George Carlin

Comedian, Actor, Writer
Along with Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, George Carlin was one of the most influential, respected and controversial stand-up comics of the late 20th century. His humor was built on the vagaries of human behavior - the ... Read more »
Born: 05/11/1937 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (84)

George Carlin: Mark Twain Prize 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin: It's Bad For Ya 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

History of the Joke 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Happily N'Ever After 2007 (Movie)

Wizard (Voice)

Cars 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Fillmore (Actor)

George Carlin: Life is Worth Losing 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Real Time with Bill Maher 1993 - 1995, 2003 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The George Carlin Show 1993 - 1995, 2003 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Aristocrats 2005 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 2004 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Jersey Girl 2004 (Movie)

Bart Trinke (Actor)

Tarzan 2 2004 (Movie)

Zugor (Voice)

Scary Movie 3 2003 (Movie)

The Architect (Actor)

George Carlin: Complaints and Grievances 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Chris Rock Show 1996 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Firesign Theatre: Weirdly Cool 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Heroes of Black Comedy 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 2001 (Movie)

Hitchhiker (Actor)

The 15th Annual American Comedy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Mister Moose's Fun Time 1998 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Dogma 1999 (Movie)

Cardinal Glick (Actor)

George Carlin: You Are All Diseased 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

12th Annual American Comedy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Shining Time Station 1988 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Simpsons 1998 (Tv Show)

Voice

George Carlin's Personal Favorites 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin: Back in Town 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

20 Years of Comedy on HBO 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Human Language 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

But... Seriously 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

New Year's Eve '94 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 8th Annual American Comedy Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Alan King: Inside the Comedy Mind 1990 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

More of the Best of the Hollywood Palace 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 7th Annual American Comedy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures 1990 - 1992 (TV Show)

Voice

George Carlin Live at the Paramount 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey 1991 (Movie)

Rufus (Actor)

The Prince of Tides 1991 (Movie)

Eddie Detreville (Actor)

Comic Relief IV 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin -- Doin' It Again 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

An All-Star Celebration: The '88 Vote 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure 1989 (Movie)

Rufus (Actor)

What's Alan Watching? 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2nd Annual American Comedy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The Late Show 1986 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Outrageous Fortune 1987 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

The 1st Annual American Comedy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Welcome Home 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin: Playin' With Your Head 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Apt. 2-C Starring George Carlin 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

George Carlin at Carnegie Hall 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

100 Years of Golden Hits 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Make 'em Laugh 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

A Tribute to "Mr. Television," Milton Berle 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Mac Davis... Sounds Like Home 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mad Mad Mad Mad World of the Super Bowl 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Tony Orlando and Dawn 1973 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Car Wash 1976 (Movie)

Taxi Driver (Actor)

Perry Como's Hawaiian Holiday 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

The Flip Wilson Comedy Special 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Saturday Night Live 1975 (Tv Show)

Actor

That Girl 1966 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

With Six You Get Eggroll 1968 (Movie)

Herbie Flack (Actor)

The Perry Como Springtime Show 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Justin Case (TV Show)

Actor

Star Search (TV Show)

Actor

Streets of Laredo (Movie)

(Actor)

The N-Word (TV Show)

Actor

Welcome Back, Kotter (TV Show)

Actor

Working Trash (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Along with Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, George Carlin was one of the most influential, respected and controversial stand-up comics of the late 20th century. His humor was built on the vagaries of human behavior - the truth behind words and phrases, the quandaries presented in everyday life, and the hypocrisies of authority - which was unleashed on audiences in a stream-of-consciousness delivery that was equal parts profanity and profundity. Carlin sowed his seeds of free thought through over 20 albums and a record 14 specials for HBO, as well as five best-selling books and countless live performances in Las Vegas and around the United States. And over the course of a 50-year career in comedy, he helped redefine the notion of the stand-up, as well as broaden and question the boundaries of free speech in entertainment.

Born George Dennis Carlin on May 12, 1937, Carlin was raised in New York City, NY, primarily by his mother, who left her husband when Carlin was an infant. His early years showed a marked anti-authority bent - he quit school at the age of 14 and spent much of his twenties earning numerous court martials and rank demotions while serving as a radar technician with the Air Force at a base in Shreveport, LA from 1954 to 1956. He was honorably discharged in 1957. While still in the Air Force, the 19-year-old Carlin started working as a disc jockey at a local radio station, and pursued this line of work for several years after his discharge in Boston and Fort Worth, TX.

