George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008 was a Grammy-winning American stand-up comedian, actor, and author.
Carlin was especially noted for his political and black humor and his observations on language, psychology, and religion along with many taboo subjects. Carlin and his "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a narrow 5-4 decision by the justices affirmed the government's right to regulate Carlin's act on the public airwaves.
Carlin's most recent stand-up routines focused on the flaws in modern-day America. He often took on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture.
A disciple of Lenny Bruce, he placed second on the Comedy Central cable television network list of the 10 greatest stand-up comedians, ahead of Bruce and behind Richard Pryor. He was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, and was also the first person to host Saturday Night Live.
Although raised in the Roman Catholic faith, Carlin often denounced the idea of God in interviews and performances, most notably with his "Invisible Man in the Sky" and "There Is No God" routines. In mockery, he invented the parody religion Frisbeetarianism for a newspaper contest. He defined it as the belief that when a person dies "his soul gets flung onto a roof, and just stays there", and cannot be retrieved.
Carlin also joked that he worshipped the Sun, because he could actually see it, but prayed to Joe Pesci (a good friend of his in real life) because "he's a good actor", and "looks like a guy who can get things done!"
Carlin also introduced the "Two Commandments", a revised "pocket-sized" list of the Ten Commandments in his HBO special Complaints and Grievances, ending with the additional commandment of "Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself
On June 22, 2008, Carlin was admitted to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California complaining of chest pain. He died later that day at 5:55 p.m. PDT of heart failure at the age of 71.
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