Houston Matters

Molly Ivins Was ‘Twitter-Ready, Before Twitter’

The documentary Raise Hell shows how the late Texas columnist was ahead of her time.

Molly Ivins at Her Desk
Columnist Molly Ivins at The New York Times.

Raise Hell Documentary PosterThe late Texas newspaper columnist, author, political commentator, and humorist Molly Ivins once offered this advice: “Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, [and] rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce.”

That pretty much describes what Ivins did. Her outrageousness, her tendency to ridicule, and her penchant for rejoicing at oddities were all developed here in Houston. She was raised in the Bayou City and started her career here before gaining national acclaim.

A new documentary about her highlights her unique personality and her work. It’s called Raise Hell: The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins.

Molly Ivins Laughing
The late Texas columnist Molly Ivins.

Houstonian Carlisle Vandervoort is one of the film’s producers. In the audio above, she tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen Ivins was “Twitter-ready before Twitter” and that her work spawned many others who mocked the world of politics. She did it first.

“I mean, if you put together Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert, and Samantha Bee, and Rachel Maddow, and Chris Hayes — that’s how many people? Five people? There was one person doing what all five of those people are doing, and that was Molly Ivins,” Vandervoort said. “It was important to us to get out there and bring the wit and wisdom of Molly to the new audiences that don’t know her.”

There will be a Texas-exclusive opening of the documentary on Aug. 30. It will be released nationwide in September.

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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