Carlin partnered with another fast-talking and funny jock named Jack Burns while at KXOL in Texas, and in 1960, the duo lit out for Hollywood with dreams of finding their fortune as a comedy duo. The pair worked as DJs in Los Angeles while honing their stand-up act in local clubs; even recording a live album, Burns and Carlin at the Playboy Club Tonight, which was actually recorded at the less-upscale Cosmo's Alley. The pair covered the Los Angeles and national nightclub scene until 1962, when they parted ways amicably to pursue solo careers (the Playboy Club album was released a year after they broke up). During this period, Carlin also met Brenda Hosbrook while performing in Dayton, OH, and after driving from New York to Dayton to propose to her, the couple was married on June 3, 1961 in the living room of Hosbrook's parents. A daughter, Kelly, was born on June 15, 1963.

Carlin made his debut as a solo stand-up act on "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ) in 1961, shortly after Jack Paar had left the program. The appearance did nothing for Carlin's career, but he refused to relent from his goals, instead heading for New York with the intention of landing appearances on some of the primetime variety and talk shows. He also began appearing at some of the hipper clubs in the city like Café Wha and The Bitter End in the East Village. Eventually, talent bookers for "The Merv Griffin Show" (NBC/CBS, Syndicated, 1962-63, 1965-69, 1969-1972, and 1972-1986) caught his act, and he made his debut on the "Griffin" show in 1965. This was followed shortly by appearances on "The Mike Douglas Show" (syndicated, 1961-1982) and "The Jimmy Dean Show" (ABC, 1963-66). The sudden wave of success prompted Carlin to relocate with his family to Los Angeles, after which his profile grew even larger with guest shots on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (CBS, 1948-1971) and a 12-week stint as a writer and performer on "The Kraft Summer Music Hall" (NBC, 1966). Carlin also logged his first acting role as Marlo Thomas' agent on "That Girl" (ABC, 1966-1971). His first movie appearance came in 1968 as a "kooky" carhop in the Doris Day vehicle "With Six You Get Eggroll."

Carlin's comedy at this point was essentially a cleaner and less confrontational version of his act in the 1970s and beyond. He was enamored with observational humor and used his deep, flexible voice to excellent effect - most notably on popular characters like "The Indian Sergeant" and "Al Sleet, The Hippie-Dippie Weatherman," who gave philosophical and occasionally thick-headed broadcasts on the weather. Both of these routines, along with several others he honed during his growing television appearances, were featured on his first comedy album as a solo performer, 1967's Take Offs and Put Ons, which was recorded before a live audience in Detroit. The LP earned Carlin his first Grammy nomination.

As the 1960s drew to a close, Carlin became uncomfortable with his standing as a mainstream comedian, so he began to align himself with the growing counterculture movement. His onstage persona grew more confrontational - he left stages if the audience was not responding to his material - and he began incorporating more frank and adult language into his act, as well as questions about religion, social trends, politics, and oddities in American and Western culture. The response was not entirely positive - Carlin was fired from the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for using the word "ass" onstage - but he felt a newfound creative freedom in his decision to move outside the mainstream. An interest in and appetite for drugs - in particular, LSD and cocaine - also helped to fuel his material and dangerous onstage personality.

Carlin entered the 1970s with a new look - a stint in the hospital to repair a hernia resulted in a beard and longer hair - and a new act, which he cemented in wax on the LP AM & FM (1972), which won him a Grammy. The popularity of the album and his non-conformist attitude made him popular with counterculture audiences, though he never lost the majority of his mainstream fans - thanks in large part to Ed Sullivan, who continued to give him air time on his program. In 1972, Carlin made his debut at Carnegie Hall to considerable acclaim, as well as criticism over his increasingly graphic language. That same year, he was arrested on obscenity charges after performing at Milwaukee's Summerfest.

Among the routines that earned Carlin his bust was a version of his famous "Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television" - a hilarious list of the proper uses of seven particularly vulgar curses and terms. The bit, which sought to nullify the words' power by making them seem both commonplace and foolish, was later included on his 1972 album Class Clown, which went gold and helped to cement Carlin's stature as a free-thinking and risky comedian who appeared to be following in the footsteps of Lenny Bruce. He followed this with Occupation: Foole (1973), which culled material from Carlin's upbringing and included an expanded version of "Seven Dirty Words" called "Filthy Words."

