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August 28, 2015

George Carlin dead at 71

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 23rd 2008 5:25AM
George Carlin dead at 71Wow. I just got in from a very, very late flight from Denver, and the early-morning newscasts hit me with this wallop: my favorite comedian, George Carlin, passed away last night. On Sunday, he admitted himself into a local Santa Monica hospital, complaining of chest pains, and ended up dying that evening of heart failure. He was 71.

Carlin, of course, is most famous for the 1970s comedy routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV." It was a bit which not only got radio stations that played it in trouble with the FCC, leading to landmark First Amendment and decency rulings by the Supreme Court, but he was also arrested in Milwaukee on indecency charges after doing the routine on stage there.

During a long and varied career, Carlin went from doing goofy, straight-arrow comedy bits like "The Hippy-Dippy Weatherman" on The Ed Sullivan Show to being the ultimate counterculture spokesman, giving his observations -- big and small -- about the world on stage and TV. He was one of the first comedians to do hour-long specials on HBO, and his last one, It's Bad for Ya, was well-received when it aired earlier this year. He also had a self-titled FOX series for a couple of years in the Nineties. So his tie to TV is quite strong.

Sigh. I'm sure Carlin's fans will have more to say later today and this week. He'll be sorely missed.

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This sucks. By far the worst news i've heard in a long time. The world is extra shitty today. I have never felt this empty losing someone i didnt even get to meet. So long George.... RIP

June 24 2008 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Carlin was so much more than a comedian to me. He really made me think! He turned the most everyday things into something to think about. He had so much to say and he said it with the gift of comedy.

RIP Mr. Carlin...

June 23 2008 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is not news I like to hear as I wake up. I'm still in utter shock. Like someone said above, I think we all thought he'd live forever, despite logic.

June 23 2008 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another tribute to Carlin: http://www.236.com/blog/w/jamie_kilstein/crossing_the_line_7285.php
He will be missed.

June 23 2008 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For me he was sort of the paver of the path for comedy for me. I was too young to see Richard Pryor, the stand up comic that so many (regardless of race) cite as the one that looms the biggest shadow over stand up. Carlin though was around during the same era, and consistantly toured for 40 years, always with new material each tour/HBO stand up special. I think he saw himself as a comic writer over a performer. He now stands with Pryor as the blueprint to what stand up is, and where its going.

June 23 2008 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ann B Martin

Ok Does anyone remember him as Mr. Conductor on the PBS Thomas the Train, after Ringo Starr! He was awesome on that and it was a KIDS show! ( Preschool actually!)

He was an awesomely funny comic and it was just announced that he was going to get the Mark Twain award at the Kennedy Center.
He will be missed!

June 23 2008 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
40-year-old blog

Whether you say any of the Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV (warning: they are listed on the link), George Carlin - who died this weekend at age 71 - had comedy that anyone could enjoy.

He could be as raunchy as anyone. And he could be as clean as anyone. Carlin was probably one of a few comedians who could perform before an outlaw biker group and a ladies church social and have both audiences laughing. One of my favorite Carlin routines is a skit he did comparing football and baseball.

If you've got kids, you may have seen Carlin in a very un-Carlin-esque role as Mr. Conductor on the "Thomas the Tank Engine" show.


June 23 2008 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Later George - hope you put God - sorry, the Sun - in it's place.

June 23 2008 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Trevor's comment

Do yourselves a fovor and rent/borrow/ buy Kevin Smith's "Jersey Girl" George gives a hell of a performance as the father who takes in the son and granddaughter.

In a particularly moving exchange, his son asks "don't you want to live alone?" he replys..."not as much as I don't want to die alone"

no worries there. you'll have the admiration of at least my generation for company

May whatever god you believe in greets you with a "well done"

RIP, sir

June 23 2008 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

He will be missed. I think he is the only comedian I make a point to watch when he is on HBO. While I thought he was looking every bit of his age in the special earlier this year I in no way thought he was ill, just the usual aging that everyone, if they are lucky (and don't have Dick Clark's freaky DNA) goes through.

June 23 2008 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the most telling thing is how so many people are saying "I never saw this one coming." I think we all thought he would live forever.

I feel like I've lost an uncle.

June 23 2008 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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