Monday, June 23, 2008
a legend passes: george carlin.
yesterday, george carlin, the comedian known for his boundary-pushing, in-your-face stand-up routines, died from heart failure in an l.a. hospital. he was 71.
carlin wrote three best-selling books, won four grammy's, recorded 22 comedy albums, headlined 14 hbo television specials, and hosted hundreds of variety shows. one was, memorably the first ever episode of 'saturday night live' in 1975, when he was high on cocaine.
carlin achieved status as an anti-establishment icon in the '70s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine called 'seven words you can never say on television.' a regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of the routine ultimately reached the u.s. supreme court.
ultimately, the 1978 case, f.c.c. vs. pacifica foundation, the top u.s. court ruled that the words cited in his routine were indecent, and that the government's broadcast regulator could ban them from being aired at times when children might be listening.
r.i.p. mr. carlin. thanks for all the laughs.