The latter routine became the center of a Supreme Court decision when, in 1973, a man in New York overheard his son listening to "Filthy Words" during an afternoon broadcast on WBAI. The resulting complaint to the FCC earned the station's network, The Pacifica Foundation, a citation for broadcasting obscene material and the threat of a sanction. Pacifica appealed the ruling, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1978. The resulting attention over the case only served to increase Carlin's popularity among hip and smart audiences, quickly making "Seven Dirty Words" a touchstone for fans of outrageous comedy. Carlin expanded the list throughout his career before bringing it to a close with a massive, 200-word list broadcast during his 1982 HBO special, "Carlin at Carnegie."

Carlin responded to the new wave of popularity by launching into a hectic work schedule for the next few years, releasing three albums between 1974 and 1977 - 1974's Toledo Window Box; 1975's An Evening with Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slazso, which earned him a Grammy nomination; and 1976's On the Road), which tackled hot button subjects like death, drugs, religion, sexual and bodily functions, and the elastic nature of the English language, which became a particular obsession for Carlin. Despite some reservations on the part of the peacock network, he also hosted the first episode of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) and appeared in the cult movie "Car Wash" as a randy cab driver. Carlin even branched out into mainstream network TV with 10 appearances on "The Tony Orlando and Dawn Show" (CBS, 1974-76) and a guest shot on "Welcome Back, Kotter" (ABC, 1975-79). In all of the TV appearances save the latter, Carlin only performed a monologue from his stand-up act, citing that he disliked sketches and felt his acting skills were not up to snuff.

Carlin also taped his first two comedy specials for the fledgling HBO Network: 1977's "On Location: George Carlin at USC" and 1978's "On Location: George Carlin at Ph nix," which was transferred from videotape to film for a proposed theatrical concert movie which never came to fruition. The latter specials were the only live performances by Carlin for several years; the punishing schedule, exacerbated by a growing cocaine addiction, resulted in a minor heart attack in 1978.

Carlin returned to comedy with a vengeance in 1981 with A Place for My Stuff, arguably his best and most popular album to date, and his first to feature material written specifically for the LP's release. He also filmed his third HBO special, the aforementioned "Carlin at Carnegie," which focused on newer material. Even a second heart attack (at Dodger Stadium) could not halt Carlin's upward momentum. He published his first book, Sometimes a Little Brain Damage Can Help, in 1983; returned for a second guest shot on "Saturday Night Live" in 1984; and taped his fourth HBO special, "Carlin on Campus" that same year. "Campus" featured Carlin revisiting his "Class Clown" routine, playing piano on an original song, and appearing in three animated segments. An album version was released the same year.

By the mid-1980s, Carlin was approaching his fifth decade - a period when most stand-up comics have either settled into an acting career, relocated permanently to Las Vegas or faded into obscurity. But Carlin's comic skills and energy showed no signs of slowing, though he did attempt to venture into other entertainment avenues outside of stand-up. The first of these was a failed pilot for HBO called "2C," which was taped in 1985. He also co-starred with Bette Midler and Shelly Long in the feature film comedy "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), playing an aging hippie, and spoofed the private eye genre as a deceased detective whose spirit assists a young woman solve his murder in "Justin Case," a 1987 TV movie by Blake Edwards that was intended (but never saw the light) as a series pilot. He also shot a low-budget feature comedy called "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989) - an unexpectedly witty pop-culture spoof in which he played the futuristic mentor to a pair of hapless California nitwits charged with saving humanity. The latter was a huge hit with younger audiences, who got their first taste of Carlin's offbeat humor through the picture.

On the comedy front, Carlin taped two more HBO specials - 1986's "Playin' with Your Head" and 1988's "What Am I Doing in New Jersey?" - both of which were also recorded as comedy albums and garnered Grammy nominations. He also received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987 in a ceremony presided over by the dean emeritus of television comedy, Milton Berle.

