George Carlin Is Dead

And that’s how he would have wanted us to say it.

Carlin “was the total package”:

He wielded the English Language like a weapon, and he had mastered the art of delivery. You could line up ten thousand people and have them all repeat the same line, but it would be George Carlin that made it funny, that made you first crack a smile, then laugh, then start to lose control of your entire body until you thought that your lungs had exited through your throat while your bladder began sending your brain the same “Fuck you” message over and over again. He knew when to be deadpan, and when to be emotional and it really did seem as though things that came out of his mouth were funny not because of what they were, but because he was the one that said them.

He knew the difference between football and baseball.

There was language in his routines.

He loved to tip sacred cows:

His comedic sensibility revolved around a central theme: humanity is a cursed, doomed species.

“I don’t have any beliefs or allegiances. I don’t believe in this country, I don’t believe in religion, or a god, and I don’t believe in all these man-made institutional ideas,” he told Reuters in a 2001 interview.

Carlin told Playboy in 2005 that he looked forward to an afterlife where he could watch the decline of civilization on a “heavenly CNN.”

Five little words and two bigger ones got him in trouble.

He understood the meaning of life.

He was “a warrior for the First Amendment.”

Sometimes he looked like Barry Gibb.

James Joyner has a good roundup.

Yes, he was married and he did have a family.

He won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, but died before he could hold it in his hands.

He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea — that’s to be expected, given his brand of humor.

True it is that George Carlin didn’t see the point in organized religion or god or country. But he never missed the point. Whatever else you might say about him, he never took himself or life too seriously.

And “[w]e foul-mouthed bloggers owe him a tremendous debt.”

Cross-posted at Liberty Street.

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