votes on 03-Oct-18.

3 nominations


Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best.

Popular faces

Bill Hicks Dwight Slade Paul Provenza (producer)


Bill Hicks (Himself (archive footage)), Dwight Slade (Himself, friend of Bill Hicks), Mary Hicks (Herself, Bill Hicks' mother), Steve Hicks (Himself), Lynn Hicks (Herself), Kevin Booth (Himself), James Ladmirault (Himself), David Johndrow (Himself), John Farneti (Himself), Andy Huggins (Himself), Steve Epstein

Produced by

Rachel Barke (associate producer: RDF), Suzanne Gilfillan (commissioning editor: BBC), Matt Harlock (producer), Mark Lesbirel (associate producer: RDF), Paul Provenza (associate producer: USA), Paul Thomas (producer)


IMDb Comment

Bill Hicks had built up a large and very loving fan base in his adopted home of the UK before his sad and early departure. One of life's many contradictions is that the country that spawned a genius also spurned him, most notably David Letterman scrapping his final (of many) appearances on the late show. Bill felt it was a mere biological coincidence (listen to his routines) that he happened to be a Texan, and this comedian and social commentator belonged to the whole world rather than just two countries on either side of the Atlantic. He belonged to the whole world in my opinion because he had such a relevant and timeless message, that fuelled every polemic routine. I've been a fan of Hicks since I was 18 years old, making many of the discoveries this guy had made at the same age. For anyone who regards themselves alive enough to cherish self awareness and to contemplate questions such as why do the good guys die and the twisted little men thrive in their place, tune into Hicks (not Fox News). Fitting given his fan base that this documentary was made with love by two British directors. As I said, I consider myself a huge fan, but this film shed light on an already big star, especially his formative years and relationships with his friends and family. 'American' is a journey, a ride, and one you'll be very glad you came along on.


A year before his death, Bill Hicks appeared on the David Letterman show. Letterman judged his segment to be substandard and so cut it from the subsequent show. He did not know that Hicks was dying of pancreatic cancer at the time. 15 years later, in January 2009, Letterman invited Hicks's mother Mary onto the show as a belated form of apology.

7 total 


3 nominations 
Cinema Eye Honors Awards, US • Satellite Awards • SXSW Film Festival

Other titles

American: the Bill Hicks story (Finland (longer version)) • Bill Hicks, en kolossalt oförskämd typ (Finland (Swedish title)) • Bill Hicks, jumalaton rääväsuu (Finland) • The Bill Hicks Story (UK (working title)) • Американец: История Билла Хикса (Russia)



Australia:M / Canada:PG / Finland:K-12 / Ireland:15A / United Kingdom:15 / United States:Not Rated



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