Of all the great comics of the late 20th century, I found George Carlin to be one of the most hilarious. Even when he was being banal and mean-spirited, he could make me laugh. So Iâ€™m saddened to hear of his death yesterday at the age of 71.
His routine â€œSeven Words You Can Never Say on Televisionâ€ is a cultural classic, as funny for the devil-may-care delivery Carlin gave it as for the bitingly powerful social commentary created by nothing more than a few dirty words. Later in his career, he expanded the list of obscenities into a long, rolling collection of filth that was the Iliad of vulgarity, epic and lyrical in its crudeness. I laughed every time.
Carlin skewered not just those in power but the rest of us as well. He took no prisoners. But apparently, he wasnâ€™t immortal. I think Carlin would approve with my reaction upon hearing the news of his death: well, that f**king sucks.