More than 15 years ago, under fear of retaliation from The Religious Right, David Letterman chose to not air a stand-up act from the late Bill Hicks, who died of cancer not long after.
Bill Hicks, a comedian who described himself as "Chomsky with dick jokes," opens with a joke about having a new TV show where they "hunt and kill Billy Ray Cyrus." He also takes stabs at the pro-lifers as well as Easter. So it's not clear what Letterman feared would be the most controversial. But for the highly delayed broadcast he was highly apologetic, airing the act in it's entirety and stating to Mary Hicks, Bill's mom, whom he invited on the show to introduce the clip, "Let me again apologize for the heartache and sadness my decision caused your family."
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