When I was twenty four and in my first year of university, a tall lanky friend of my rootmate Juma stopped by our apartment and dropped off a comedy CD on our coffee table and said in no uncertain terms, "you gotta hear this guy Bill Hicks". That CD was Rant in E Minor, and that friend was fellow Beams writer TJ Dawe.
The Bill Hicks (1961-1994) suggestion proved to be a potent one, as he quickly became a central influence on myself and many others around me. Like George Carlin (esp. late career Carlin), Hicks is as much social philosopher as he is comedian. I hold a place pretty close to my heart for Hicks, and am pleased to hear that his unique voice will get another round/level of exposure with the new documentary about his life. For those unfamiliar with Hicks, a word of warning that he's not always the easiest comedian to listen to; but that was kind of the point. Bill Hicks was out to prod and stir and spur, and his comedy crosses many a line in that pursuit. He's also really funny too. Here's the trailer for American: The Bill Hicks Story-
And just for good measure, here's a sampling of Bill Hicks in live peformance on the topic of drugs (there's plenty more videos on youtube). This clip definitely fits the 'not suitable for work' category!