Carlin kicked off the 1990s with his seventh HBO special, "Doin' It Again" (1990), which was released as an album under the title Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics, earning him another Grammy nomination. He also purchased the independent record label Little David, which had released all of his albums since 1971, renaming it Eardrum Records. In 1991 alone, he appeared in two feature films -"Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" and "The Prince of Tides," as star and director Barbara Streisand's gay friend - and surprised many longtime fans (and parents) by replacing Ringo Starr as both the narrator of the PBS broadcast of "Thomas the Tank Engine" (ITV, 1984- ) and as Mr. Conductor, the six-inch-tall host and star of "Shining Time Station" (PBS, 1989-1993), an American spin-off of "Thomas." Carlin would remain with the series until 1993 and earn two Emmy nominations from the kid-friendly series. Again, Carlin's hectic schedule and lifestyle caught up with him during this period, and he suffered the worst of his three heart attacks while driving to Las Vegas in 1991.

Carlin bounced back with more new material, beginning in 1992 with "Jammin' in New York," his eighth HBO special and the first to be broadcast live on the network. The special won him a CableACE award, and the resulting comedy album landed him his first Grammy Award. Two years later, Carlin attempted a sitcom on the Fox network, but "The George Carlin Show" (1993-95), which featured the comic as a garrulous New York cab driver, ended after its second season - proving yet again that Carlin was best left unscripted.

Carlin gave one of his best performances as a grizzled Indian tracker and companion to Sonia Braga in "Streets of Laredo," a 1995 follow-up miniseries to the popular "Lonesome Dove" (1993). He taped his ninth and tenth HBO specials in rapid succession during the following years: 1996's "Back in Town" was also broadcast live on the network, and 1997's "George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy" featured a career retrospective of his television stand-up appearances, as well as a tribute and interview by Jon Stewart. The special won two CableACE awards and was nominated for an additional two Emmys; however, the celebration was dimmed significantly by the death of Carlin's wife that same year on the day before his 60th birthday.

Carlin bounced back from the tragedy with the release of Brain Droppings, a 1997 collection of his musings on life, society, politics and the human condition. The book spent 18 weeks on The New York Times best seller list, and the soft-cover edition (1998) beat that record by an additional two weeks. Its popularity spurred Carlin to pen two more books - Napalm and Silly Putty (2001) and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (2004). The former was another best seller and earned Carlin a Grammy for the audio book version, while the latter - which compiled routines from throughout his career - received press for its cover, which placed Carlin next to Jesus in Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," keeping it off the shelves at Wal-Mart. A collection of all three books, entitled An Orgy of George, which was supplemented with new material, was released in 2006.

In 1999, the comic legend joined forces with independent filmmaker and satirist Kevin Smith to explore a subject the atheist Carlin could truly get behind - the questioning of religious faith - in the feature "Dogma," in which Carlin played a Catholic cardinal who implements a more "user-friendly" version of Jesus in churches. He also taped several commercials for MCI and relocated from Los Angeles - his home for the past 23 years - to Las Vegas, where he was appearing regularly, ending a 10-year engagement at Bally's in 2000 and launching a new contract at the MGM Grand the following year. Carlin also taped his eleventh HBO special, "You Are All Diseased," which featured some of his strongest and darkest material to date - "There Is No God" was among the bits - and earned him two Emmy nods and a Grammy nomination for the CD version. That same year, Carlin's early career received a retrospective with The Little David Years (1971-77), a seven-disc set which compiled his first six solo CDs and included unreleased material, as well as six early recordings made by Carlin as a boy at a penny arcade on Coney Island.

In 2001, the 64-year-old Carlin received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Annual American Comedy Awards. He also kicked off a 15-city tour to promote Napalm and Silly Putty, which saw him return to many of the major primetime talk shows, and taped his twelfth HBO special, "Complaints and Grievances" - which was originally titled "I Like it a Lot when People Die," but was changed after the September 11th attacks. The following year, he was given the Free Speech Award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, and re-teamed with Smith for "Jersey Girl" (2004), which gave him his biggest and most dramatic role to date as Ben Affleck's father. Sadly, the flack over Affleck's failed relationship with Jennifer Lopez overshadowed the picture's brief stint at the box office, preventing many from seeing Carlin in fine dramatic form.

