George Carlin Dead at 71

Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy

We’ve hit the end of era, my friends. George Carlin has died. (To paraphrase an observation from his HBO special “Doin’ It Again”, he didn’t pass away or expire like a magazine subscription, he god damn died.)

The cause was heart failure. Even though Carlin had two heart surgeries over the course of his life, he still seemed in good shape. And he was still a vital artist, recording his 14th HBO special “It’s Bad For Ya” this year. His website schedule listed several upcoming shows until the end of the year.

The Kennedy Center had just recently announced that Carlin would receive the 2008 Mark Twain Prize for Humor. The event celebrating this honor is set to take place on November 10th of this year. Though it’s a shame that it’ll be posthumous, at least Carlin got off a quip about it, telling Mark Twain ““have your people call my people.” (Tickets for the ceremony will go on sale August 11th)

New York Times Obituary
Los Angeles Times Obituary

Carlin’s most well known routine: Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television, from his second HBO special “George Carlin: Again.”

I’m more than a little shocked and laid low by this news. Entry will be updated as more comes in.

Hulu’s posts Carlin’s monologue from SNL’s first episode
HBO plans a George Carlin marathon

and my own personal remembrance of George Carlin, featuring some audio that I’ll always treasure.

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Posted by Red on 06/23  at  02:16 AM

Tragic, somehow you believe guys like Carlin will live forever.

Posted by stojan211287 on 06/23  at  05:06 AM

What a damn shame…R.I.P. George. I was so looking forward to coming to America and seeing you perform live…

Posted by Seizure Kaiser on 06/23  at  12:49 PM

Heard the news just before I was going to go on stage

Its a tragedy and a blow to the comedy world

Will be forever missed

Posted by Rob Bates on 06/23  at  03:43 PM

Hey Todd ... decent overview here ...,8599,1817192,00.html

For what it’s worth I saw an HBO special of his about a year ago, and the only think I could think, is damn—this guy generates a lot of material, and damn again, he must really work hard at this stuff.

Very impressive considering he was in his sixties.

RIP, George.

Posted by Chris on 06/23  at  06:30 PM

When I was a kid, say around 10 or so, George Carlin’s Class Clown was one of the first records that I bought with my own money ( mother, bless her, really had no clue about its content, and I never played it when she was around). Needless to say, it changed my life forever and it has always been an important touchstone for me as I’ve made my way in the world.

What makes his passing even more sad is that we still needed him. We needed his humor and we needed his insight. And, most importantly, we needed him to remind us from time to time that laughing and thinking were not mutually exclusive to one another.

Thanks for everything George. Say hi to Lenny, Bill, John, and Gilda for me, Ok?

Posted by Jacob on 06/24  at  03:24 AM

Damn! :o Why do they all have to go? Still, RIP, and thanks for everything.

Posted by Dana Friedman on 07/06  at  02:44 PM

The first of George’s material that I’d heard at the time of its release was “A Place For My Stuff”...He made me aware of language as I never had been before. Having listened to his work changed my entire outlook on language—especially “Politically Correct” language. Had he only been a lecturer, and not one of the greatest standups of all time, he’d still have provided an invaluable (valuable, just like flammable and inflammable, God bless him) contribution to the world. Thank you for the laughs, and for the sensitivity to language, George.

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