R.I.P, George Carlin

Comedian George Carlin has died of heart failure at age 71. Here he is talking about death.

The New York Times wrote this extensive profile of him in 2004. Ann Althouse has an extensive group of clips and thoughts. The Nation has more, including his political views. Huffington Post has this interview with Carlin in March on blogs and political tv news. He told Tim Russet in 2004 he hadn't voted since McGovern.

Update: More history from the AP here.

R.I.P. George Carlin.

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    A tremendous loss.... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:59:23 AM EST
    The man was a genius....he spoke to me like no other comic or social commentator has.  He practically authored my whole life philosophy for christ's sake.

    He made you think while making you laugh...what's better than that?

    I'm kinda hoping George and I are wrong and there is an afterlife...so Lenny Bruce can be waiting for him with a spliff at the great comedy club in the sky.

    We're gonna miss ya George....

    Many Carlin jokes you see and will see (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    passed around aren't his. I refer you to his website.  

    The sad thing is some right wing types appropriated his name and attributed a lot of jokes to him that he denied being his. You could usually tell, Carlin was a leftist anti-government, not a right wing libertarian anti-government. I once had to explain this to an associate 20 years my junior when he sent me a "Carlin" joke and I told him, I doubted George said that and I turned out to be correct.

    I'm 48. As a kid, I learned A LOT of (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by seabos84 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:07:13 AM EST
    disrespect for know it alls,

    and people who act like they're better than me

    from George Carlin.

    When people tell me how the facts they've chosen = THE TRUTH, I instantly recall my Catholic childhood in Massachusetts filled with Truth Filled Hypocrites ...

    and I forgot till today how much guys like George Carlin helped me see the hypocrisy.

    thanks george.


    Seven Words (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    We will all miss George Carlin's comedy.

    The seven words (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:08:55 AM EST
    you can't say on TV or at TalkLeft ;-).

    RIP Mr. Carlin.  You made a huge contribution to our world and will be sorely missed.


    The seven words video clip (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:16:24 AM EST
    Can't Wait (none / 0) (#6)
    by talex on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:16:10 AM EST
    for Jeralyn's write up about Carlin's contribution to free speech. Yeah I know the SCOTUS quashed him but still he was one of the pioneers who was not afraid to speak his truth. Carlin took over where Lenny Bruce left off.

    yup along with lenny bruce he (none / 0) (#24)
    by hellothere on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 02:03:32 PM EST
    rattled the establishment's cage.

    From The Nation's (none / 0) (#25)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 02:10:47 PM EST
    wonderful memorial to George....

       Amusingly, especially to the comedian, a full transcript of the routine ended up in court documents associated with the case, F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978).

       "So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," recalled Carlin. Proud enough that you can find the court records on the comedian's website: www.georgecarlin.com


    I will never see (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    jumbo shrimp without thinking about George.

    I'll always remember (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:24:46 AM EST
    his seering monologue on the Arsenio Hall during the jingoism meltdown leading up to Operation Desert Storm.

    For someone who only had a cursory experience of his boogers-scabs-and-snot schtick, that night was a night was revelatory as "atheist/humanist" George managed to channel more righteous, moral fire, informed-by-intellect than all of the Sunday afternoon gameshow hosts combined.

    The taken by surprise audience reaction seemed to be some combination of stunned/captivated silence and nervous amusement as Carlin summoned all his powers to evoke Lenny, Dick Gregory and Eugene Debs into a just-what-the Doctor ordered synthesis.

    He was one of a kind.

    Carlin's passing actually deserves ... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:46:00 AM EST
    the kind of coverage that Russert got.  There are so many important and significant routines he did, but   right now I find myself recalling one of his lighter jokes:

    "What does a dog do on his day off?  He can't just lay around -- that's his job!"

    Hmmm ... wonder if I thought of that joke because the same could be said about many (all?) bloggers.


    I've thought for quite (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:51:42 AM EST
    a while that some of the Native American tribes had it right by giving the "clowns" special spiritual status.

    Laughter is a gift that we (literally) cant live well without; any more than it's possible to imagine living without music.


    A few of his gems..... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:56:19 AM EST
    I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.

    "The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music."

    "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."

    Who will take the mantle as America's Secretary of Bullsh*t Detection?

    we need the george carlins to call us on (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by hellothere on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 02:01:40 PM EST
    our stuff. we need them desperately. i dearly loved watching him on hbo. i read that just this week an award for comedy was being given to him. i am glad that at least he knew about it. i feel sorry when a great talent leaves us. a loss! goodbye mr carlin, we'll sure miss you. i am sure richard pryor was glad to welcome you. they are laughing today in heaven.

    I love teaching his case to the con law kiddos (none / 0) (#8)
    by davnee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:17:14 AM EST
    RIP George Carlin.

    Excellent video clip (none / 0) (#9)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:20:35 AM EST
    Sometimes I just think you Fade to Black and yet I do feel my Mom's spirit a lot. Then again, maybe it was the many years of recording my Mother's words that are replaying in my head. I am open on that. But listening to George say it all. I always thought he was funny.

    On a side note, for those of us >45, seems like a lot of ol' friends are slipping away lately. A lot of RIP's. When I opened CNN today and saw George's picture, even before I read the headline I said, "Oh no, not another one. And he was so young too."

    Even my straitlaced Catholic mother (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:25:29 AM EST
    loved George Carlin. He was someone who could make you laugh even as he was questioning your most basic beliefs.

    She let me play that album of his with the orange cover over and over even with the vulgarity - my first foray into adult humor.

    It is hard going into these years where fixtures of our whole lives are going to be passing on.

    R.I.P George, whatever that may entail.

    Saw him in Vegas (none / 0) (#13)
    by bocajeff on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:37:27 AM EST
    Went to see him at, I think, the Riviera about 15 years ago. I spent the day golfing and then came to the show wearing a polo shirt and dockers. He opened the show ripping people who play golf and who wear dockers. Found it ironic that he collected my money while putting me down - and he was insulting us in a rude way, not the fun banter like Don Rickles. I finished my two drinks, got up with my friends and never cared one way or another about him.

    I won't even say Rest in Peace since he doesn't believe in it. My hearfelt condolences, though, to those who love and will miss him.

    I even shared... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:44:18 AM EST
    his disdain for golf....we coulda been lost long relatives:)

    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:39:32 AM EST
    I think he helped a few others to rest just a little more in peace -- in a manner of speaking.

    George Carlin always did like (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 12:12:22 PM EST
    to be a contrarian and do things backwards and upside down from the rest of the world. He was smart enough to be right while most of the world was usually wrong and still is, I think.

    Why, he might even still be putting one over on us, and maybe we shouldn't be surprised if he shows up on the Tonight Show... with Harry Houdini in tow.

    Heh! Now that would be a career capper worthy of Carlin.

    So Sad. (none / 0) (#20)
    by tek on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 01:30:40 PM EST

    I love the quote at CNN (none / 0) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 01:47:08 PM EST
    "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"

    I sometimes felt he knew us better than we knew ourselves.

    I am sad. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Faust on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 01:58:21 PM EST
    One of my favorite Comedians.

    George Carlin....Brilliant....Rest In Peace (none / 0) (#27)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 03:47:34 PM EST