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George Carlin

George Carlin (born May 12, 1937) is a stand-up comedian, actor, and author, noted especially for his irreverent attitude and his observations on language and religion.

At age 17, Carlin dropped out of high school. He joined the United States Air Force, and was trained as a radar mechanic. He was stationed in Shreveport, Louisiana, when he began working as a disc jockey on a local radio station. He was discharged from service.

When he was 18, he and Jack Burns[?], a new announcer at the station, assembled a comedy routine and began booking nightclubs. Soon the act broke up. Carlin continued to work as a stand-up comic.

In the 1960s, Carlin began appearing on variety TV programs. His more famous skits were:

  • Indian war parties ("You wit' the beads...get outta line"),
  • stupid disc jockeys: ("Wonderful WINO...")
  • Al Sleet, the Hippie-Dippie weather man.

During this period, Carlin became more popular. He was cast on Away We Go, the 1967 comedy show. Carlin changed both his routines and appearance. Carlin lost some TV bookings by dressing as a hippie-style, with beard and earrings. Carlin regained his popularity when the public caught up to his sense of style.

A famous nightclub routine he perfected in this period was: "The Seven Words You Can't Use On Television." This made Carlin famous, and offended many conservatives. An FM radio station almost lost its license because playing the routine broke the FCC laws against airwave use. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin Carlin was arrested for violating obscenity laws. These events increased Carlin's popularity with young people. Carlin was the first guest on Saturday Night Live.

In the 1970s, Carlin became famous for his unpredictable performances. He would walk off if no one laughed, verbally insult the audience, or simply not appear. In the 1980s Carlin reformed. By 1989 Carlin became popular with teens when he was cast as a mentor, Rufus in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Carlin began a weekly sitcom, The George Carlin Show, cast as "George" a cab driver, for the Fox Network in 1993. He quickly included a variation of the "Seven Words" in the plot.

A staunch atheist, Carlin has often denounced the idea of god in interviews and performances.


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