November 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
We gave it a B+

Ten years ago, Bill Hicks, a Texan ”comic’s comic,” died of cancer at age 32, and since then his legend as a biliously sharp truth teller has only grown. In three stand-up concerts from the early ’90s collected here, he profanely attacks his favorite topics — religion, sex, drugs, and politics — with an angry skeptic’s wrath. (Though sometimes his heartfelt indignation makes him cross the line from relentless probing to self-indulgent ax grinding.) But it’s remarkable how relevant his material remains as seen in Bill Hicks Live, especially his rants against Bush Sr. and the first Iraq war; a few updated names and you’d think he was still alive, writing comedy.

EXTRAS An insightful 40-minute documentary on Hicks’ life has a quote from Brett Butler that sums him up beautifully: The preaching comedian, who fervently railed against fundamentalism, actually ”wanted to be Christ at his angriest.”

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