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George Carlin Biography

George Carlin, arguably, is the greatest and -- after Lenny Bruce -- most influential stand-up comedian of all time. Born and raised by his mother in various places in The United States. They moved frequently in order to avoid his father, who in Carlin's words, was a stalker and alcoholic. His mother (as well as his father) worked in marketing, where they met. The long hours the mother worked left the young George by himself for long hours every day, providing him (in his own words), the time he needed to think about various subjects, listen to radio, and practice his impersonations, that where acclaimed by his mother and coworkers since an early age.

George, born in a Catholic family, became an Atheist at an early stage (by his own comedic recall, when he reached the age of reason, at 2 and a half years old). Carlin started out as a conventional comedian and had achieved a fair degree of success as a Bill Cosby style raconteur in nightclubs and on TV until the late 1960s, when he radically overhauled his persona. His routines became more insightful, introducing more serious subjects. As he aged, he became more cynic and bitter, unintentionally changing his stage persona again in a radical way throughout the 90s.

This new George Carlin, usually referred to as the late George Carlin, is one of the most acclaimed and enjoyed by the public and critics. Carlin's forte is Lenny Bruce-style social and political commentary, spiced with nihilistic observations about people and religion peppered with black humor. He is also noted for his masterful knowledge and use of the English language. Carlin's notorious "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine was part of a radio censorship case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978.

Carlin had a history of cardiac problems spanning several decades, including three heart attacks (in 1978 at age 41, 1982 and 1991), an arrhythmia requiring an ablation procedure in 2003, and a significant episode of heart failure in late 2005. He twice underwent angioplasty to reopen narrowed arteries. In early 2005 he entered a drug rehabilitation facility for treatment of addictions to alcohol and Vicodin.

On June 22, 2008, Carlin was admitted to Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica after experiencing chest pain, and he died later that day of heart failure. He was 71 years old. His death occurred one week after his last performance at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. There were further shows on his itinerary. In accordance with his wishes, he was cremated, his ashes scattered, and no public or religious services of any kind were held.

In tribute, HBO broadcast eleven of his fourteen HBO specials from June 25–28, including a twelve-hour marathon block on their HBO Comedy channel. NBC scheduled a rerun of the premiere episode of Saturday Night Live, which Carlin hosted. Both Sirius Satellite Radio's "Raw Dog Comedy" and XM Satellite Radio's "XM Comedy" channels ran a memorial marathon of George Carlin recordings the day following his death. Larry King devoted his entire June 23 show to a tribute to Carlin, featuring interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Maher, Roseanne Barr and Lewis Black, as well as Carlin's daughter Kelly and his brother, Patrick.

On June 24, The New York Times published an op-ed piece on Carlin by Seinfeld. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau paid tribute in his Doonesbury comic strip on July 27.

Four days before his death, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts had named Carlin its 2008 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honoree. The prize was awarded in Washington, D.C. on November 10, making Carlin the first posthumous recipient. Comedians honoring him at the ceremony included Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Lily Tomlin (a past Twain Humor Prize winner), Lewis Black, Denis Leary, Joan Rivers, and Margaret Cho.
Louis C.K. dedicated his stand-up special Chewed Up to Carlin, and Lewis Black dedicated his entire second season of Root of All Evil to him.

For a number of years, Carlin had been compiling and writing his autobiography, to be released in conjunction with a one-man Broadway show tentatively titled New York City Boy. After his death Tony Hendra, his collaborator on both projects, edited the autobiography for release as Last Words (ISBN 1-4391-7295-1). The book, chronicling most of Carlin's life and future plans (including the one-man show) was published in 2009. The audio edition is narrated by Carlin's brother, Patrick.

The text of the one-man show is scheduled for publication under the title New York Boy.
The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade, by Carlin's widow, a collection of previously-unpublished writings and artwork by Carlin interwoven with Wade’s chronicle of the last ten years of their life together, was published in March 2011. (The subtitle is the phrase on a handwritten note Wade found next to her computer upon returning home from the hospital after her husband's death.)

In 2008 Carlin's daughter Kelly Carlin-McCall announced plans to publish an "oral history", a collection of stories from Carlin's friends and family, but she later indicated that the project had been shelved in favor of completion of her own memoir.

George Carlin comedy specials

  • George Carlin: It's Bad For Ya (2008) George Carlin It's Bad For Ya Filmed in Santa Rosa, California. The DVD was released on March 1st, 2008.
  • George Carlin: Life is Worth Losing (2005) George Carlin Life Is Worth Losing Filmed at Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, New York. The DVD was released on November 5th, 2005.
  • George Carlin: Complaints and Grievances George Carlin Complaints & Grievances Filmed at Beach Theatre in Manhattan, New York. The DVD was released on November 17th, 2001.
  • George Carlin: You Are All Diseased George Carlin You Are All Diseased Filmed at Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, New York. The DVD was released on February 6th, 1999.
  • George Carlin: Back In Town (1996) George Carlin Back In Town Filmed at Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, New York. The Special was released on March 11th, 1996.
  • George Carlin: Jammin In New York (1992) George Carlin Jammin' In New York Filmed in New York City, New York. The Special was released on March 11th, 1992.
  • George Carlin: Doin' It Again (1990) George Carlin Doin' It Again Filmed in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Special was released on March 23rd, 1990.
  • George Carlin: What Am I Doing In New Jersey (1988) George Carlin What Am I Doing In New Jersey Filmed in Union City, New Jersey. The Special was released on June 9th, 1988.
  • George Carlin: Playing With Your Head (1986) George Carlin Playing With Your Head The Special was released on May 2nd, 1986.
  • George Carlin: Carlin On Campus (1984) George Carlin Carlin on Campus Filmed in Los Angeles, California. The Special was released in 1984
  • George Carlin: Carlin at Carnegie (1982) George Carlin Carlin at Carnegie Filmed at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan, New York. The Special was released in 1982.
  • George Carlin: On Location Phoenix (1978) George Carlin On Location Phoenix Filmed in Phoenix, Arizona. The Special was released on July 23rd, 1978.
  • George Carlin: On Location USC George Carlin On Location USC Filmed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Special in 1977.

George Carlin jokes, Quotes and One Liners

I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions.

Have you noticed that most of the women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place?

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

Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child who’s self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.”

There are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 to 7. They must really be baaaad. They must be OUTRAGEOUS to be separated from a group that large. “All of you words over here, you seven….baaaad words.” That’s what they told us, right? …You know the seven, don’t ya? That you can’t say on TV? Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.

Religion has 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 list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.

Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?

You can prick your finger — just don’t finger your prick.

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”?

I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.

One great thing about getting old is that you can get out of all sorts of social obligations just by saying you’re too tired.

Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.

It isn’t fair: the caterpillar does all the work, and the butterfly gets all the glory.

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

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