There’s a new pancreatic cancer vaccine that’s been defying expectations at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in East Brunswick.

This deadly disease silenced one of the great comic voices of our time. I had the pleasure of opening for Bill Hicks in 1993 at the Comedy Works in Philadelphia. When I walked into the comic room, Bill was passed out on the couch with a 104 fever. They were going to cancel the show but he refused to have it. After I brought him up, he went on to do an hour of the funniest, most poignant comedy I ever heard. Bill talked about smoking from a smokers, point of view, the Gulf War at a time when it was taboo, the de-evolution of music from the 60’s to the 80s. Many believe Dennis Leary stole material from Hicks. In fact Hicks used to say, “Actually I stole it from him and added punch lines ;)

 

What none of us knew that night as we watched this very funny man, was that he was dying from pancreatic cancer. He was censored from the David Letterman show, then the only occasion where a comedian’s entire routine was cut after taping. Hicks so believed in his material that he would get chemotherapy during the day and perform at night.

Hicks’s last performance would be at Caroline’s in New York on Jan 6th 1994. On January 30, 2009 David Letterman brought Bill Hicks mother onto the show , apologized, and finally played the piece that never aired. It was just as relevant that night as it was when he performed it on Oct 1 1993. Hicks life was recently made into a movie called “American, The Bill Hicks Story” Bill Hicks believed we all could make a difference. A pancreatic cancer vaccine works, so no more voices are silenced.

Here’s David Letterman talking about Bill Hicks

Here’s the Bill Hicks set that finally aired Jan 30, 2009