Video of the 1993 Bill Hicks stand-up routine that didn’t air on Letterman until now

by Caleb Reading

The three videos are below (the third is the routine).  Some background from Wikipedia:

On October 1, 1993, about five months before his death, Hicks was scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman, his twelfth appearance on a Letterman late night show (his prior 11 appearances having been on Late Night with David Letterman), but his entire performance was removed from the broadcast – the only occasion, up to that point, in which a comedian’s entire routine had been cut after taping. Both the show’s producers and CBS denied responsibility. Hicks expressed his feelings of betrayal in a hand-written, 39-page letter to John Lahr of The New Yorker.[8] Although Letterman later expressed regret at the way Hicks had been handled, he did not appear on the show again. The full account of this incident was featured in a New Yorker profile by Lahr. This profile was later published as a chapter in John Lahr’s book, Light Fantastic.[9]

Mary Hicks appeared on the Friday, January 30, 2009 The Late Show. Letterman played Hicks’ routine in its entirety.[10] [11] Letterman took full responsibility for the original censorship, apologized to Mary Hicks, Bill’s mother, and declared he didn’t know what he had been thinking when he pulled the routine from the original show. Letterman said, “It says more about me as a guy than it says about Bill because there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.”