In 2004, Carlin made news twice: first for placing second on Comedy Central's list of the "Top 100 Comics of All Time;" second, for entering a treatment facility to cure his dependency on alcohol and painkillers. He emerged in 2005 and returned to performing, premiering his thirteenth HBO special, "Life is Worth Losing" (2005), which saw Carlin focusing on some of the darkest subject matter of his career - suicide, natural disasters and aut rotic asphyxiation. The CD earned him his seventh Grammy nomination. That same year, Carlin served as the eminence grise of "The Aristocrats" (2005), Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza's hilarious documentary about a long-running and particularly vulgar joke favored by stand-ups. In 2006, Carlin launched a national tour to hone material for his latest HBO special, "It's Bad for Ya" (2008). He announced during a date that year that he had suffered heart failure sometime in late 2005 or early 2006. Despite this latest health setback, Carlin was busy with performing and acting gigs, which included lending his voice to characters in the animated features "Cars" (2006) and "Happily N'ever After" (2007).

In early 2008, Carlin starred in his fourteenth comedy special, "George Carlin: It's Bad For Ya" (HBO, 2007-08), which covered such topics as death, old age and "American bullshit." Sadly, "It's Bad For Ya" proved to be his last - on June 22, 2008, Carlin was admitted to Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, complaining of chest pains. Later that evening, Carlin died of heart failure. He was 71. Just four days before, it was announced by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., that Carlin was to be the 2008 honoree of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, an honor that would have been bestowed in November that year.

Relationships

Brenda Carlin Executive Producer

Wife
Met while Carlin was performing in Dayton, OH Married June 3, 1961 until her death May 11, 1997 from liver cancer

Patrick Carlin

Father
Was a national advertising manager for the New York Sun wife left him when Carlin was two years old died in 1945

Mary Carlin

Mother
Left Carlin's father when he was two years old died in 1984 at age 89

Kelly Carlin

Daughter
Born June 15, 1963 mother, Brenda Carlin

Patrick Carlin

Brother
Born c. 1932

Sally Wade Executive Producer

Wife
Married June 24, 1998 until his death June 22, 2008; Carlin referred to her as "the sweetheart of my life, present and future"

EDUCATION

Cardinal Hayes High School

Bronx , New York
Carlin dropped out at age 14 and later joined the United States Air Force, training as a radar technician

Milestones

2008

Headlined his fourteenth and final HBO special, "George Carlin: It’s Bad For Ya"

2007

Lent his voice to the animated feature "Happily N’ever After"

2006

Announced, while on a national comedy tour, that he had recently recovered from heart failure

2006

Provided the voice of Fillmore, a VW Microbus with a psychedelic paint job in the animated feature "Cars"

2005

Appeared in Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza’s documentary "The Aristocrats," about a long-running and particularly vulgar joke favored by stand-up comedians

2005

Premiered his thirteenth HBO special, "Life is Worth Losing"

2004

Fired from his headlining position at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas after an altercation with his audience; soon after announced he would enter rehab for drug and alcohol addiction

2004

Cast in his biggest and most dramatic role to date as Ben Affleck’s blue collar father in Smith's "Jersey Girl"

2004

Released his book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

2001

Penned the book, Napalm and Silly Putty

2001

Taped twelfth HBO special, "Complaints and Grievances"; originally titled "I Like It A Lot When People Die," but was changed after the September 11th attacks

1999

Filmed eleventh HBO special, "You Are All Diseased"; earned two Emmy nominations and a Grammy nomination for the CD version

1999

Played a satirically marketing-oriented Roman Catholic cardinal in Kevin Smith's "Dogma"

1997

Published Brain Droppings, Carlin's first real book

1997

Honored at the Aspen Comedy Festival with a retrospective "George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy" hosted by Jon Stewart; the special was nominated for two Emmys

1995

Had rare dramatic TV role in the CBS miniseries "Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo"

1993

Cast in (also executive produced and co-wrote the pilot) the FOX sitcom, "The George Carlin Show" as a NYC cab driver

1992

Headlined eighth HBO special "Jammin' in New York"; first of his specials to be broadcast live on the network; received first Grammy Award for the resulting comedy album

1991

Reprised role of Rufus in the sequel "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey"

1991

Provided the narrative voice for the American version of the children's show "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends" (PBS)

1991

Replaced Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor on the PBS children's series, "Shining Time Station"

1991

Suffered the worst of his three heart attacks while driving to Las Vegas

1991

Had a major supporting role in the film "Prince of Tides," along with Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand

