- The idea of getting a, you know, syringe full of heroin and shooting it in the vein under my cock right now seems like almost a productive act.
- I'm Sorry Folks (1989); this title may refer to a bootleg recording of a live performance.
- [Someone in the crowd yells "Freebird"] Please quit yelling that. It's not funny, it's not clever; it's stupid, it's repetitive, why the fuck would you continue to yell that? I'm serious. [The same man yells something back] "Kevin Matthews"; okay, what does that mean, now? Now, what does it mean? I understand where it comes from, so do you. Now, what does it all mean? What is the culmination of yelling that? [The same man yells back again] Jimmy Shorts: he's not here, he's not gonna be here. Now what? Now where are we? We're here at you interrupting me again, you fucking idiot. That's you. You see, we are here at the same point again where you, the fucking peon masses, can once again ruin anyone who tries to do anything because you don't know how to do it on your own! That's where we're fucking at! Once again the useless wastes of fucking flesh that has ruined everything good in this goddamn world! That's where we're at! HITLER HAD THE RIGHT IDEA! HE WAS JUST AN UNDERACHIEVER! KILL 'EM ALL, ADOLF! ALL OF 'EM! JEW, MEXICAN, AMERICAN, WHITE, KILL 'EM ALL! START OVER! THE EXPERIMENT DIDN'T WORK! Rain 40 days, please fucking rain to wash these turds off my fucking life! Wash these human wastes of flesh and bones off this planet! I pray to you, God, to kill these fucking people! [Someone yells out "Freebird" once more] Freebird. [Falls back] And in the beginning there was the word, Freebird. And Freebird would be yelled throughout the centuries. Freebird, the mantra of the moron.
- I'm Sorry Folks (1989)
- I loved when Bush came out and said, "We are losing the war against drugs." You know what that implies? There's a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it.
- Just for Laughs Comedy Festival (1990)
- I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.
- Statement written weeks before his death in 1994, as quoted in "Unseen Bill Hicks Clip" in Esquire (3 February 2014)
- All governments are lying cocksuckers.
- It's all about money, not freedom, y'all, okay? Nothing to do with fuckin' freedom. If you think you're free, try going somewhere without fucking money, okay?
Sane Man (1989)
- Yeah, good to be here. I haven't been here in two years...[no applause]...thanks. It's that warmth I've missed in Austin. [Adding extra Southern drawl] So, we been here, ain't our fault you gotta travel around, shit. We supposed to follow you around? You supposed to be back here. What are you doin', where are you?
- Where have I been? I've been on my flying saucer tour. Which means like flying saucers I too have been appearing in small southern towns in front of a handful of hillbillies lately...no one doubts my existence.
- You know I've noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough. I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I'm sitting there and I'm eating and reading a book. I don't know anybody, I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book. This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) 'what you readin' for?'...wow, I've never been asked that; not 'What am I reading', 'What am I reading for?' Well, goddamnit, you stumped me...I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don't end up being a fuckin' waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list. Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says [mocks Southern drawl] 'Well, looks like we got ourselves a readah'...aahh, what the fuck's goin' on? It's like I walked into a Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better.
- There's some serious pockets of humanity out there. Go to some of these truck stops in the middle of nowhere you'll meet some serious folk. Order coffee the guy behind the counter goes 'you want the 32 oz. or the large?' Shit, how big is that large? 'You goin' want to pull yer car 'round back, I goin' start that pump.' That sounds like a lot of coffee, dude. I don't know if I want to be awake that long in Tennessee. On second thought give me that pussy size.
- I saw a sign on the side of the road in Tennessee once that said 'dirt for sale'...what a great country we live in. DIRT for sale. How would you like to get inside that guys mind and look around for a hour? That guy sees opportunity at every glance, doesn't he? It's a big world for this gentleman. 'Oh my god, honey! Honey quit servin' waffles and come here baby. I'm gunna sell dirt! Look it's everywhere. You need it for our planet, honey!' The place was called Land Land.
- You ever see that sign that says 'speed limit enforced by aircraft'? Wow. Man, you get pulled over by a plane, you're going to have a hard time talking your way out of that ticket. 'You know how fast you were going son?' Uh, 70? 'You were going 300 m.p.h. buddy, what the hell are you doing?' Sorry sir, I had that large coffee back at the truck stop — I'm fuckin' flyin'. HUGE coffee. I bought some dirt thought that would slow me down. Biggest motherfuckin' coffee you ever seen. He pumped it right up my nose. I'm just skin coverin' coffee right now.
- You know how in many parts of our troubled world they are yelling 'revolution! revolution!' In Tennessee they are yelling 'evolution...we want our thumbs!' The thing is they see people with thumbs on T.V. all day, boy that's got to drive them hog-wild huh? [mimics monkey] Trailers are shaking. They're nice people they're just, what would you call 'em - rural? Backwoods, country? They're real nice, after a show one of these guys came up to me and said 'hey, you're great, you cracked me up, I was about to spit!' ...Sorry? He said 'no I loved it, I'd like you to meet my wife and sister.' And there was one girl standing there...not a thumb between 'em. Goddamnit now what are the odds of that? Okay the girl had a little nub growin' in, but girls evolve quicker than guys.
