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George Carlin Passes (Jun 24, 2008)

A few hours after I posted the top five headlines of last week Sunday evening, I got the word that veteran comedian George Carlin died at the age of 71.

Always making thinking people entertained, and always making nonthinking people offended, Carlin had a wit like no other comedian before or after him. His ability to play around with words and bend them around into comedy masterpieces has helped him sell millions of recordings and books worldwide.

His "Seven Words That You Can Never Say on Television" comedy routine has made him a household word when a radio station, WBAI, broadcasted the piece uncensored, and that led to a Supreme Court case in 1978 that agreed with the FCC ruling with a 5-4 ruling that the broadcast was indecent but not obscene. In Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978) is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision that defined the power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over "indecent" material as applied to broadcasting.

Since then, Carlin has expanded the list to over 200 words you can't say on television.

Carlin produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a couple of TV shows and appeared in several movies. He also won four Grammy Awards - each for best spoken comedy album - and was nominated for five Emmys

From Wikipedia: Carlin was especially noted for his political and black humor and his observations on language, psychology, and religion along with many taboo subjects. In the 2000s, Carlin's stand-up routines focused on the flaws in modern-day America. He often took on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture. Carlin was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, and was also the first person to host Saturday Night Live.

Carlin had his first album release in 1966 called "Take-Offs and Put-Ons", which began his 40 year time span of recordings though other titles such as "FM and AM", "Class Clown", "A Place For My Stuff", "Playin' With Your Head," "You Are All Diseased", and many others.

Carlin also starred in the short-lived TV series "The George Carlin Show" on Fox in 1993.

Carlin's first book "Brain Droppings" was released in 1997. One of his last albums, "Life is Worth Losing", was released in 2006 with the notable first track, "A Modern Man."

His last special before his death, "It's Bad For Ya!", aired on March 1, 2008.

Carlin also helped co-found laugh.com, a website that helps sell vintage and new comedy recordings. The site is owned by legendary comedians along with Carlin.

We has seven last words for George Carlin: we love you and we miss you. Thank you George for making us think about life. I'm sure that Jesus will be serving pork chops where you're at right now.

May 12, 1937 - June 22, 2008.

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