Sadly, one of the greatest comedians who ever lived has passed into the great beyond. George Carlin died last night at the age of 71, of heart failure.
George Carlin, the Grammy-Award winning standup comedian and actor who was hailed for his irreverent social commentary, poignant observations of the absurdities of everyday life and language, and groundbreaking routines like “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” died in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday, according to his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He was 71.
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The cause of death was heart failure. Mr. Carlin, who had a history of heart problems, went into the hospital on Sunday afternoon after complaining of heart trouble. The comedian had worked last weekend at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
from this New York Times article.
Carlin’s manic curmudgeon persona and his misanthropic observations on life were that unique kind of comedy that made you laugh and think. Nowadays most comedians just make you think about poop or some bizarre sexual practice they’re talking about, but Carlin had a unique way of looking at things. Hi HBO specials were some of the best comedy out there, and I imagine they’ll be in re-runs soon.
He started with wordplay- if you look him up on youtube, his Ed Sullivan show skits are still clever and funny, without any of the “7 words” he was famous for. After Lenny Bruce died, he sort of carried the torch. Is there anyone like him out there? We’ve got plenty of profane comedians who say things that even George didn’t, but he had a bleak and hilarious perspective on things that will be sorely missed.
Who am I kidding? He wouldn’t want that shit. Here’s a send-off from one of his 80’s specials.
Rat shit, bat shit, dirty old twat.
Sixty nine assholes tied in a knot!
Hooray, lizard shit, FUCK!