- There's smoke in here. There's the smokers over there. Look at you, cool as a fucking cucumber. How many smokers do we have here tonight? [only a few people cheer] Whew! Listen to all that energy they can pump out at will. [goes into coughing fit for about 20 seconds] Thanks smokers. Valiant effort on your parts. Next time just hock up a chunk of lung, just rear back and launch a phlegm-gem toward the stage. Get one of those raw oysters happening. [mock spits and mimics mucus growing legs and running away] Hey hey hey, phlegm shouldn't have legs. Now, I'm no doctor but I've seen one on T.V. You ready for this, smokers? Listen to this: how many non-smokers do we have here tonight? [loud applause] Bunch of whinin' maggots. [lights cigarette] Bunch of obnoxious, self-righteous slugs. Don't take that wrong. I'd quit smoking if I didn't think I'd become one of you. I'm willing to die seven years before my time just so I'll be cool each last fuckin' day.
- The worst kind of non-smoker is the one when you're smoking and they just walk up to you [mocks a person faking a cough] I always say 'shit, you're lucky you don't smoke. That's a hell of a cough you got there. I smoke all day and don't cough like that. Maybe you were conceived with a weak sperm or somethin'. Maybe your dad was jackin' off and your mom sat on it at the last second.' Did I overreact? I don't think I did. I think that's kind of cruel, I'm smoking and you come up coughing at me, Jesus. Do you go up to crippled people and start dancing too, you fuck? [starts dancing] Hey Mr. Wheelchair, what's your problem? C'mon iron-side, race ya. Fuckin' sadists. I mean the nerve!
- I'll smoke, I'll cough, I'll get the tumors, I'll die, deal? Thank you America. [salutes].
- [mimics someone complaining about second hand smoke] Good theory. But guess what, if I don't smoke there's going to be secondary bullets coming your way, 'cause I'm that tense.
- [to audience member] How much do you smoke a day sir? [the man says a pack] Pack! What a little puss. Gosh, why don't you just put a dress on and show it all to us while you smoke your little faggoty pack. C'mon, swish around for us. Damnit that pisses me off. I go through two lighters a day, dude. I'm starting to feel it.
- I got this big fear of doing smoking jokes in my act and showing up five years from now goin' [puts mic to his neck and speaks as if he had a mechanical larynx] 'good evening everybody, remember me, smoking's bad. [puts cigarette to neck and mimics smoking it] Eeww. You ever seen somebody do that? I've seen someone do that. Let me tell you something — if you're smoking out of a hole in your neck [mimics it again] I'd think about quitting. And that's just me, ya know.
- What I do, and I know all smokers do this. You know how every cigarette pack has a different surgeon general's warning on it, how cool. Mine say, "Smoking may cause fetal injury or premature birth." ...fuck it. [laughs] I found my brand. Just don't get the ones that say, "Lung Cancer," ya know, shop around. Hell gimme a carton of them Low Birth Weights. What the fuck do I care? 'Why you so down Bill?' Low Birth Weight. Yeah, I'm smokin' way too many Low Birth Weights.
- [Takes a drag of his cigarette] Mmmm mmmm, tastes like steak and potatoes doesn't it? Mmmm.
- See I don't drink, I smoke. I used to drink, I did, I had to quit. Man, I was an embarrassing drunk. I'd get pulled over by the cops, I'd be so drunk I'd be out dancing to their lights thinking I'd made it to another club. [starts dancing, mimics being handcuffed and walked to police car] Hey what is this, a leather bar? Hey I'm not into this, you faggots, oh SHIT!
- They changed that drunk driving shit. The attitude is just too harsh for me. Way too harsh. You remember ten years ago if you got pulled over the cop came up to your car and said 'son, you been drinking?' Yeah. 'Oh, sorry to bother you. Don't want to bring your buzz down any. Get on outta here and have yourself some fun. Drink one for us. [laughs] We'll be joinin' ya right after duty. Okay bye-bye. Get back in the car Tommy it's just a drunk man behind the wheel of an automobile, that's all.' You remember that? Now you are the murderer. Remember the time when you'd go 'Why don't you go catch murderers?' YOU are the fuckin' murderer. And they're gunna nail ya man. That got that field sobriety test. Guaranteed. They start off slow, I love it. Walk a straight line. Well shit, I've been so drunk I've peed in my own pants, but I could skip a fuckin' straight line. Touch your nose. Dude, I could shoot thorazine into my heart and still find my fuckin' nose. Never understood that one at all (wraps arm around head and touches nose). Are people out there who cannot find their nose? It's right there never will it move I don't care how fuckin' drunk I am. I could have no arms and still find my fuckin' nose (bends over and raises foot up to nose). But then the kicker: say the alphabet backwards. Well shit, ya got me. I'm not drunk but I'm obviously too stupid to be driving god dammit. Somebody can actually do this? What kind of sobriety test is this? They're makin' this shit up as they go. They're havin' fun with ya. You're jumpin' through hoops for these guys. They're going 'Shit do a flip. Come here son and put your dick in our exhaust pipe, do it right now.' Shit I never heard of this one, (mimics taking off pants) but these are officers they know what they're doing. God damn that's hot. Shit how long have they been chasing us? Fuck. Man, they're just havin' fun with ya. This has nothing to do with a sobriety test, you're auditioning for your freedom, you think. They humiliate you for their own amusement then they pop you. So I say fuck it. 'Walk a straight line, touch your nose.' Fuck it I'm drunk. I might puke if I start movin' around a lot. How 'bout this officer how 'bout you carry me to the back of your car, think I'll start my eighteen hour nap right now buddy. You ever seen vomit go through that mesh screen between the front and back seat of their cars? Oh yeah, you're going to rue the day you pulled me over buddy. I've been eating bar olives for three days straight. I don't think it's going to go with your crispy blues. Wouldn't that be great to be too drunk to bust? 'Screw it let 'em go. Boy he did a nice flip though didn't he? Touchin' his nose the whole way around.' Touch your nose. Every fuckin' time. Never will I miss my nose.
