R.I.P. George Carlin

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in R.I.P.

Of all the great comics of the late 20th century, I found George Carlin to be one of the most hilarious. Even when he was being banal and mean-spirited, he could make me laugh. So I’m saddened to hear of his death yesterday at the age of 71.

His routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” is a cultural classic, as funny for the devil-may-care delivery Carlin gave it as for the bitingly powerful social commentary created by nothing more than a few dirty words. Later in his career, he expanded the list of obscenities into a long, rolling collection of filth that was the Iliad of vulgarity, epic and lyrical in its crudeness. I laughed every time.

Carlin skewered not just those in power but the rest of us as well. He took no prisoners. But apparently, he wasn’t immortal. I think Carlin would approve with my reaction upon hearing the news of his death: well, that f**king sucks.


This entry was posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2008 and is filed under R.I.P.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “R.I.P. George Carlin”

  1. Dr Rajimaji Says:

    Now he must face the JESUS he so many times persecuted and made fun of, I use to feel sorry for the man always attacking christians, now I really feel sorry for him as he must face the wrath of his maker.

  2. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    His struggles against censorship were not in vain; alas, you can now say 3 of the seven deadly words on primetime T.V. – shit, piss, and tits. Rest in Peace, great master.

  3. Bob Aman Says:

    Wait… did you just say that Carlin would’ve approved of your reaction… that was self-censored with asterisks? I hope the irony was intentional. Really, I do.

  4. mw Says:

    “When he uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, freed on $150 bail and exonerated when a Wisconsin judge dismissed the case, saying it was indecent but citing free speech and the lack of any disturbance.”

    I was at that show – It was “Summerfest” on the shores of Lake Michigan. Drove up from Chicago with some college buddies. A big outdoor stage, many acts, and many beer gardens on the grounds. We were there for the beer and the music (and women wearing t-tops and hiphuggers).

    I had no idea who George Carlin was, and had never heard him perform. He was sandwiched as filler between a couple of musical acts. I cannot remember the name of a band or a single musical number that was performed that night. But I remember almost every word of that routine. It was the funniest fucking thing I had ever heard. I couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard. Of course, I may have been in an altered state where pretty much anything was funny. Yes, I inhaled. That might also explain why I cannot remember the bands.

    When they cut off the microphone, he just continued mugging, clowning and pantomime on the stage for the audience. He was arrested after he left the stage. I did not know he had been arrested until I read it in the papers the next day.

    We found it endlessly amusing to keep repeating the “seven words” to each other for the rest of the night. Recall that we were in a state where we were easily entertained.

    If there actually is a Christian heaven as Dr. Rajimaji imagines, I expect Jesus has requested a command performance, and George is pointing to Dr. Rajimaji’s comment and cracking Jesus up saying “Can you believe that is what they think about you????”

  5. Alan Stewart Carl Says:

    Bob,

    Yeah, I was pretending the word got censored. Guess that wasn’t as funny as I thought it’d be.

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