|Birth name||Samuel Burl Kinison|
December 8, 1953|
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
|Died||April 10, 1992
Needles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Black comedy, Satire, Observational comedy|
|Subject(s)||Human sexuality, Current events, American politics, Religion|
|Spouse||Patricia Adkins (1975–1980) (divorced)
Terry Marze (1981–1989) (divorced)
(April 5–10, 1992) (his death)
Samuel Burl "Sam" Kinison (December 8, 1953 – April 10, 1992) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Kinison was known for his intense, harsh and politically incorrect genre humor. A former Pentecostal preacher, he performed stand-up routines that were most often characterized by an intense style, similar to enthusiastic preachers, punctuated by his trademark scream. He died in a car accident on April 10, 1992.
Early life 
Born in Yakima, Washington Kinison was the son of Marie and Samuel Kinison, and his father was a Pentecostal preacher. The family moved to East Peoria, Illinois when Kinison was three months old. His father pastored several churches around the country, receiving little income. Sam later attended East Peoria Community High School in East Peoria, Illinois. He also lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a while with his parents. He followed in his father's footsteps as a Pentecostal preacher before becoming a comedian. Recordings of his sermons reveal that he used a "fire and brimstone" style, punctuated with shouts similar to the ones he would later use in his stand-up routines. He attended Pinecrest Bible Training Center in Salisbury Center, New York. After he and his first wife were divorced, he abandoned preaching and took up comedy as a profession.
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Kinison began his career in Houston, Texas, where he performed in small clubs. It was not until his appearance on HBO's Rodney Dangerfield's Ninth Annual Young Comedians Special in the summer of 1984 that he became well known. His appearance on the special is widely considered to be his breakthrough performance. Later, during Kinison's appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in 1985, Letterman's introduction of Kinison warned his audience: "Brace yourselves. I'm not kidding. Please welcome Sam Kinison."
Kinison played on his former role as a Bible-preaching evangelist, taking satirical and sacrilegious shots at the Bible, Christianity and famous Christian evangelist scandals of his day. Kinison's daring comedy helped shoot him to stardom. On several videos of his stand-up routines, a shot of his personalized license plate reveals the words "EX REV".
Kinison made his film debut in Rodney Dangerfield's 1986 film Back to School, playing a short-tempered professor.
In 1988, Kinison recorded a novelty version of The Troggs' "Wild Thing", which appeared on his album Have You Seen Me Lately?. The video was a hit on MTV, as it featured cameos of Rodney Dangerfield, as well as many well-known rock musicians, including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Ratt, Slash and Steven Adler of Guns N' Roses, Billy Idol, Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa, Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi and Tommy Lee, and a raunchy "roll on the mat" dance with Jessica Hahn. Also in 1988, Kinison appeared in the music video for the Bon Jovi single "Bad Medicine".
Kinison appeared in the memorable episode "It's a Bundyful Life: Part 2" (1989) of Married... with Children, as Al Bundy's guardian angel, who shows him what life would be like without him born (a take-off of It's a Wonderful Life).
During one notable Tonight Show performance, Kinison delivered what began as a straightforward version of Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", which descended into angry ranting during the spoken breakdown, and then segueing back into a straightforward sung ending.
Some of Kinison's most notable spontaneous moments came during his frequent appearances on The Howard Stern Show. He made an angry phone call on-air to Bobcat Goldthwait, and he embarrassed comedienne Judy Tenuta to the point of driving her off the show. His most notorious stunt resulted in an on-air feud with Stern. Kinison made an on-air promise to bring to the show members of the band Bon Jovi, with whom Stern was feuding, but they did not show up, nor did Kinison. Stern's reaction was swift and vindictive, and Kinison eventually apologized, but not before comedian Gilbert Gottfried and Stern ridiculed an emotionally charged phone call between Stern and Kinison, in which both stars used the words "man" and "dude" so often that the playback was used as a bit on the show.
Stern and Kinison eventually made up and paired on Stern's pay-per-view special, U.S. Open Sores. In the early 1990s Stern, who purchased the movie rights to Kinison's biography, reported that HBO would make Brother Sam with Kinison being played by Dan Fogler.
In 1991, Kinison starred in the Fox Network television show Charlie Hoover, in which he played the inner voice of the title character, appearing as a 12-inch tall man. The show lasted only seven episodes before being canceled.
In an interview with Sam's brother and manager Bill Kinison, Bill mentioned movie deals that were in development at the time of his death; one such deal was a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and another with Rick Moranis.