- You know what was really humiliating? I got a DWI in a Chevette. It's not like if I hit anyone it would make a difference. Be fair. 'Son you're drunk no doubt about it, but you're in a Chevette buddy, hell go get 'em.' It's like a Big Wheel hittin' your shit. They got mosquitoes bigger than these fuckin' cars. Piece of shit car. Turn the air conditioner on in a Chevette while you're driving it's like hitting the car in the balls. It goes down to 5 all of a sudden. I feel like the Flintstones in that thing. You push the lighter in the battery light comes on. No wonder I'm fuckin' drunk. I hit a moth one time it did $400 damage to this piece of shit. The moth was all right he rolled with it. He took off I'm waitin' for a tow truck. 'What happened to your car buddy?' Shit I hit a bug. 'You're lucky to be alive. A man in Tennessee hit a ladybug in one of them things, sheared his head clean off...and his thumbs.'.
- You never see a positive drug story on the news. They always have the same LSD story. You've all seen it: "Today a young man on acid … thought he could fly … jumped out of a building … what a tragedy!" What a dick. He's an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn't he take off from the ground first? Check it out? You don't see geese lined up to catch elevators to fly south; they fly from the fucking ground. He's an idiot. He's dead. Good! We lost a moron? Fucking celebrate. There's one less moron in the world.
Wouldn't you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? Perhaps? Wouldn't that be interesting? Just for once?
"Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."
- Rick Astley? Have you seen this banal incubus at work? Boy, if this guy isn't heralding Satan's imminent approach to Earth, huh. "Don't ever wanna make you cry, never wanna make you sigh … never gonna break your heart" … oh, I wouldn't worry about that without a dick, buddy. You got a corn nut! You got a clit! You're not even a guy! You're an AIDS germ that got off a slide! They're puttin' music to AIDS germs, they're puttin' a drum machine behind them in a metronome beat and Ted Turner's colorizing 'em, God damn it! These aren't even people man! It's a CIA plot to make you think malls are good!! Don't ya see? (Imitates stereotypical American in a robotic manner) "But Bill, malls are good! Malls allow us to shop 365 days of the year at a 72 degree heat. That must be good."
- Anybody can be a bum; all it takes is the right girl, the right bar and the right friends, and you are well… your buddies will see you off. They'll christen your dumpster for you.
- … We live in a world where John Lennon was murdered, yet Barry Manilow continues to put out fucking albums. God-dammit! If you're gonna kill somebody, have some fucking taste. I'll drive you to Kenny Rogers' house.
- One time me and three friends dropped acid and drove around in my dad's car. He has one of those talking cars, we're tripping, and the car goes, "The door is ajar." We pulled over and thought about that for 12 hours. "How can a door be a jar?" … "Why would they put a jar on a car?" … "Oh man, the freeway's melting!" … "Put it in the jar."
- I've noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country; since about 1980, coincidentally enough. … I was in Nashville, Tennessee, and after the show I went to a Waffle House. I'm not proud of it, but I was hungry. And I'm sitting there eating and reading a book. I don't know anybody, I'm alone, so I'm reading a book. The waitress comes over to me like, [gum smacking] "What'chu readin' for?" I had never been asked that. Not "What am I reading?", but "What am I reading for?" Goddammit, you stumped me. Hmm, why do I read? I suppose I read for a lot of reasons, one of the main ones being so I don't end up being a fucking waffle waitress.
- There's some serious pockets of humanity in this country. Go to any of these truck stops in the middle of nowhere, you meet some serious folk, man. Order coffee, the guy behind the counter goes, "You want the 32-ounce or the large?" Geez, how big is that large? "You'll wanna pull your car around back. I'll start the pump". That's a lot of fucking coffee, I don't know if I want to be awake that long in Tennessee.
