Iconoclastic comedian Bill Hicks' ferocious standup routines stomped where other comics feared to tread, targeting Christian Fundamentalists, the first Gulf War, advertising executives, non-smokers and pro-lifers. A regular on Letterman, his entire routine was removed from broadcast in 1993 for being too controversial. Just one year later, Hicks died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 32, but his reputation has continued to grow, thanks to a pair of posthumously released comedy albums. Today Bill Hicks is championed by a new generation of comics. Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas' documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story is the culmination of all this adulation -- a three-years-in-the-making labor of love that uses rare footage, animated photographs and interviews with friends and family to celebrate the comic's life. American: The Bill Hicks Story screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (July 8 through 10) in Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries). Tickets are $5 to $6.
July 8-10, 2011