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 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 crash on April 10, 1992.
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. Kinison had three older brothers Richard, Bill and Kevin. His parents divorced when he was 11 and his brother Bill went to live with his father while Sam stayed with the rest of his family against his protestations. Bill described this as the root of much of Sam's anger.
Sam later attended East Peoria Community High School in East Peoria, Illinois. He and his brothers emulated their father by becoming Pentecostal preachers. Kinison attended Pinecrest Bible Training Center in Salisbury Center, New York. His mother married another preacher and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Kinison lived for a while. He preached from the age of 17 to 24 and 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. His brother Bill, however, noted: "Ironically, he had no stage presence" and he was not very successful at making money from preaching. After he and his first wife were divorced, he abandoned preaching and took up comedy as a profession.
He followed in his father's footsteps as a Pentecostal preacher before becoming a comedian.
Sam was a very generous tipper, often tipping 100% of his check.
Sam's manager was his brother Bill, who was also a minister.
Sam learned to play guitar, to shame his step-father who had mentally abused him growing up.
Sam was forced to leave preaching after his first divorce, a taboo in the Pentecostal Church for clergy.
Sam was very close friends with Howard Stern.
Six days after he married his girlfriend Malika Souiri, Sam Kinison was killed when his white 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am was struck 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 an intoxicated 17-year-old male.
Louder Than Hell
Phone Call From Hell
Leader of the Banned
Live From Hell
Live From Hell