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    The Comedy News For 01/22/18

    Search Returned: 1 Biographies | Directory

    1) Rene Hicks | Biography
    Birth: Unknown Death: Still Living
    Show Quotes
    | Stand-up Comic

    Rene Hicks was born and raised in San Francisco. Her father was a Pentecostal minister, who insisted that Hicks go to college to make something out of her life. She found causes to fight for early on. During her high school days, Hicks collected signatures to get Proposition Ten on the ballot, which required smoking and nonsmoking sections in all public places. The initiative was successful. At the time, Hicks was not yet aware how she would be affected by lung cancer when she was only in her early thirties.

    Hicks was very athletic in her youth. At sixteen, she joined a woman's roller derby without the permission of her parents. According to Hicks, the Roller Derby was also her first introduction to gay culture. She has always had a love and a talent for sports. While attending college, Hicks was a nationally ranked, all-American distance runner. That fervor for athletics put her on the waiting list for ten years before finally getting season tickets for the 49ers. These days Hicks often flies from Los Angeles to San Francisco to attend the 49ers and San Francisco Giants home games.

    After living up to her father's expectations that she enroll in college, Hicks earned a business degree and went to work as a Certified Public Accountant. However, one night, when she attended at the Holy Zoo, a comedy club where Robin Williams got his start, she took the stage on an $80 dare. That dare resulted in a 180 degree career switch to stand-up comedy that didn't go over well at home. Her overly religious mother feared that when other church members heard that Hicks was working in nightclubs, they would assume that Hicks had become a stripper.

    Hicks meanwhile defended her choice through the nature of stand-up comedy itself. "I think stand-up is the only art form where you're really intimate with the audience," says Hicks. "You get directly into somebody's psyche. You know nothing about them, may have nothing in common with them, but you still touch them. Laughter brings people together and we need a lot more laughter in this world, and a lot less of the stupid crap that divides us."

    Hicks was soon touring countless clubs across the US, resulting in her being the first African-American woman ever nominated for an American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. She is also enormously popular on the college campus circuit, having performed at over 600 colleges and universities throughout the US. As a result, she soon became a two-time recipient of the National College Comedian of the Year Award.

    In 1989, Hicks made her TV acting debut with a cameo as a cabbie in the series Midnight Rider, a short-lived series about Jack Killian is an ex-cop in San Francisco who quits the police force after accidentally shooting his partner. Hicks Cameo occurred in an episode entitled Baby Chase. Though beginning in the 1990s, Hicks became famous for her bald head, she also had several other credits along the way. In 1994, she has guest starred on ABC's Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and appeared in Low Down Dirty Shame with Keenan Ivory Wayans, where she ironically made part of her mother's fears come true when she was cast as a hooker.

    In 2000, she has appeared on her own half hour special: Comedy Central Presents René Hicks. Prior to that, Hicks had appeared on The World Comedy Tour, Premium Blend, Politically Incorrect, Full Frontal Comedy and NBC's Comedy Showcase.

    Along the way, Hicks has always taken time to give something back to her community by volunteering with the Special Olympics, Caring for Babies with AIDS and Project Angel Food. In 2003, Hicks came out as a lesbian in the straight to video comedy special called the Coming Out Party. In that special Hicks said one of the reasons she didn't share her sexual orientation earlier was that she was afraid Hollywood might not allow her to read for straight parts if she did. "I don't want to put myself in jeopardy by telling them I'm gay and then not being able to read for the part of the crack hoe."

    In 2001, Hicks overcame a major health crisis when she found out that she had lung cancer. "I've never smoked, so I knew God was attempting to strengthen me for some greater purpose. I used my God given gift for creating laughter to help me heal. Right before I went into surgery, I told my doctor, take my tumor, please! I found it odd that people found it easier to accept that I had lung cancer without ever smoking, than that I was an accountant with a sense of humor." Since then Hicks has insisted that her audience refrain from smoking during her shows. She occasionally sports a gas mask during her sets as she makes sarcastic commentaries about the dangers of second hand smoke.

    Whatever her negative experiences in life have been, Hicks has simply incorporated those experiences into her act. "I belong to an HMO and when I first complained of symptoms that eventually turned out to be lung cancer," said Hicks, "my doctor insisted that it was heartburn. With that kind of deductive reasoning, he probably would have diagnosed symptoms of a brain tumor, as just a bad hair day."

    "A headache...no, I'm pretty sure it's hairstyle."

    Her first and only CD to date, Let's Role, tackled every taboo from the September 11th terrorist attacks to the N word, which Hicks attempted to make more positive by the N Word into a synonym for party snacks. Reviewing the CD, Don Still wrote Two Drink Minimum Magazine, "Hicks's comedy is sharp and fearless, with a unique spin. Give Hicks kudos for her choice in material and premises; she puts her stamp on every subject she tackles and is not afraid to step up to the line and tell it like she sees it."

    "My passion to be an example for others to enlist humor in aiding them in overcoming major obstacles and upheavals in their own lives," says Hicks, "whether they're life threatening nature or just life impeding." These days she continues to perform at over 600 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. She has also recently become a favorite on the Carnival Cruise Lines.

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