“I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”No one lives forever, but it’s difficult to think of a world without George Carlin in it, observing, calculating, pulling us up when we veered into silliness. Taking us to silliness. And sometimes both at once.
Carlin died of heart failure today in Los Angeles. From Reuters:
Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s 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.The comedian’s death comes just days after the Kennedy Center announced that Carlin would receive the 2008 Mark Twain prize in November.
“Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.”Carlin was the author of three bestselling books: When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?, Brain Droppings and Napalm and Silly Putty.