Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

I Was There When…

Published in Blog.

This is far from the only reason I wish myself a long and prosperous life… but… I really hope that I live long enough to see the day when a generation of comedy fans look back on Doug Stanhope in the years after his death, thinking the same shit their parents thought about a guy like Bill Hicks in retrospect after they missed that boat. Not because I think Hicks wasn’t great, and not because I want to be that guy who’s like “Maaaan, I was there when…” But only to call them on their shit like people should be doing now with neo-Hicksians who are remotely of-age.

Sure, I know the Internet wasn’t all the rage in 1991 and Bill Hicks wasn’t as easily accessed as a click on YouTube or a keyword search on The Pirate Bay, but if you were remotely interested in the ideas he was toying with on stage, you probably would have found out about him simply through discovering your own basic interests. Like… Unless they were a complete hermits, people who really got into Pearl Jam back then would’ve probably at least been aware of TAD’s existence… simple chain of discovery fueled by personal interest. But if they were that much shut off that they had no clue, they probably didn’t have any idea who Pearl Jam was to begin with. Same with Hicks’ subject matter.

(x years later…)

“Maaaan, Stanhope was the shit. He was talking the truth back when everybody was just blah blah blah blah blah.” Well, yeah he was. But where was your praise for the man when he was kickin back Miller Lights on stage at the Santa Barbara Improv? You had YouTube, you had every means to search for an infinite amount of information on an infinite amount of topics written in every language from eleventeen different perspectives… Oh, right, you were kickin’ it with your homies talking about how some other dead dude was further ahead of the curve than everybody else when he was alive.”