As a Pentecostal preacher, the late, great Sam Kinison toured the country with his brothers, spreading the gospel, and for a time even had his own church in Chicago. But it wasn't until he entered the comedy clubs of Houston and Los Angeles that he found his true voice:

On Religion:

"It all goes back to Jesus... he's got to be up in heaven freaking out at all the interpretations of the things they SAY he said. He didn't even KNOW he was the son of God. As soon as he was born, as soon as he could speak the language, his mother said, 'You're the son of God. When you were born the angels came, and the stars stood in one place, the wise men brought gifts, and the whole world's been waiting for you to come and do great things.' [As baby Jesus] 'Really? Me? Are you sure?' [Back to normal voice] Everybody but Joseph. Joseph's walking around going, [very suspicious] 'Yeah, you had better be the son of God, I'll tell you that. You had BETTER be him, little mister. And you better be the ONLY son of God.'"
-- Early routine from the Comedy Annex in Houston, 1979.

"Jesus had a tough life. I read about that guy. Jesus is the only guy that ever came back from the dead that didn't scare the FUCK out of everybody! He's the only guy that ever crawled out of a grave where people didn't go, 'Oh -- OOOHHHH!!! I JUST SAW SOME FUCKER CRAWL OUT OF HIS GRAVE! I DON'T BELIEVE I'M SEEIN' THIS SHIT! DID YOU SEE THAT? THIS GUY JUST CRAWLED OUT OF HIS BOX THROUGH THE EARTH!' People are losing it, going 'Oh -- OOOHHHH!!! THE DEAD LIVE! THE DEAD LIVE!!!' [Trudging around like a zombie, making guttural noises] 'GET A STAKE -- PUT A STAKE IN HIS ASS! CUT OFF HIS HEAD! KILL HIM AGAIN!!!' Jesus comes back -- HE doesn't get any pressure -- no static. Nobody's upset. He climbs out, he's walkin' around -- nobody's upset. They can eat with him and everything. [Two men confiding in each other] 'Hey -- isn't that guy dead?' 'Yeah, he is man, but he won't accept it.' [as Jesus, eyes rolled back in head as he eats] 'Pass the butter...' [Buttering his bread] 'What are they starin' at???'"
--At the Roxy in L.A., 1987.

On Parenting:

"I got a real depressing letter from my folks about two weeks ago, because I haven't been taking real good care of my money. They said, 'Sam, we can't send you any more money. You're out of control, and you don't know what the fuck you're doing with your cash. And... you're old enough to be on your own.' I said, 'Oh, okay'... and I called them. I said, 'Mom, get dad on the phone too, wake him up, I know it's late, but I want you both to hear this. You know, before I was your little son, before I was your baby, before I was your LOAN, I was a free spirit in the next stage of life. I walked in the cosmos, not imprisoned by a body of flesh, but free, in a pure body of light. There were no questions, only answers, no weaknesses, only strengths, I was light, I was truth, I was a spiritual being, I was a God... but you had to FUCK and bring my ass down HERE. I didn't ask to be born! I didn't call and say: 'Hey, please have me so I could work in a fuckin' Winchell's someday!' Now you want me to pay my own way? ... FUCK YOU! PICK UP THE FUCKIN' CHECK, MOM! PICK IT UP!'"
-- At the Comedy Store, 1981.

On Relationships:

[To a man and woman in the audience] "You guys in love? You gonna get married? [The man says yes. Sam moves several steps closer] Gonna get married, huh? [The man says, "I guess so, yeah."] Tell you what. Before you get married, I want you to make me a promise. I want you to remember this face. [Sam leans over, until he is inches from the man's face, and screams at the top of his lungs] Oh! Oh! AAAAUGH!"
-- At the Comedy Store, inventing his signature bit after a fight with his second wife, in 1982.

"People go, aren't you worried about Hell?' No. No, because I WAS MARRIED FOR TWO FUCKIN' YEARS! HELL WOULD BE LIKE CLUB MED! HELL WOULD BE LIKE A FUCKIN' RESORT!!!"
-- At the Roxy, 1987.

"What happened? Satan was busy?"
-- On learning that Marvin Mitchelson was representing his second wife in her divorce case against him, 1989.

"If I get married again, I want a guy there with a drum to do rimshots during the vows."
-- At the Roxy, 1987.