Dark Poet (1991)
- Good evening, my name is Bill Hicks. I've been on the road now doing comedy 12 years, so, uh, bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plow through this shit one more time. … I'm kinda tired of traveling, kinda tired of doing comedy, kinda tired of staring out at your blank faces looking back at me, wanting me to fill your empty lives with humor you couldn't possibly think of yourselves.
- They proved that if you quit smoking, it will prolong your life. What they haven't proved is that a prolonged life is a good thing. I haven't seen the stats on that yet.
- I was in a cab in New York. The cab had a sign, "Please do not smoke, Christ is our unseen guest." This guy was reaching. I figure, if he could overcome being nailed to a cross, I don't think a Marlboro Light's gonna faze him that much.
- People pay lip service to saving the planet, but they don't – they fail to make the big leap that if you want to save the planet, kill your fucking self. The planet will be saved without you. And what a delightful place it'll be. Welcome. It's a new thing I'm working on, called "The Comedy of Hate". Join in.
- I am available for children's parties, by the way.
Chicago '91 (1991)
- Not all drugs are good, all right? Some of them … are great. Just gotta know your way around them, is all.
- Why is pot against the law? It wouldn't be because anyone can grow it, and therefore you can't make a profit off it, would it?
- Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally on our planet, serves a thousand different functions, all of them positive. To make marijuana against the law is like saying that God made a mistake. Like on the seventh day God looked down, "There it is. My Creation, perfect and holy in all ways. Now I can rest. [Gives shocked expression] Oh my Me! I left fuckin' pot everywhere. I should never have smoked that joint on the third day. Hehe, that was the day I created the possum. Still gives me a chuckle. But if I leave pot everywhere, that's gonna give people the impression they're supposed to … use it. Now I have to create Republicans." " … and God wept", I believe is the next part of that story.
- This needs to be said: there never was a war. "How can you say that, Bill?" Well, a war is when two armies are fighting. So you can see, right there, there never was a war … People say to me, "Hey, Bill, the war made us feel better about ourselves." Really? What kind of people are these with such low self-esteem that they need a war to feel better about themselves? May I suggest, instead of a war to feel better about yourself, perhaps … sit-ups? Maybe a fruit cup? Eight glasses of water a day?
- Compiled from live performances 14–17 November 1991.
- I just have one of those faces. People come up to me and say, "What's wrong?" Nothing. "Well, it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile." Yeah, you know it takes more energy to point that out than it does to leave me alone?
- People say, "Uh-Uh, Bill, Iraq had the fourth-largest army in the world." Yeah, well, maybe, but, you know what? After the first three largest armies there's a really big fucking drop-off, okay? The Hare Krishnas are the fifth largest army in the world, and they've already got all our airports. So, who is the bigger threat?
- Those guys [in the Persian Gulf War] were in hog heaven, man. They had a weapons catalog, "What's G-12 do, Tommy?" "Says here it destroys everything but the fillings in their teeth, helps pay for the war effort." Well, shit, pull that one up!" "Pull up G-12, please." [sound of a missile launch, several beats, then an explosion]] "...Cool. What's G-13 do?"
- I guess what surprised me the most was the discrepancy in casualties: Iraq, one hundred fifty thousand casualties, USA...seventy-nine! Let's go over those numbers again, they're a little baffling at first. Iraq, 150,000, USA 79. Does that mean we could have won with only 80 guys there? Just one guy in a ticker-tape parade, "I did it! Hey!"
- See, I know you entertain some kind of eternal life fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke; let me be the first to pop that fucking bubble and send you hurtling back to reality – because you're dead too. And you know what doctors say: "Shit, if only you'd smoked, we'd have the technology to help you. It's you people dying from nothing who are screwed." I got lots of stuff waiting for me: oxygen tent, iron lung, electronic voice box; it's like going to Sharper Image when I die.
- And I'll tell you something, too, that's starting to annoy me about UFOs: the fact that they cross galaxies or universes to visit us, and always end up in places like … Fyffe fucking Alabama. Maybe these aren't super-intelligent beings, you know what I mean? "Don't you wanna go to New York or LA?" "Nah, we just had a long trip, we're gonna kick back and whittle some." Oh my god, they're idiots. We're gonna enter our mothership in the tractor pull!" Last thing I wanna see is some flying saucer up on blocks in front of some trailer, bumper sticker on it, "They'll get my raygun when they pry my cold, dead, eighteen-fingered hand off it!"
- You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. 'Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years were rrreal fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high they let Ringo sing a few tunes.
- They're putting the cart before the horse on this pornography issue. Playboy doesn't cause sexual thoughts. There are sexual thoughts, and, therefore, there is Playboy. Don't you see? I know these sound like deep philosophical questions, "What came first, the hard-on or the Madonna video?" and "If a hard-on falls in the forest, do you go blind?" and "What does an atheist scream when they come?"
- You know what causes sexual thoughts? I'm gonna clear the air for you tonight. I'm gonna end this debate, hopefully once and for all while on this planet, 'cause outer space awaits our presence, we are better and more unique creatures than this and all eternity is our playground, so let me go ahead and clear this one issue up once and for all and let's move on to real issues. Can we? Great. Here's what causes sexual thoughts. Ready, drumroll: having a dick.
