On Wednesday, the curious tale of El Paso’s district attorney office came to an end as embattled former DA Yvonne Rosales’s resignation went into effect, and Greg Abbott’s appointed pick to replace her—longtime El Paso lawyer Bill Hicks—assumed the role. 

Hicks’s colleagues from both parties speak well of him, which should bring hope to El Pasoans who want to put the saga of Rosales, who was accused of incompetence and misconduct, behind them. But those seeking to learn more about Hicks may struggle when they google his name—which he shares with the legendary Houston comedian Bill Hicks, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32. 

The comedian Hicks was famous for an act that blended foulmouthed, bitter, furious rants with existential, psychedelic philosophy. He wasn’t just angry; he was angry that people didn’t love one another more. He may be gone, but his cultural impact is still felt today: in 2015, his works were collected in a comprehensive box set; Richard Linklater has long expressed his interest in telling Hicks’s story through a biopic; and there are even some who are convinced that the long-dead comedian still walks among us in the form of Alex Jones, which—and this can’t be stressed enough—he does not. 

Given the difficulties that the identical names present in finding information about whichever Bill Hicks you’re looking for, we’ve put together this quiz so readers can determine how well they can distinguish the comedian Bill Hicks from the newly appointed law enforcement official Bill Hicks. Look over the following quotes, and see if you can figure out whether they were said by the foulmouthed comedian or the DA appointed to restore public trust in the office! 

  1. “We live in a world where John Lennon was murdered, yet Barry Manilow continues to put out f—ing albums. G—dammit! If you’re gonna kill somebody, have some f—ing taste.”
  1. “Trust is not something that can be regained overnight; it is brought back through hard work, dedication, and continued day-in-and-day-out commitment to justice.”
  1. “All governments are lying c—suckers.”
  1. “People suck, and that’s my contention. I can prove it on scratch paper and a pen. Give me a f—ing Etch A Sketch; I’ll do it in three minutes. The proof, the fact, the factorum. I’ll show my work, case closed. I’m tired of this backslapping ‘Aren’t humanity neat?’ bullshit. We’re a virus with shoes, okay? That’s all we are.”
  1. “We will bring integrity back to the office.” 
  2. “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.”
  1. “It is astounding to me that there are hundreds of victims of crime still waiting to see if their case will move forward. And some of these victims have been waiting for months.”
  1. “The DA’s office is woefully undermanned. I need to look at the budget, talk to the commissioners’ court, and see what staffing is allocated. I don’t know where the budget stands, but we need to staff it properly to increase morale.”
  1. “I’d like to state, for the record, right now—I love pornography. Love it. I have tapes that are pure f—ing art, I’m telling ya.”
  1. “I talked to several former prosecutors in anticipation of this appointment. I had commitments from numerous former senior trial attorneys who told me they would come back.”

Let’s see how you did! 

(Please note that clicking on the links from comedian Bill Hicks at work might get you fired from your job.)

  1. Comedian Bill Hicks said this on his 1990 debut stand-up album, Dangerous, recorded live at Caroline’s in New York. 
  2. District attorney Bill Hicks told this to El Paso television station KTSM in his first interview after being appointed to the position. 
  3. This quote appears in the posthumous 2001 collection from comedian Bill Hicks, Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks
  4. This quote from comedian Bill Hicks appears on his posthumous 1997 album, Rant in E-Minor.
  5. District Attorney Bill Hicks said this in an interview with El Paso Matters
  6. Comedian Bill Hicks’s “positive drug story” comes from his 1989 VHS comedy special, Sane Man, which was also released on Netflix in 2019. 
  7. The incoming El Paso DA said this in his interview with El Paso Matters
  8. Also from DA Hicks’s El Paso Matters interview.
  9. This quote is from a bit by the comedian Bill Hicks called “Sex on Trial,” which he performed at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal in 1991 and which appears on his second album, Relentless
  10. This quote was uttered by the district attorney Bill Hicks on Wednesday during his interview with El Paso Matters