On World Hunger:

"I'm like anyone else on this planet -- I'm very moved by world hunger. I see the same commercials, with those little kids, starving, and very depressed. I watch those kids and I go, 'Fuck, I know the FILM crew could give this kid a sandwich!' There's a director five feet away going, 'DON'T FEED HIM YET! GET THAT SANDWICH OUTTA HERE! IT DOESN'T WORK UNLESS HE LOOKS HUNGRY!!!' But I'm not trying to make fun of world hunger. Matter of fact, I think I have the answer. You want to stop world hunger? Stop sending these people food. Don't send these people another bite, folks. You want to send them something, you want to help? Send them U-Hauls. Send them U-Hauls, some luggage, send them a guy out there who says, 'Hey, we been driving out here every day with your food, for, like, the last thirty or forty years, and we were driving out here today across the desert, and it occurred to us that there wouldn't BE world hunger, if you people would LIVE WHERE THE FOOD IS! YOU LIVE IN A DESERT! YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT! NOTHING GROWS OUT HERE! NOTHING'S GONNA GROW OUT HERE! YOU SEE THIS? HUH? THIS IS SAND. KNOW WHAT IT'S GONNA BE A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW? IT'S GONNA BE SAND! YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT! GET YOUR STUFF, GET YOUR SHIT, WE'LL MAKE ONE TRIP, WE'LL TAKE YOU TO WHERE THE FOOD IS! WE HAVE DESERTS IN AMERICA -- WE JUST DON'T LIVE IN THEM, ASSHOLES!"
--From an appearance on Rodney Dangerfield's "It's Not Easy Being Me," 1984.

On Drug Use:

"There's no happy ending to cocaine. You either die, you go to jail, or else you run out."
-- On "The Arsenio Hall Show."

-- Drug war bit from "Saturday Night Live" (censored on the west coast -- NBC removed the sound), 1986.

"Folks, I've been straight for seventeen days..." ['Boos' from the crowd] "Not all in a row..."
-- During his last concert tour.

"Boy, Detox... $13,000 for three weeks. First of all folks, if you can come up with $13,000, you don't have a problem yet. Your not in serious shape yet. Shit... thirteen fucking grand, yeah that would sober me up."
-- Las Vegas, 1990.

"It was like going to church, except Ozzy Osbourne was there."
-- On attending his first AA meeting in Malibu, California ("Brother Sam," Chapter 17).

On Ted Kennedy:

"He was never a real Kennedy! Teddy was the Shemp of the Kennedys! He wasn't Moe, he wasn't Curly -- he was the Shemp of the Kennedys!"
-- To Howard Stern ("Private Parts," Chapter 15).

On Rap Music:

"Not that I want to put the entire rap music style down -- I just don't like it. And I know somewhere there's gotta be another guy like that. There's gotta be a guy just like that -- just like me. There's gotta be somebody, somewhere... [Looking into camera] Maybe, maybe an assassin type... [Closer to camera] Maybe a man who, oh, after he came home from the war, wasn't accepted by the country he fought for. And still has some of the military weapons and some of the armaments that he came home with -- and he's home alone, unemployed, has nothing to do, and he watches MTV waiting for a ROCK VIDEO, and all he sees is RAP VIDEOS. [Still closer] Now let's just say -- let's just say-- this guy decides to become a serial killer. Far be it from me to IMPLANT THAT INTO SOMEBODY'S MIND. I don't want people to think, 'Sam, Sam, you're putting a subliminal thought in a dangerous person's mind' -- NO! I'm just saying if you're gonna be a serial killer, [Full close-up into camera] PICK SOMEBODY INTERESTING TO BE A SERIAL KILLER FOR! TAKE OUT RAPPERS! SHOOT 'EM! If you're gonna do something like that -- if you're gonna take life -- BE THE RAPPER KILLER!"
-- At the Wiltern Theatre, 1990.

On Comedy:

"Comedy is Reality. If you play real, then it will work. In the right bit, all you have to do is turn your head and react and you'll kill. You'll slay. You don't have to play anything big and slip on a banana and fart. 'Were doing a comedy so everybody act like an ass! Everybody make sure people get it. Joke ahead! Buckle up!"
-- To Arthur Grace in the book "Comedians."

On Life:

"I have lived a carnal life. My view of life is 'If you're going to miss Heaven, why miss it by two inches? Miss it!' I don't have to go through the thing of paying for it in the next life. I know I'm screwed in the next life."
-- To Howard Stern ("Private Parts," Chapter 15).

"I'll tell you folks, God is wonderful. He's kind. He has to be, folks. He has to be merciful, really, any way you look at it. Hallelujah. Praise God. .. because, honey, we're no longer in the likeness of Adam. Now we're beginning to look just like HIM! We're not clothed with coats of skins, but we're beginning to be clothed in His glory -- we're beginning to be clothed in the likeness of HIM!"
-- Early sermon, from "Brother Sam," Chapter 2.

"In another time and place, he would have been called prophet."
Samuel Burl Kinison
Dec. 8, 1953
April 10, 1992
(Quote on Sam's gravestone)

Introducing a restaurant and bar dedicated to the memory of Sam,
owned and operated by his brother, Bill Kinison: