My personal recommendation would be Perl. Very friendly. Just be careful about not getting overwhelmed by it, because it's a big language. Just use the basic stuff in Perl, and you'll be fine. Downside to Perl is that not many people think of it as a learning language (even though I've used it to help teach people with great success) so it may be a bit hard to find new-to-programming courses/books on Perl; a lot of the Perl stuff that I've seen have been geared towards a programmer looking to learn a new language.
A number of people also recommend Java. I would not. It's friendlier than C/C++ (but that ain't saying much), but still not as newbie-friendly as Perl. And there are a number of things about Java that I really dislike on a personal level, so I have never been an advocate of it for anything. Upside is that there are enough people advocating Java for teaching that finding stuff for it would be easier. That and the fact that a number of years ago, the world seemed to have gotten itself into a Java hype where Java became some kind of cool tech buzzword. :rolleyes:
C/C++ is not recommended for learning. I've seen people try to teach programming newbies using this, and it's just a pain in the rear.
BASIC is another good language to start off with. Nice and friendly (as friendly as Perl). For a long time, this was the learning language. So you'll find plenty of stuff for it.
This is the downside of BASIC. There are no real mainstream languages that are based on BASIC (Microsoft Visual Basic is one, but it sucks :p). So I'd recommend Perl. Very easy to migrate to a real language like C/C++ from it. And it's forgiving and easy for a newbie (you'll find out why this is true later let's just saying that "strict static typing" and having to worry about memory allocation and deallocation is not very newbie-friendly).
(PS: PHP is based on Perl, and together with Perl, they play some of the most pivotal roles in the Internet; the CD Freaks forum (vBulletin), for example, is written in PHP.)