he five individuals selected for our inaugural induction into the Stand-Up Comics Hall of Fame are, let's face it, not all people you might necessarily have picked. Certainly, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor would be a given in most people's minds, so there's unlikely to be argument with either of them. Rodney Dangerfield is such a recognizable figure that most will probably say, "Okay, I can buy into that." And if you know anything at all about Lenny Bruce, then you know he broke so many First Amendment barriers that he deserves to make in on the first ballot just as much as Pryor or the Cos. But Bill Hicks? Really? Yes, really. In a perfect world, Bill Hicks would have become as popular a political comedian as Bill Maher. But, then again, if this was a perfect world, Bill Hicks wouldn't have had any material.

Oh, right, and he, uh, also wouldn't be dead.

Inaugural Class of 2006 Richard Pryor Richard Pryor
"I woke up in an ambulance. And it wasn't nothing but white people staring at me. I said, 'Ain't this a bitch. I done died and wound up in the wrong muthafucking heaven.'
Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield
"Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity."
Bill Cosby Bill Cosby
"Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think -- in a deeper voice."
Lenny Bruce Lenny Bruce
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government."
Bill Hicks Bill Hicks
"The worst kind of non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and cough. That's pretty fucking cruel isn't it? Do you go up to cripples and dance too?"