- They say rock and roll is the Devil's music. Well, let's say that it is - I've got news for ya - let's say that rock and roll is the Devil's music and we know it for a fact to be absolutely unequivocally true... boy, at least he fuckin' jams! AHAHAHAHAHA - okay? Did you hear that correctly? If it's a choice between eternal hell and good tunes or eternal heaven and New Kids on the fuckin' Block? I'm gonna be surfing on the lake of fire, rockin' out! High fiving Satan every time I pass him on the fucking shore. Because, you know, if you play New Kids on the Block albums backwards, they sound better, you know. "Oh come on Bill, they're the New Kids! Don't pick on them; they're so good, they're so clean cut and they're such a good image for our children!" Fuck that. When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fuckin' ROCKED! I don't care if they died in a puddle of their own VOMIT, I WANT SOMEONE WHO PLAYS FROM HIS FUCKIN' HEART! "Mommy! Mommy! The man Bill told me to listen to has a blood bubble on his nose" SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO HIM PLAY. "The New Kids! Hi, we're the New Kids! We're so good and clean cu- [strange, loud satanic noises] We're so clean cut - SIEG HEIL! HEIL! HEIL! - A good clean country - HEIL! HEIL HEIL! [more satanic noises] FUCK THAT, I WANT MY ROCKSTARS DEAD!!! I want them to fucking play with one hand and put a gun in their other fucking hand and go "Hope you enjoyed the show!" [mimics gunshot to the head] YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!! YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKING HEAAAAARRRRRRRT! Ahem, I am available for children's parties by the way.
- I don't know what you all believe, and I don't really care … but you have to admit that beliefs are odd. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks … you really think when Jesus comes back, he ever wants to see a fucking cross?
- I asked that question once ["Are there actually women in the world who do not like to give blowjobs?"] and a woman yelled "Yeah, you ever try it?" I said "Yeah. Almost broke my back." It's that one vertebra, I swear to god it's that close. I think that's the next thing to go in our next evolutionary step. Just a theory, and a fervent prayer! And now all the guys are going, "Honey, I have no idea what he's talking about," ...but guys, you know what I'm talking about. I can speak for any guy here tonight: guys, if you could blow yourselves? Ladies, you'd be here alone right now...watching an empty stage. ...Boy, my parents are proud of me! "Bill, honey, you still doing that suck-your-own-cock bit?" "Yeah, ma." "Good, baby, that's such a crowd-pleaser."
Shock and Awe (2003)
- Posthumous release, from a performance recorded 11 November 1992 at The Oxford Playhouse
- People often ask me where I stand politically. It's not that I disagree with Bush's economic policy or his foreign policy, it's that I believe he was a child of Satan sent here to destroy the planet Earth. Little to the left.
- I was walking through Central Park, and I saw an old man smoking. Nothing makes a smoker happier than to see an old person smoking. This guy was ancient, bent over a walker, puffing away. I'm like, "Duuude, you're my hero! Guy your age smoking, man, it's great." He goes, "What? I'm 28."
- I wish I could meet a Christian who would proselytize to me, but they keep running away from me. I wanna talk to you all.
- How many people disapprove of the job the Conservatives are doing? Seventy percent. Of those same people, how many will vote for them again? ...Seventy percent. What the fuck? Where did they take this poll, at an S&M parlor?
- I think it's interesting the two drugs that are legal, alcohol and cigarettes, two drugs that do absolutely nothing for you at all, are legal, and the drugs that might open your mind up to realize how badly you're being fucked every day of your life? Those drugs are against the law. He-heh, coincidence? See, I'm glad mushrooms are against the law, 'cause I took 'em one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, "My God! I love everything." Yeah, Now, if that isn't a hazard to our country... how are we gonna justify arms dealing if we know we're all one?!
- Boy, I've never seen an issue so divisive. It's like a civil war, isn't it? Even amongst my friends, who are all very intelligent; they're totally divided on abortion. It's unbelievable. Some of my friends, for instance, think these pro-life people are annoying idiots. Other of my friends think these pro-life people are evil fucks. How are we going to come to a consensus? You ought to hear the arguments around my house: "They're annoying, they're idiots." "They're evil, they're fucks!" Brothers, sisters, come together! Can't we once just join hands and think of them as evil-annoying-idiot-fucks? I beseech you. But that's me...
- On December 16, 1961, the world turned upside down and inside out, and I was born, screaming, in America. It was the tail end of the American Dream, just before we lost our innocence irrevocably, when the TV eye brought the horror of our lives into our homes for all to see. I was told, when I grew up, I could be anything I wanted: a fireman, a policeman, a doctor—even the President, it seemed—and, for the first time in the history of mankind, something new called an "astronaut." But like many kids growing up on a steady diet of westerns, I always wanted to be the cowboy hero: that lone voice in the wilderness fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. And in my heart of hearts, I still track the remnants of that dream wherever I go, in my never-ending ride into the setting sun.
