Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Comedian George Carlin, A New York Native, Dies Of Heart Failure

Jun 24, 2008
On NY1 Now: News All Day
Comedian George Carlin, A New York Native, Dies Of Heart Failure
Celebrated comedian and social critic George Carlin died of heart failure Sunday in Santa Monica, California at 71.
Carlin, a native New Yorker who was born and raised in Morningside Heights, told people to look in the mirror, question their own behavior, and laugh at the ridiculous nature of American life. "That's the whole meaning of life isn't it, trying to find a place for your stuff," said Carlin.
"That's all your house is, your house is just a place for stuff."
After a stint in the Air Force, Carlin entered show business, first as a radio disc jockey then as a comic. Carlin found his niche far away from the safe comedy of his predecessors.
He spent decades ridiculing society and popular culture, pushing the accepted boundaries of free speech with bits like the "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television."
Carlin was arrested for that routine, but the charges were later dropped under First Amendment rights. When the routine was later played on New York radio station WBAI, the station was fined and censured by the Federal Communication Commission, leading to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on offensive material during hours when children might be listening.
New Yorkers said that he will be missed.
"I thought he was a great comedian," said one New Yorker. "You know, he always made me laugh. And I'm a young guy, and even I understood where he was coming from."
"I have memories of him, cracking me up," said another.
"Carlin had a lot of guts to come in front of people and say a lot of things people say we shouldn't mention," said a third.
Carlin produced nearly two dozen comedy albums, wrote three books, and won four Grammys. He was also the first host of "Saturday Night Live."


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