Beloved Comedian George Carlin Dies At 71

George CarlinGeorge Carlin, by far one of the most controversially hysterical and globally beloved comedians of our time, passed away yesterday in a Santa Monica, California hospital. The profound humorist, known so well for his “Seven Words you Can Never Say On Television” routine, was admitted to St. John’s Health Center Sunday morning, complaining of chest pains. Later that evening, at the age of 71, Carlin died.

Though he had a long history of heart problems, George Carlin was never one to disappoint his many fans. He had performed only the weekend before in Las Vegas, at the Orleans Casino and Hotel.

Carlin was not just another comedian, he was a modern marvel; all be it a rather vulgar one to the overly-upstanding, righteous minded sector of humanity. But Carlin’s excessive use of the “Seven Words” were not just a ploy to draw attention to his act, but to draw attention to a hypocritical society that uses mental and emotional blinders to ignore the reality of certain situations – often times religious or political in nature.

Carlin’s “Seven Word” routine got him in more trouble than just censorship. In 1972, George spoke the forbidden airwave texts at a Milwaukee show, only to be arrested and brought up on charges of “disturbing the peace”. $150 bail and a short hearing later, Carlin was exonerated as the judge stated his actions to be indecent, but not beyond the limits of free speech and lacked the complaints to be considered a “disturbance”.

Six years later, the words were aired on a New York radio station, and once again the legal authorities took actions; only this time, it went all the way to the Supreme Court. The government upheld the ruling that television and radio broadcasts must be limited to an extent during hours when children may likely be listening.

Earlier this year, George Carlin spoke to the Associated Press about the 1978 Supreme Court ruling, “So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I’m perversely kind of proud of.”

George Carlin’s long, provocative career – starting like most comedians in a small, smoke-filled nightclub; teamed up with Jack Burns to spoof television, movies and game shows – consisted of 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, 3 books, 4 Grammy Awards, 5 Emmy nominations, 130 appearances on ‘The Tonight Show’, the host of Saturday Night Live’s debut in 1975, several televisions shows and appearances in a list of hit comedy movies, including “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in 1989.

Last Tuesday, it was announced that George Carlin would be receiving the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, to be presented November 10th in Washington and aired on PBS.

I personally loved the man. George Carlin was an inspiration throughout my life. I have found the man to be an incredibly wise philosopher, albeit one that required intense censorship at times. George Carlin is one in a million. I thank you George, for every smile you’ve brought to faces of Americans. I will miss you.

I leave you with these, a few of George Carlin’s most memorable lines…

George Carlin on religion:

“I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.”

“I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.”

“Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”

“If God had intended us not to masturbate he would’ve made our arms shorter.”

“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”

George Carlin on Life:

“If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.”

“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

“Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?”

“I’m not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose… it’ll be much harder to detect.”

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

“I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven’t tried that for a while. Maybe this time it’ll work.”

“What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?”

“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.”

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