Bill Hicks

Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks

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Once called "the Lenny Bruce of our generation," in this case such a label wasn't just hype. Having seen a few of Hicks' outrageously irreverent David Letterman appearances, he's even funnier on the recordings of his more unfettered club act, a rare comic in that the more profane he got (i.e., the more patently offensive to Middle American TV audiences), the more he'd make you laugh. It's still hard to believe this razor sharp-tongued zinger died of pancreatic cancer when he was only 32 years old. Quite a loss indeed: Because he was both one of the most no-BS social critics and one of the most hilarious people doing it; every major event or issue of the last several years has made one wish for a Hicks monologue to respond to it. His reaction to the hot-button topic of gays in the military ("Anyone dumb enough to want to be in the military should be allowed in. End of f**king story") or to female priests ("Now we have priests of both sexes I won't listen to, I don't f**king care") here are perfect examples. This well-chosen sampler (selected with input from the Hicks estate) sends most everyone into paroxysms of giggles and embarrassed guffaws, especially when Hicks unabashedly takes on the joys of pornography, masturbation, and his former drug abuse. From this, one can easily head to his four real LPs, two of which were released after his untimely passing. Just don't play Hicks for anyone with the thinnest of conservative skins when it comes to religion, the government, defense, the drug war, smokers, TV, civil liberties, sexuality, taxation, children, Willie Nelson's Taco Bell commercials, and, most insightful of all, not-so-latent sexuality in advertisements.

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