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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To air or not to air? That was the question

A few days ago I posted a video interview with Eddie Brill, talking about the network debut of Joe Wong. In that same conversation, we also discussed the airing, 16 years after the fact, of a stand-up set by the legendary Bill Hicks. Back in 1993, the year before his death, Hicks appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, but his set famously never made it to air. A few months ago, Letterman tried to rectify the situation by inviting Hicks's mother, Mary, to the show and finally airing that long-ago set.

To my ears, Letterman sounded sincere in expressing regret. Others more cynical than myself (and there are a few out there) thought it to be exploitative – they were doing it for selfish reasons, among them ratings and a tie-in to an upcoming biopic to be made of Hicks starring Russell Crowe. Bollocks, says I.

First off, here's the clip:



Here's Eddie Brill, who has booked comedy on the Late Show for twelve years, on the topic. Since Dave isn't going to grant me an interview, his comedic right-hand man is the next best thing. He joins us in the What's So Funny? Skype Studio from Manhattan:

video

1 comment:

Little Jackie Showers said...

To the cynical I ask only one thing. Was it good television? If so, then does it really matter what the motivation was for airing it? Okay, that's two questions.