- You know we armed Iraq. I wondered about that too, you know. During the Persian Gulf war, those intelligence reports would come out: "Iraq: incredible weapons. Incredible weapons." "How do you know that?" "Uh, well … we looked at the receipts. But as soon as that check clears, we're going in. What time's the bank open? Eight? We're going in at nine. We're going in for God and country and democracy and here's a fetus and he's a Hitler. Whatever you fucking need, let's go. Get motivated behind this, let's go!"
- You know, it's true that politics does make for strange bedfellows. I read a quote from Saddam Hussein two days after the [Clinton] election. We had to wait two days for him to quit gut laughing. "Ahahaha, the elephant is dead!" Saddam Hussein says in his quote. "We have nothing against America, we just want to see George Bush beheaded and his head kicked down the road like a soccerball." And I thought: That's so weird, 'cause … that's what I wanted to see! Wow, me and Hussein, we're like this! Who would'a thunk it?
- "Dinosaur fossils? God put those here to test our faith." I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. Does that bother anybody else—the idea that God might be … fucking with our heads? I have trouble sleeping with that knowledge. Some prankster God running around, [pantomimes digging] "We'll see who believes in Me now! I am the Prankster God. I am killing Me!"
- They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do just as well—you just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.
- People tell me, "Bill, let it go. The Kennedy assassination was years ago. It was just the assassination of a President and the hijacking of our government by a totalitarian regime—who cares? Just let it go." I say, "All right, then. That whole Jesus thing? Let it go! It was 2,000 years ago! Who cares?"
- Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do as we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!
- The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it, you think it's real, because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun, for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder: "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say: "Hey, don't worry. Don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter, because … it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride: Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Filling Up the Hump (1993)
- You ever look at their faces? "We're pro-life." Don't they look it? Don't they just exude joie de vivre?
- "I believe that the Bible is the literal word of God." And I say no, it's not, Dad. "Well, I believe that it is." Well, you know, some people believe they're Napoleon. That's fine. Beliefs are neat. Cherish them, but don't share them like they're the truth.
- I was over in Australia during Easter, which was really interesting. You know, they celebrate Easter the exact same way we do, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children that a giant bunny rabbit … left chocolate eggs in the night. Now … I wonder why we're fucked up as a race. I've read the Bible. I can't find the word "bunny" or "chocolate" anywhere in the fucking book.
- Speaking of Satan, I was watching Rush Limbaugh the other day. Doesn't Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those gay guys that like to lie in a tub while other guys pee on him?
- Folks, it's time to evolve. That's why we're troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything's failing? It's because, um – they're no longer relevant. We're supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right? There's another 90 percent of our brains that we have to illuminate.
Arizona Bay (1994)
- Posthumous, recorded November 1992 – October 1993
- L.A. is a nightmare place, man. You'll always meet this one guy out in L.A, you always – this real smarmy guy. He always says this: "Yeah, I love calling back east January 1. 'What are all you doin'? Snowed in, huh? Bummer. Me? I'm out by the pool! Ha ha ha haaa!'" What a dick this guy is. It's why I used to love to call L.A. when I lived in New York: "What are y'all doin'? Talking to TV producers, huh? Bummer. Me? I'm reading a book! Yeah, we're thinkin' back East. Yeah, we're evolving. Is that the Big One I hear in the background? Bye, you lizard scum! Bye!" [whoosh] Ha ha ha ha! It's gone, it's gone, it's gone. It's gone. All the shitty shows are gone, all the idiots screamin' in the fuckin' wind are dead, I love it. Leaving nothing but a cool, beautiful serenity called … Arizona Bay. Ha ha ha! That's right. When L.A. falls in the fuckin' ocean and is flushed away, all it will leave is Arizona Bay.
- How many of y'all wondered like I did during the LA riots when those people were being pulled out of their trucks and beaten half to death, how many of y'all wondered like I did… Step on the fucking gas, man! They're on foot, you're in a truck … I think I see a way out of this. It's that pedestrian right of way law. "
- I'm over there in England, you know, trying to get news of the riots, you know, and all these Brit people are trying to sympathize with me, "Oh Bill, crime is… horrible. Bill, if it’s any consolation, crime is horrible here too." "Shut up. This is Hobbiton and I'm Bilbo Hicks, OK? This is the land of fairies and elves. You do not have crime like we have crime. I appreciate you tryin’ to be, you know, diplomatic but…" You gotta see English crime, if only we had crime like this, you know? It's hilarious. You don't know if you're reading the front page or the comic section over there. I swear to God. I read an article, front page of the paper one day in England: "Yesterday some hooligans knocked over a dustbin in Shaftesbury." "Whoo-oo!" "The hooligans are loose, the hooligans are loose. What if they become ruffians? I would hate to be a dustbin in Shaftesbury tonight. [to the tune of "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who] No one knows what it's like to be a dustbin … in Shaftesbury … with hooligans."
