Chicago, 1989. Bill Hicks is gaining popularity at an incredible rate and murdering every show with his atypical, loaded-with-cynicism routine. At a show Hicks was playing, an overly-inebriated female audience member began to heckle him, shouting “You suck,” almost inviting Hicks to do what any Hicks fan would expect: verbally destroy her — and that is exactly what he did.
It’s speculative whether this can even be considered a meltdown as it is pretty much par for the course with Bill Hicks’ overall demeanor (when heckled, Hicks was known to turn on audience members and engage them in an attempt to humiliate them that usually ended successfully). However, this flipout was particularly infamous and it feels warranted to put it on the list as it all but certainly over the top.
Hicks laid into the heckler without any hesitation at all, exploding in a tirade of c-words and countless verbal onslaughts that would’ve made a sociopath weep.
When he finished bashing the woman, he calmly went back to his stool and attempted to continue his routine, but even Hicks knew there was no coming back from that — the laughter was completely sucked out of the room and his ability to do a solid bit had completely went up in smoke. He did finish his act, but to say the show ended awkwardly would be an understatement.
“I want you to go find a soul!”
(Hicks shouting at heckler during the show).
Watch the video of Hicks’ flipout below.