George Carlin

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George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an satirist and stand-up comedian in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. He appeared on TV and had several small parts in movies. He was an agnostic/atheist (see: Celebrity atheists).

Many of his jokes poke fun at peculiarities of English language:

  • Why is it that night falls but day breaks?
  • Why is the third hand on the watch called a second hand?

He skewered all sorts of absurdities in American life:

  • And why do they lock the public bathrooms at gas stations? Are they afraid that someone will clean them?[1]

Carlin was very vulgar in his comedy, mocking what he disagreed with in an audacious way that people often took offense to.


George Carlin has been a long-standing testament to the countercultural revolution of the '60s and '70s and was no stranger to controversy.

In 1973, he was arrested after a show in Oregon on obscenity charges after his routine "The 7 Dirty Words (You Can't Say On TV Or Radio)" was played uncensored on the radio. The case created a stir on definitions of indecency and the restrictions by the FCC.

Carlin was also an outspoken atheist, and virulently anti-Christian and anti-establishment.

He blamed the October 2007 wildfires in Los Angeles County on the people, saying that they "invaded the habitat, and are getting theirs."

He also criticized global warming and environmentalism.[2]


  • "Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man, living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these 10 things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send *you* to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever til the end of time...but he loves you."[3]
  • "Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers."[4]


Carlin passed away on June 22, 2008, as a result of heart failure. He was 71.

His memoir Last Words (written with Tony Hendra) was published in November 2009.


External links