Monday, June 23, 2008
I woke up this morning to read on the MSNBC ticker that George Carlin had died from heart failure. Wow, this one is really sad for me. Yes, he came out of the counter-culture of the late '60s, and yes, there was that infamous list of seven words you can't say on TV (I'm sorry to confess there have been times when I have said all seven of them), but looking past that, he was a gifted performer. His routine required you to think a little bit, required you to be engaged.
Later in his career, he was the quintessential little guy, railing against the government, corporate greed and general ineptitude. My earliest memories of Carlin were listening to sanitized versions of his routine on the Dr. Demento show. Later on, I made sure to catch every HBO special he did. He was ok in movies and TV shows, but I thought he was at his best on stage, angrily stalking back and forth, trying to make sense of our non-sensical world.
So, rest in peace, George.