HBO Is Making a Sam Kinison Biopic

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HBO has ordered up a biopic based on the life of standup Sam Kinison, who died in a tragic car accident in 1992. The film, titled Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison, will be directed by Bruce Almighty’s Tom Shadyac and written by, um, xXx’s Rich Wilkes. Dan Fogler is set to star as Kinison, and you can see his pretty great screen test above.

“Shock comedian” Kinison (1953-1992) was born in Yakima, Wash., the son of a Pentecostal preacher. A head injury at age three (he was hit by a truck) turned a reticent child into a rambunctious youth, who got his kicks by snatching handbags. After a stint as an itinerant preacher, Kinison decided to become a comedian and moved to Houston, where he was named the funniest man in Texas by the Dallas Morning News . A move to Los Angeles briefly stalled his career until the help of Rodney Dangerfield and an HBO special led to appearances on David Letterman and Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live . Bill, Sam’s brother, fellow preacher and manager, has written, along with freelancer Delsohn, an X-rated memoir about a very sleazy man. This book is filled with the sordid details of Sam’s life: his drug use (acid, Quaaludes, cocaine, marijuana, amyl nitrate); his penchant for .38s and three-way sex; feuds with Andrew Dice Clay and Howard Stern; the suicide of their brother Kevin; Sam’s problems with the gay community; his affairs with the likes of Penny Marshall, Beverly D’Angelo, porn star Seka and Jessica Hahn; his three marriages; and his death in an auto accident. It’s all here in livid, salacious detail. Strictly for Sam’s fans.

And in related Kinison news, Comedy Central just released its Back From Hell: A Tribute To Sam Kinison special on DVD this past Tuesday, so if you’re looking to get caught up on Kinison before this movie goes into development, there you go.