- People come up and say, "Bill, quit talking about Kennedy, man. Let it go. It's a long time ago. Would you just forget about it?" I'm like, "Okay, then don't bring up Jesus to me! I mean, as long as we're talking shelf-life here." "Bill, you know Jesus died for you." "Yeah, it was a long time ago. Let it go. Forget about it!" How about this: get Pilate to release the fucking files. Quit washing your hands and release the files, Pilate! Who else was on that grassy Golgotha that day? Oh yeah, the three Roman peasants with the $100 sandals. Yeah, right!
- You ever notice how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? Eyes real close together, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like He rushed it.
- Now we have women priests. What do y'all think of that? Women priests? [scattered applause] Yeah. I think it's fine, women priests, you know. So what? Now we got priests of both sexes I don't listen to.
- I tell you what, I have this new fear. ‘Cause I know, I know that I’m in a case of arrested development emotionally. I know that now. ‘Cause I realise, you know, like ah if you— anyone can go to the video store near my house and see what I’ve rented the past year. It’s fairly frightening, you know? Unbelievable evidence of an emotionally, you know, ah… digression goin’ on here. Porno movies and video games. What am I, thirteen emotionally? You know what I mean? I'm sitting there looking at this receipt I got from them, it's like Clam Lappers and Sonic Hedgehog. That was one weekend. That was Easter weekend. Something's going on with me, man. That's pretty scary way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ… with Clam Lappers and Sonic fucking Hedgehog.
- Courtroom filled with women trying to meet Ted Bundy, give him love letters and wedding proposals – this is what the article says. And I'm sorry to say the first thing I thought when I read that was, "And I'm not gettin’ laid.’ What am I doing wrong, you know? A natural question.
- I guarantee you Satan's gonna have no problems on this planet, 'cause all the women are gonna go: "What a cute butt!" "He's Satan." "You don't know him like I do." "He's the Prince of Darkness." "I can change him."
- (On drug laws): Isn't that weird, we've made nature against the law. That's how un-natural we've become.
- (On being called cynical & skeptical): “I do have a healthy skepticism, I think we all should. But I think if you listen closely enough, you’ll find that my message, if I as a joke-blower could be pompous enough to have one, is that we’re all alright and it’s gonna work out. I don’t find that cynical at all.”
- (On being censored): “I didn’t go up and say the Pope’s a faggot!....Which is what he is, but I didn’t say that!”
- (On being censored): “It amazes me how afraid they are of 1 person….basically a joke blower!”
- (On Standards & Practices): “Where are your standards?....Stupid to retarded, is that the level of standards you’re trying to put out to America?”
- (On the effects of Magic Mushrooms): “Your mind completely opens up to the true nature of our existence, which is that we are not bodies, that we are pure, loving spirit created by God. That God is love and there is nothing but love, being all-encompassing, has no opposite. You are completely forgiven on all things, there’s nothing you’ve ever done that has ever swayed God’s pure and un-conditional love for you. And you realize that eternity and peace and heaven is our inheritance, all of us are going to make it there.”
- (On the idea of being offended): “The majority of people are very reasonable I’ve found, but ya know what, they don’t write letters when something offends them on TV, because reasonable people know IT’S JUST FUCKIN’ TELEVISION! Not only that, reasonable people have a life! They're not sittin' in some trailer with some fuckin' crayon in their hand, some chicken scrawl goin' ‘I saw a guy talk about Jesus on the tube! I ain’t gone tune in no more!’And also reasonable people know ultimately they’re just fuckin’ jokes! Are you so afraid of a guy tellin' jokes!”
- “The Greeks used to put a lot of bodily functions in their plays, and a lot of graphic sexual material, because they believed, that in performing that way it released the demons of shame from the audience, which is what I believe. Cuz I think we’re all pretty much the same, and we all have grown up with that shame-based thing that America deals with, right? And to sit there and hear someone talk about their love of having sex, whatever, makes you feel like you’re not alone, with what you think maybe are dark, twisted thoughts, cuz they’re not. We all share these thoughts. So that’s why I talk like I do, or did, before I retired tonight.”
Rant in E-Minor (1997)
- Posthumous, from a performance recorded 20 June 1991 in Pittsburgh [Note: There is no Vol. 2.]
- Here's how I feel about gays in the military: Anyone dumb enough to want to be in the military should be allowed in. End of fucking story. That should be the only requirement. I don't care how many push-ups you can do – put on a helmet, go wait in that fox hole. We'll tell you when we need you to kill somebody. I've been watching all these Congressional hearings and all these military guys and all the pundits going, "The esprit de corps will be affected, and we are such a mora …" Excuse me, but aren't you all a bunch of fucking hired killers? Shut up! You are thugs, and when we need you to go blow the fuck out of a nation of little brown people, we'll let you know.
- People suck, and that's my contention. I can prove it on a scratch paper and pen. Give me a fucking Etch-a-sketch, I'll do it in three minutes. The proof, the fact, the factorum. I'll show my work, case closed. I'm tired of this back-slapping "Aren't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are.
- I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!" "Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons."
- There's a new party being born: The People Who Hate People Party. People who hate people, come together! "No!" We're kind of having trouble getting off the boards, you know. Come to our meeting! "Are you gonna be there?" Yeah. "Then I ain't fucking coming." But you're our strongest member! "Fuck you!" That's what I'm talking about, you asshole. "Fuck off!" Damn, we almost had a meeting going. It's so hard to get my people together.
