George Denis Patrick Carlin, 1937 - 2008
On stage at Trenton, New Jersey - 4 April 2008
Born: 12 May 1937, The Bronx, New York
Died: 22 May 2008, Santa Monica, California
Carlin was raised by his mother in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which he called "White Harlem" because it sounded tougher. After three semesters at Cardinal Hayes High School he was expelled, although he returned 25 years later to honor the priest in charge of discipline and kept a Hayes baseball jacket in his dressing room on the road. He briefly attended Bishop Dubois High School at Harlem but left to join the Air Force, he served as a radar technician in Louisiana. He started working part time as a disk jockey on KJOE at Shreveport, the Air Force discharged him as "an unproductive airman". In 1959 he worked with Jack Burns as a comedy team on KXOL at Fort Worth, Texas, testing their material at The Cellar. The duo moved to California in 1960, working at Hollywood's KDAY. When he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame he asked that it be placed in front of the KDAY studios. Through the 1960s his standup was delivered wearing a suit and was generally accepted, he was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In the 1970s Carlin lost the suits and his work gained an edge, most notably "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" which was the subject of a landmark Supreme Court case that established that the FCC does have the legal authority, if not any logical standing, to ban offensive words from broadcast media. He was arrested several times for his material and once was arrested with Lenny Bruce, he was in the audience and refused to provide ID. In a career spanning five decades, Carlin was an insightful critic of American society as well as a devoted student of language. In fact, he was a noted member of William Safire's Lexicographic Irregulars. He battled substance abuse, specifically cocaine, alcohol, and Vicodin, and had at least three heart attacks and two cardiac surgeries. Living with his second wife at Venice, California, he suffered chest pains and was taken to Saint John's Health Center at Santa Monica where he died later that day of heart failure.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
George Carlin quotes:
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- A flag is supposed to represent everything that a country does. It doesn't only represent the good things. If you burn the flag, you're burning the flag for what you perceive to be the bad things the country has done. it's only a symbol. It's only a piece of cloth. permalink
- A good motto to live by: Always try not to get killed. permalink
- A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. permalink
- Age is a very high price to pay for maturity. permalink
- Although the photographer and the art thief were close friends, neither had ever taken the other's picture. permalink
Brain Droppings (1997)
- Always do whatever's next. permalink
- America has lost its soul; now it's trying to save its body. permalink
Brain Droppings (1997)
- An art thief is a man who takes pictures. permalink
Napalm and Silly Putty (2001)
- And although I broke a lot of laws as a teenager, I straightened out immediately upon turning eighteen, when I realized the state had a legal right to execute me. permalink
Brain Droppings (1997)
- And, of course, the funniest food: "kumquats". I don't even bring them home anymore. I sit there laughing and they go to waste. permalink
"Fussy Eater, Pt. 1", A Place for My Stuff (1981)
- As a matter of principle, I never attend the first annual anything. permalink
- Atheism is a non-prophet organization. permalink
- Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. permalink
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (2004)
- Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game. Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle. permalink
- Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to? permalink
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