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George Carlin

Famed for his landmark "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" routine, George Carlin filled the void created by the death of Lenny Bruce, honing a provocative, scathing comic style that bravely explored the limits of free speech and good taste. George Dennis Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, in New York City. While serving a stint in the military, he was stationed in Shreveport, LA, where he began working as a disc jockey; after working with fellow radio personality Jack Burns on a Shreveport morning show, in 1955 the duo began performing in clubs as a comedy team. Burns & Carlin made their recorded debut in 1960 with a live show consisting of their rendition of Lenny Bruce's "Dijinni in the Candy Store" routine (Bruce was an early supporter of the duo as well as a major influence), along with a spot-on impersonation of Mort Sahl and the sketch "Captain Jack and Jolly George," a spoof of children's shows inviting young girls to "send for your Lolita kit."

By and large, the Burns & Carlin team found little success, and eventually broke up; their album was released on the tiny Era Records label under the name Burns & Carlin at the Playboy Club Tonight (despite having been recorded at Hollywood's Cosmo Alley), but failed to generate much attention. Meanwhile, Burns split to begin working with Avery Schreiber. Striking out on his own, Carlin initially worked in roles that cast him as a clean-cut, straight-laced performer; his proper solo debut, 1967's Take Offs and Put Ons (recorded at The Roostertail in Detroit, MI) offered clever if mild-mannered routines like "Wonderful WINO," about a mindless disc jockey. That year he was also tapped to co-star in Away We Go, a summer replacement series for The Jackie Gleason Show; still, despite his success, Carlin found his suit-and-tie image stifling, and began gravitating toward the image and ideals of the counterculture.

Re-emerging as a long-haired, bearded, denim-clad hippie, he lost many of his high-paying gigs, but his riffs on sex, drugs, and politics quickly gained an avid following among the fringe culture. While 1972's FM & AM offered an even split between the safer material of his past work and the more incendiary routines of the "new" Carlin, 1972's Class Clown and the following year's Occupation Foole marked his full evolution into a counterculture icon. Most notably, Class Clown featured the recorded debut of the "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" bit, the subject of a Supreme Court ruling after the FCC nearly stripped Pacifica Radio of its FM license for playing the routine on the air. At the same time, Carlin himself was arrested after a Milwaukee concert appearance for violating local obscenity laws.

The controversy only made him a bigger star, and in 1975 he was tapped to host the debut episode of the NBC sketch comedy showcase Saturday Night Live. The same year also saw the release of the LP An Evening with Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo, highlighted by an early performance of what soon evolved into his popular "Baseball -- Football" routine. In 1976 Carlin appeared in the film Car Wash, and in 1977 he issued On the Road. However, as a new breed of way-out comedians like Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Andy Kaufman began to emerge, Carlin's brand of incisive sociopolitical commentary began to fall from favor; plagued by substance abuse problems, he did not record again until 1981's A Place for My Stuff, and gained a reputation for unpredictable, often abusive on-stage behavior.

By the middle of the decade, he resurfaced clean and sober for 1985's Carlin on Campus and 1986's Playin' with Your Head, which reprised material from recent cable TV and home video performances. After 1988's What Am I Doing in New Jersey?, he found a new following among teens thanks to his appearances in the popular Bill and Ted screen comedies; in the early '90s, he courted an even younger audience by assuming the lead role on the PBS children's series Shining Time Station. Still, Carlin did not neglect his core audience; 1990's Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics and 1992's Jammin' in New York found him as feisty as ever, and in 1994 he starred as an abrasive cabdriver in the short-lived Fox television sitcom The George Carlin Show. Additionally, he continued to tour constantly, and in 1997 issued the album Back in Town. Like many of his '90s recordings, 1999's You Are All Diseased was issued as a complement to an hourlong HBO special.