- I hate patriotism. I can't stand it, man — makes me fuckin' sick. It's a round world last time I checked.
- The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.
- "Now, you have to tighten your belts, because we, your leaders, mis-spent your hard-earned money." Know what would make tightening my belt a little easier? If I could tighten it around Jesse Helms' scrawny little chicken-neck.
- Speaking of Satan, I was watching Rush Limbaugh the other day.
- Oh, there's a threat to America! Yeah, yeah, yeah … back to that fucking COPS show. 'Cause I'll tell you who the threat to freedom … no, no, not to freedom. I'll tell you who the threat to the status quo is in this country: it's us. That's why they show you shows like fucking COPS. So you know that state power will win and we'll bust your house down and we'll fuckin' bust you anytime we want. That's the message.
- Why do we put people who are on drugs in jail? They're sick, they're not criminals. Sick people don't get healed in prison. You see? It makes no sense.
- Did you know that when a guy comes, he comes 200 million sperm? And you're trying to tell me that your child is special because one out of 200 million -- that load! we're talking one load! -- connected. Gee, what are the fucking odds? 200 million; you know what that means? I have wiped civilizations off my chest with a gray gym sock. That is special. Entire nations have flaked and crusted in the hair around my navel! That is special. And I want you to remember that, you two-egg-carrying beings out there, with that holier-than-thou "we have the gift of life" attitude. I've tossed universes...in my underpants...while napping! Boom! A milky way shoots into my jockey shorts, "Aaaah, what's for fucking breakfast?"
Flying Saucer Tour Vol. I (2002)
- Posthumous, from a performance recorded 20 June 1991 in Pittsburgh [Note: There is no Vol. 2.]
- I've been on what I call my UFO Tour, which means, like UFOs, I too have been appearing in small southern towns in front of a handful of hillbillies lately. I've been doubting my own existence.
- How much do you smoke, sir? Two packs a day, is that right? Pussy. I go through two lighters a day. That's right, two lighters! You're a health nut compared to me. You're like the Jack LaLanne of smokers compared to me.
- I know this is not a very popular idea. You don't hear it too often any more … but it's the truth. I have taken drugs before and … I had a real good time. Sorry. Didn't murder anybody, didn't rape anybody, didn't rob anybody, didn't beat anybody, didn't lose – hmm – one fucking job, laughed my ass off, and went about my day. Sorry. Now, where's my commercial?
- "Great Times on Drugs"
- That's what I hate about the war on drugs. All day long we see those commercials: "Here's your brain, here's your brain on drugs", "Just Say No", "Why do you think they call it dope?" … And then the next commercial is [singing] "This Bud's for yooouuuu." C'mon, everybody, let's be hypocritical bastards. It's okay to drink your drug. We meant those other drugs. Those untaxed drugs. Those are the ones that are bad for you.
- Pot is a better drug than alcohol. Fact! … I'll prove it to you. If you're at a ball game or a concert and someone's really violent and aggressive and obnoxious, are they drunk or are they smoking pot? [The crowd answers "Drunk."] Wow! We all know the truth.
Love, Laughter and Truth (2002)
- Posthumous, recorded 1990–1993
- I deal only in facts, that's why I'm a cocky fuckin' bastard.
- [on the Gulf War] I was in the unenviable position of being for the war, but against the troops.
- Posthumous, from a performance recorded 11 November 1992 at The Oxford Playhouse; includes material omitted from Shock and Awe (2003)
- I need my sleep. I need about eight hours a day, and about ten at night.
- I quit smoking. It's very hard, but I'm glad I did. I'll tell you, this war against drugs in the US is the reason I quit because I got too fuckin' sick of being on the wrong side. The war against drugs, which actually is a war against civil rights, don't ever be fooled again. If they cared about us they'd get rid of the number one drug which is cigarettes; kills more people than crack, coke, and heroin combined, times 100. Legal.
- Marijuana: a drug that kills … no one – and let's put it in a time frame – ever. Illegal.
- That's why my girlfriend and I broke up: she wanted kids, and I … well, she wanted kids. [laughs] I had no idea her philosophy was that flawed. She goes, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a kid? To have this fresh, clean slate which we could fill. A little clean spirit, innocent, and to fill it with good ideas." Yeah, yeah, how about this? If you're so fucking altruistic, why don't you leave the little clean spirit wherever it is right now? Okay? Horrible act, childbirth. Nightmare. Bringing … I would never bring a kid to this fucking planet.
Interview with Howard Stern
- Another thing. This idea of "I'm offended". Well I've got news for you. I'm offended by a lot of things too. Where do I send my list? Life is offensive. You know what I mean? Just get in touch with your outer adult. And grow up. And move on. Reasonable people don't write letters because... A: They have lives and B, they understand it's just TV. C: If they see something they don't like, something they do like might be on later. I've seen many comics I've hated. I've seen many shows that have offended me. I've never written a letter. I just go about my life.