Hicks died of pancreatic cancer on February 26, 1994, at the age of 32. In subsequent years, his work gained significant acclaim in creative circles—particularly after a series of posthumous album releases—and he developed a substantial cult following. In 2007, he was No. 6 on Channel 4's list of the "100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics", and rose to No. 4 on the 2010 list. In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him No. 13 on its list of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time.