George Carlin





5/12/1937 , Morningside Heights (Upper Manhattan), New York



Birth Name

George Denis Patrick Carlin




George Carlin is an acclaimed stand-up comic, actor and an author. He was most famous for his role in the Supreme Court's 1978 case F.C.C vs Pacifica Foundation. Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" routine was ultimately deemed "indecent" but not "obscene", thereby determining broadcast standards since.

Carlin grew up in New York City and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. He joined the Air Force and was stationed in Louisiana. Carlin tried his hand as a DJ in Shreveport, and after his discharge, found himself in Fort Worth, Texas, where he started doing stand-up. Carlin climbed the ladder until he started making frequent appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Tonight Show" amidst his comedy album releases.

Carlin's act changed dramatically during the 70's, as his dark humor, coupled with a new 'hippie look' forever changed the landscape of American humor. Carlin was notably the host on the first episode of "Saturday Night Live" in 1975. Because of his drug use and a heart condition, Carlin's career went into a decline during the late 70's. While his appearances were less frequent, he did start doing regular shows for HBO, which kept him in the public eye.

The late 80's saw a resurgence of Carlin's popularity as a result of his appearance in the "Bill & Ted" movies and he returned to his stand-up act, which was typically aired on HBO and had an accompanying album. Carlin also started writing books to further explore his almost nihilist look at the world and it's problems. In recent years Carlin has done voice-over roles in animated films and television.

Carlin was admitted to Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica on the morning of June 22, 2008, where he died of heart failure later that evening.
  • George Carlin

    © 2009 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
  • © 2008 HBO
  • © 2008 HBO
  • © 2008 HBO