No Cure for Cancer

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No Cure for Cancer
Denisleary nocureforcancer.jpg
Studio album by Denis Leary
ReleasedJanuary 12, 1993[citation needed]
GenreStand up comedy
Length45 minutes
ProducerJoe Blaney; Chris Phillips
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
The Independentpositive[2]
The script for No Cure for Cancer was published as a book.

No Cure for Cancer is one of Denis Leary's standup routines from the early 1990s. It was made into a television special, a book, and a compact disc, all with the same title.[3][4] Leary's routine focuses on vegetarians, cigarette smoking, drug use, and political correctness.[5]

Compact disc[edit]

The album was recorded live at Irving Plaza, New York City on October 10, 1992 and at Sorcerer Studios, New York City.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Asshole" – 4:26
  2. "Drugs" – 8:24
  3. "Rehab" – 4:03
  4. "More Drugs" – 7:06
  5. "Smoke" – 5:28
  6. "Meat" – 4:01
  7. "Death" – 5:01
  8. "The Downtrodden Song" – 1:22
  9. "Traditional Irish Folk Song" – 2:00
  10. "Voices in My Head" – 3:37


  • Denis Leary - Vocals
  • Adam Roth - Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Vocals
  • Chris Phillips - Vocals, Bass, Acoustic & 12-String Guitar
  • Breda Mayock - Violin
  • Ger Mayock - Pennywhistle
  • C.P. Roth - Keyboards
  • Don Castagno - Drums, Percussion
  • Pete Mark - Congas
  • Steve Remote - Chief Engineer
  • Ted Jensen - Mastering Engineer[6]

Television special[edit]

The television version of No Cure for Cancer was first broadcast by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on February 3, 1993, followed by Showtime in the United States on February 20, then in Australia on the Nine Network on April 6, 1994.[7]


In 2005, the DVD Complete Denis Leary was released. A collection of his most famous stand-up performances including: No Cure for Cancer and Lock 'n Load. Special features include: the music videos for "Asshole" and "Love Barge", and the Making of No Cure for Cancer, a documentary with Leary and others.

Accusations of plagiarism of Bill Hicks[edit]

Although Leary had been friends with fellow comedian Bill Hicks for many years, when Hicks heard No Cure For Cancer, he felt that Leary had stolen his act. The friendship ended abruptly as a result.[8] Several comedians have publicly stated they believe Leary stole Hicks' persona and attitude, in addition to his material.[8][9][10][11] Jokes on the album about Keith Richards, Judas Priest, smoking and "good men dying young" are frequently cited as bearing similarities to Hicks' routines.

In the August 2006 Playboy, an interviewer told Leary, "Much has been written about you and comedian Bill Hicks...People have accused you of appropriating his persona and material." Leary replied:

According to Cynthia True's biography American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story, after listening to No Cure For Cancer, Hicks was furious. "All these years, aside from the occasional jibe, he had pretty much shrugged off Leary's lifting. Comedians borrowed, stole stuff and even bought bits from one another. Milton Berle and Robin Williams were famous for it. This was different. Leary had, practically line for line, taken huge chunks of Bill's act and recorded it."[13]


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Gill, Andy (January 7, 1993). "RECORDS / No ifs, diggity-do, no butts, diggity-dah: Andy Gill, exploring this week's releases, uncovers the latest addition to the long and distinguished line of buttock anthems". The Independent. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Denis Leary: No Cure for Cancer, review, Todd Everett, Variety, February 19, 1993.
  4. ^ Beware The Mild Man! MTV's Outrageous Denis Leary, Eerily Calm Off Camera, Laura Blumenfeld, Washington Post, December 1, 1992.
  5. ^ No Cure for Cancer, review at Allmusic
  6. ^ "Allmusic Credits".
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b Kevin Booth and Michael Bertin (2005). Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-719829-9.
  9. ^ Joe Rogan (2005). "Carlos Mencia is a weak minded joke thief". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  10. ^ Rogan, Joe (October 2003). Playboy Magazine (Interview). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Tim McIntire (1998). "Dark Times: Bill Hicks: Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on 2006-03-20. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  12. ^ Leary, Denis (August 2006). Playboy Magazine (Interview). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ True, Cynthia (2002). American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story. Harper Paperbacks. ISBN 0-380-80377-1.