"The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept."

Happy birthday George Carlin!


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George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American comedian, social critic, actor, and author. He is remembered for his commentary on politics, psychology, religion, and for his candidness with relatively taboo subjects. His routine "Seven Dirty Words" inspired a case to be taken by the Supreme Court, which ended in the Supreme Court affirming the government's power to regulate broadcasters.

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Carlin was born in Manhattan, New York to Mary and Patrick Carlin, but he was raised by his mother, who left his father when Carlin was only two months old. He was raised Irish Catholic in Morningside Heights. Carlin had a mostly negative experience in parochial school, and this influenced much of his commentary later in life. He dropped out of school by the ninth grade, and at the age of 17, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

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His performance career began when he worked as a disc jockey while stationed in Shreveport, Louisiana. After he was discharged from the military in 1957, he got jobs in radio in Boston and Fort Worth, Texas. In 1959, he and his colleague, Jack Burns, while both working at radio station KXOL in Fort Worth, began as a comedy team. They performed to successful receptions at coffeehouses and decided to move to California. Once there, the team created The Wright Brothers, a comedy duo for a morning show on KDAY. By this point, they had both made names for themselves and split up.

Carlin made appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show during the 1960s. Some of his sketches included:

The Indian Sergeant ("You wit' the beads... get outta line")

Stupid disc jockeys ("Wonderful WINO...")—"The Beatles' latest record, when played backwards at slow speed, says 'Dummy! You're playing it backwards at slow speed!'"

Al Sleet, the "hippie-dippie weatherman"—"Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely scattered light towards morning."

Jon Carson—the "world never known, and never to be known"


Carlin was so popular on the Tonight Show that he became a frequent substitute. By the beginning of the 1970s, his routines became more vulgar. In 1972, he was arrested for violating obscenity laws for his routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." The incident sparked a Supreme Court case on FCC regulations. Not only did his material become more vulgar, it also had a distinct anti-establishment flavor. This was showcased when he hosted Saturday Night Live in 1975.


Throughout the end of the 1970s, Carlin recorded comedy specials including On Location: George Carlin at USC and thirteen others. He then released compilations of many of his performances. His comedy albums have won five Grammy Awards.


His 1997 book, Brain Droppings, spent 18 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.

Carlin has appeared in a number of films including Outrageous Fortune (1987), Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), and Dogma (1999).

Five days before his death in 2008, he was awarded the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Monday, 12 May 2014
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