Tag Archives: Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks on smoking and Yul Brynner

bill hicks

Two great skits I found from Bill Hicks about smoking. I just kind of stumbled into these (mostly by looking at Yul Brynner’s famous commercial from the grave about smoking).

The first video is a short bit about Yul Brynner doing a commercial “from the grave” about the evils of smoking (Brynner died of lung cancer in his early 60s), and comparing that to health guru and jogger Jim Fixx, who died very young from a heart attack. Funny stuff.

And Yul Brynner’s original commercial in case you don’t remember it. (Lousy quality, I know).

Now, here is Bill Hicks’ bit on cigarette smoking and all the shit he caught as a smoker from non-smokers, especially assholes who coughed around him anytime he lit up.

“I think it’s kind of cruel to come up to me coughing at me … Jesus, do you go up to crippled people dancing, too, you fucks?”

And then assholes who give him crap about second-hand smoke.

“You know what, if I don’t smoke, there’s going to be secondary bullets coming your way, because I’m that tense…”

Interestingly, the person who posted this video had to disable comments because Bill Hicks died of cancer and people were leaving pissy comments about that.

These skits are obviously from the early 90s. Bill died in 1994. Wonder what he would think of smoking bans today?

OK, personally, I have always gone to great lengths to not give smokers a hard time. I hear about the [cough, cough] stuff and the glares, none of which I’ve ever done (OK, I have probably glared at smokers smoking around children, but that’s a little different.).

Anyway, at the risk of coming off like one of the do-gooder assholes Bill Hicks is making fun of, I couldn’t help but watch these videos with a sense of irony. Hicks, a chain smoker, died a very young man — only 32 — from pancreatic cancer, which is known to be one of the cancers caused by smoking.

In his skit, Bill says:

“I’ll smoke, I’ll cough, I’ll get the tumours. I’ll die. Deal?”

That line just jarred me. He did smoke, he did get tumours and he did die. At least he did it on his terms.

So, not passing judgement, not trying to be a self-righteous dick, just pointing out the irony. Which I’m sure at a certain level someone like Bill Hicks could appreciate. I still find his stuff really funny. Honestly, I never heard of Bill Hicks until well after he died — maybe 10 years ago I first started hearing about. He was a funny, funny guy. What a tragedy he lived such a short life. But, he lived it on his terms.