Personal life 
In February 2011, the Toronto Sun reported that Sam Kinison fathered a child with the wife of his best friend and opening act, Carl LaBove, who had been paying child support for the girl for nearly 13 years. LaBove filed legal papers claiming the girl was Kinison's, and DNA tests taken from Kinison's brother Bill show a 99.8% likelihood that Sam Kinison is the father of the unnamed woman, who was 21 at the time of the Toronto Sun story, and excluded LaBove as her father.
On April 4, 1992, six days before he died, Kinison married girlfriend Malika Souiri.
On April 10, 1992, Kinison died at the age of 38 after his white 1989 Pontiac Trans Am was struck head-on on U.S. Route 95, four miles (6 km) north of Interstate 40 and several miles west of Needles, California, by a pickup truck driven by 17-year-old Troy Pierson, who had been drinking alcohol. The pickup truck crossed the center line of the roadway and went into Kinison's lane. At the time of the collision, Kinison was traveling to Laughlin, Nevada to perform at a sold-out show.
Kinison's body was found lying between the seats of his car at the scene of the collision. An autopsy found that he had suffered multiple traumatic injuries — including a dislocated neck, a torn aorta, and torn blood vessels in his abdominal cavity — which caused his death within minutes of the collision. Souiri, Kinison's wife, whom he had married merely 6 days prior, was rendered unconscious by the collision, but survived the accident with a mild concussion.
Pierson later pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. He was sentenced to one year of probation and 300 hours of community service, and his driver's license was suspended for two years.
Kinison is interred with family members at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His grave marker includes the unattributed quote "In another time and place he would have been called prophet."
Comedian George Carlin's eighth HBO stand-up comedy special, Jammin' in New York, was dedicated to the memory of Kinison. At the beginning of the broadcast, the words "this show is for SAM" appeared on the screen.
On May 23, 1993, the Fox network aired a special entitled "A Tribute to Sam Kinison." The special contained archival footage of Kinison and stand-up comedy performances by comedians including Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jim Carrey.
- Louder Than Hell (1986)
- Have You Seen Me Lately? (1988)
- Leader of the Banned (1990)
- Live From Hell (1993)
- Savage Dawn (1985)
- Three Amigos (1986) (scenes deleted)
- Back to School (1986)
- Pauly Shore Is Dead (2004) (archive footage)
TV appearances 
- Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me (1986)
- Saturday Night Live (1986, host)
- Married... with Children (1989, guest star)
- Tales from the Crypt (1990, guest star)
- Charlie Hoover (1991, as Hugh)
- In Living Color (Season 3, Episode 7, closing skit, Sunday, Nov., 3, 1991)
- Luciano, Phil (2012-04-10). "Comedian called this 'home'". Peoria Journal Star (Peoria, Illinois). p. B1. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- Sam Kinison's First Appearance On Late Night With David Letterman
- Sam Kinison, television biography from the Biography Channel, 2008-12-28
- Fleming, Michael. "'Brother Sam' set for HBO". Variety. November 17, 2008
- Harris, Bill. "A Chat with Bill Kinison". Bullz-Eye.com. January 13, 2009
- "Kinison fathered lovechild, pal says", Toronto Sun, February 19, 2011
- Bruce Lambert, "Sam Kinison, 38, Comedian, Dies; Wife Injured in Head-On Collision". The New York Times. April 12, 1992
- "Teen in Crash Used Alcohol, CHP Says". Los Angeles Times. April 14, 1992
- Amy Wallace, Friends Shocked by Violent Death of Mellower Kinison, Los Angeles Times (April 12, 1992). Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
- Sam Kinison Autopsy Report. Retrieved on October 15, 2012.
- Associated Press, Tranquilizers, Cocaine Found in Kinison's System, reprinted in the Los Angeles Times (May 29, 1992). Retrieved on October 15, 2012.
- Carroll, Larry. Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh?. 1998. Pacific Sundog Productions, Inc.
- Kinison album, concert vid planned, Variety (June 28, 1993). Retrieved on October 15, 2012.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammin%27_in_New_York, citing George Carlin and Tony Hendra, Last Words, page 245 (2009).
- Jammin' in New York (Part 1), from YouTube. Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
- Dennis McLellan, Carrying on the Teachings: Carl LaBove Worked a Lot With, and Learned a Lot From, Sam Kinison, Los Angeles Times (April 29, 1993). Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
- A Tribute to Sam Kinison, from IMDB. Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
- A Tribute to Sam Kinison (Part 1), from YouTube. Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sam Kinison|
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|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Sam Kinison|
- Official website
- Sam Kinison at the Internet Movie Database
- Sam Kinison at AllRovi
- Interview with Sam's Brother Bill
- A Multimedia Tribute to the Life and Comedy of Sam Kinison
- Clip featuring an example of Kinison's stand up routine
- Sam Kinison's Gravesite