George Carlin – Icon of Comedy Dies at 71
Sadly, a comedic legend has passed away. George Carlin was a strong advocate of free speech. His work has been the cornerstone of comedy for decades.
He’s most famous for his hilarious routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television.” The bit was so controversial, that it ended up being a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity.
Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.
When his seven taboo words were played on a New York radio station, they resulted in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government’s authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening.
“So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I’m perversely kind of proud of,” he told The Associated Press earlier this year.
George Carlin produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a couple of TV shows and appeared in several movies, from his own comedy specials to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in 1989
Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, and grew up in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan, raised by a single mother.
Carlin’s first wife, Brenda, died in 1997. He is survived by wife Sally Wade; daughter Kelly Carlin McCall; son-in-law Bob McCall; brother Patrick Carlin; and sister-in-law Marlene Carlin.