Carlin continued to perform throughout the country on an intensive basis, and issued his politically fueled Complaints and Grievances shortly after the September 11th tragedy. It was followed by 2006's Life Is Worth Losing and 2008's It's Bad for Ya. Both featured some of his bleakest material to date, the latter being driven by the subject of death. It was announced that Carlin would be the recipient of the 2008 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, to be awarded in November 2008 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Only days later, on June 22, 2008, Carlin died of heart failure in Santa Monica, CA. The Kennedy Center announced that Carlin would receive the prize posthumously and that the November event would be dedicated to him. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Ah funny, miss you old man
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God doesn't exist
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Why does George Carlin come on Janet Jackson radio
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This man is one of the few reasons I'm still able to laugh today
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LMFAO
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George carlin is number 1 in my book .. I can't get enough ... If you are on George carlins wavelength you know what I am talking about ��
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This man was a genius. He makes me look at life a different way. He's the reason im a realist.
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HE'S MY IMAGINARY SPIRIT GUIDE.
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How can I delete a station?
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Really your hands are part of soccer when your goalie, but I still love him (no homo).
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No one holds a candle to what he did in stand up comedy from age 18 and performed in my home town a couple months before his death. One of a kind comedian who will never be forgotten. Wish he was here to talk about the state of our country today
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pulling your pud........ XD
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johnson_skyl i n e 9 9
that guy at 4:30 yelling It's Me
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edwnc
Miss ya, Georgie!
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Wwwwwelllll I guess Georgie,,,,, b u t the bullshit has unfortunatel y , a n d rather repulsively hit the gigantic fan in wash.,d.c.
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I miss this man so much. Carlin was beyond genius, quicksilver mind to the end. The comedy world is just a little less funny without him. RIP
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That's because he been around, the block..most Americans have become big p**sys.
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oh man, just listened to his riff on the diaper sniffing, baby worshiping, professional parents Carlin was always on point. I'm not even sure this guy was actually a comedian. He was a prophet and a warning, and he is sorely missed.
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U don't have to smoke a j to listen to his stuff he is a genius
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GC is the man
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Love his style of comedy. smoke a bowl and laugh your a** off!
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A priceless talented genius!!! Sadly missed, always remembered and loved by many...
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One of the best comedians ever.
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deanstockton 6 2
Great & Genuis
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Recently I've discovered the futile nature of living life, and George equally helps expose the world and ease the stress. We love and miss you.
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R.I.P. George, We Miss you! Thank you for all your brilliant work that will live for generations to come.
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George Carlin was and still is the $#!7! My thumbs down were all accidental forgive me GEORGE.
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Little fun fact, Complaints and Grievances was supposed to be titled " I Kinda Like It When a Lot of People Die" that was of course before 9/11 ironically funny
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He is one of my heroes, along with Lemmy Kilmister. Has been for a long time. I generally don't say negative things about people on something as superfluous as the Pandora comment section, but FU if you base on this man. You are a loser and a troll... And probably a lame-a** Christian.
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a.rouse1
This guy is one hell of a comic. Awesome!
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roxxie_jean
Love Love LOVE This Man! *to those that don't like his routines, change the channel.
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Awesome
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I just realized something about the test of time: I just had my 43rd birthday just this past Friday. That happens to be the same year George Carlin came up with the seven things you can't say on television. Amazing how you can relate to that bit 40 years later. Can't say anything I do will leave a mark on society. Unless I count my wonderful son.
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George Carlin was funny and it will last the test of time. Most of his material is not date. Ask anyone about the seven things you cannot say on tv. That is something that I am sure my three year old son will be listening later on in his life. I am confident he will enjoy it and perhaps he will pass it on to his babies too. Not trying to be funny, but I am certain I have a good sense of humor and rather funny. I will agree you do have the right to talk, but I have not spoken a word on Pandora. I
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To me the very best are Carlin&carve y a b s o l u t e l y wacky!I can't get enough of these dudes
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Obviously some people don't realize that Mr. Carlin died years ago, so him going to hell or not is a mute point.
Plus, given the fact that he also died BEFORE your relations passed away Allen Fawcett your statement is also mute....so feel free to keep talking about the dead..not like he's gonna change his stand up routine any time soon!!
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Allen Fawcett you are a f#cking dick, go play on the freeway you f#cking looser. If all you want to do is boost your post count why don't you go do it on someone like the Jonas Brothers ABBA. I cant figure out why a dumb @ss like yourself would even be on here. Go back to your room in your mothers house you 40 y/o c*m sucking f**got
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LMAO.. Allen Fawcett is trolling on Pandora, get a life looser and go fck yourself. George Carlin is a comedic legend!
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allenfawcett 1 2 3
The law say's I have the. Right to talk
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bioniclesste v e
Love how I see people on here commenting about how much they hate him or how much he is going to hell. If you don't like him, WHY ARE YOU HERE?!?
Let the rest of us, who DO like him, enjoy his material. Just because you don't like him, doesn't me we have to stick with you. We can toss you off this ship just as fast as you tossed him off yours.

This man is a comedic genius. Granted, it is a bit too profane at times, others he is too explicit. But none the less, he is a genius.
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This guy sounds like the dude narrating Thomas the tank engine
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Allen Fawcett--- the fact you went out of your way to comment on something you didn't like and didn't speak to you so here's a little something for you.....as the late great George Carlin would say go f**k yourself
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This man is hilarious
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I think Carlin inadvertantl y gave the current administrati o n of Nazi whore some social engineering ideas
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Louis ck,I wish Sarah Palin would give you a solid kick right in your rotten balls you psychotic son of a b**ch,your all stupid losers!
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@Allen Fawcett because you are weak minded.
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allenfawcett 1 2 3
George carlin is not funny to me at all
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I dedicate this segment to all the liberals,per f e c t analogy by GC,leave well enough alone
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I certainly believe G C went out with a bang,his last several shows on HBO were very funny,but with a more cutting manner,but more hilarious than ever! No one else I wanna listen to .
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allenfawcett 1 2 3
George carlin you are going to hell
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