Bill Hicks (December 16, 1961 - February 26, 1994)
After appearing on VIP Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians Special in 1987, Bill Hicks's career took off both in the US and the UK. Skewering everything from the Warren Report to alcoholism, Hicks often pointed out the relative safety and benefits of marijuana and hallucinogens. "Not only do I think marijuana should be legalized, I think it should be mandatory," he famously joked.
Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32 and remains enduringly popular. A documentary entitled American: The Bill Hicks Story, based on interviews with his family and friends, premiered in March 2010 at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
"Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally on our planet," Hicks wonders in this video, where he speculates about evolutionary leaps and the reason God made Republicans.