1990

Filmed seventh HBO special, "Doin’ It Again"; also released as an album under the title Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics, which earned a Grammy nomination

1989

Cast as Rufus, the mentor of the titular characters in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"

1988

Filmed the HBO special "What Am I Doing In New Jersey?"; also released as a comedy album

1988

Made TV-movie debut as a ghost in "Justin Case" an installment of ABC's "Disney Sunday Movie"

1987

Honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (January)

1987

Cast as a drunken, ex-hippie tour guide in "Outrageous Fortune" opposite Bette Midler and Shelley Long

1985

Headlined (and wrote) a failed pilot for HBO called "2C"

1984

Again hosted "Saturday Night Live"; also appearing in sketches

1984

Taped fourth HBO special, "Carlin on Campus"

1983

Published first book, Sometimes a Little Brain Damage Can Help

1982

Suffered second heart attack (reportedly while watching a baseball game at Dodger Stadium)

1982

Filmed third HBO special, "Carlin at Carnegie"

1981

Returned to comedy with the comedy album, A Place for My Stuff

1978

Headlined second HBO special "On Location: George Carlin at Phoenix"

1977

Appeared in his first comedy special for the HBO Network, "On Location: George Carlin at USC"

1976

Had role of a cab driver in the feature comedy "Car Wash"

1976

Appeared regularly performing a stand-up routine on "Tony Orlando and Dawn" (CBS)

1975

Served as host of the first broadcast of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (October 11)

1972

Made Carnegie Hall debut

1972

Recorded landmark comedy albums FM & AM and Class Clown; the later included a version of his famous "Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television"

1968

Made feature debut in the Doris Day vehicle "With Six You Get Eggroll"

1967

Released first solo comedy album, Take-Offs and Put-Ons; earned first Grammy nomination

1967

Hosted and wrote for the CBS variety series, "Away We Go"

1967

Made 80 major TV appearances and worked all the top nightclubs

1966

Had a 12-week stint as a writer and performer on "The Kraft Summer Music Hall" (NBC)

1966

Moved to Los Angeles

1966

Acting debut, played a recurring role as Marlo Thomas's agent on "That Girl" (ABC)

1965

First of 29 appearances on the syndicated talk show "The Merv Griffin Show" (July)

1961

Made his debut as a solo stand-up act on "The Tonight Show" (NBC); guest hosted by Mort Sahl

1960

Launched his nightclub comic career working with a partner, Jack Burns; the duo recorded a live album, Burns and Carlin at the Playboy Club Tonight (released in 1963)

1959

Briefly worked at a station in Boston, MA, before moving to Fort Worth, TX and working there as a deejay

Performed in nightclubs, folk clubs, and coffee houses

Born and raised in NYC

Began working as a disc jockey while serving in the US Air Force in Shreveport, Louisiana

Bonus Trivia

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His official website is located at www.georgecarlin.com.

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Carlin has admitted to developing a cocaine habit in the early 1970s.

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Carlin was arrested on July 21, 1972 at Milwaukee's Summerfest and charged with violating obscenity laws after performing his famous routine, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." The case, which prompted Carlin to refer to the words for a time as, "The Milwaukee Seven," was later dismissed by a judge who cited free speech, as well as the lack of any disturbance.

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In 1973, a man complained to the FCC that his son had heard "Filthy Words", from Carlin's Occupation: Foole album, broadcast one afternoon over WBAI, a Pacifica Foundation FM radio station in New York City. Pacifica received a citation from the FCC, which sought to fine Pacifica for allegedly violating FCC regulations which prohibited broadcasting "obscene" material. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the FCC action, by a vote of 5 to 4, ruling that the routine was "indecent but not obscene," and the FCC had authority to prohibit such broadcasts during hours when children were likely to be among the audience.

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In December 2004, Carlin announced that he would be voluntarily entering a drug rehabilitation facility to receive treatment for his dependency on alcohol and painkillers.

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On June 18, 2008, four days before his death, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC announced that Carlin would be the 2008 honoree of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to be awarded in November of that year.

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"Republicans would love to make this a theocracy and have America be a kind of Taliban state. But the can do only what they can do, and that leaves room for f*ckers like me. I love this country. I love that I get to talk like this." - Carlin quoted to Playboy magazine, October 2005

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