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George Carlin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (8) | Trivia (48) | Personal Quotes (34)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 12 May 1937New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 22 June 2008Santa Monica, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameGeorge Denis Patrick Carlin
Nicknames Georgie Porgie
Curious George
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born and raised by his mother in Manhattan, New York City. His parents divorced when he was two months. His mother (as well as his father) worked in marketing, where they met. The long hours the mother worked left the young George by himself for long hours every day, providing him (in his own words), the time he needed to think about various subjects, listen to radio, and practice his impersonations, that where acclaimed by his mother and coworkers since an early age. Carlin started out as a conventional comedian and had achieved a fair degree of success as a Bill Cosby style raconteur in nightclubs and on TV until the late 1960s, when he radically overhauled his persona. His routines became more insightful, introducing more serious subjects. As he aged, he became more cynic and bitter, unintentionally changing his stage persona again in a radical way throughout the 90s. This new George Carlin, usually referred to as the late George Carlin, is one of the most acclaimed and enjoyed by the public and critics. Carlin's forte is Lenny Bruce-style social and political commentary, spiced with nihilistic observations about people and religion peppered with black humor. He is also noted for his masterful knowledge and use of the English language. Carlin's notorious "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine was part of a radio censorship case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood / Sebastian Gómez

Spouse (2)

Sally Wade (24 June 1998 - 22 June 2008) (his death)
Brenda Carlin (3 June 1961 - 11 May 1997) (her death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (8)

Stand-up comedy that usually focuses on one of three categories: peculiarities of the English language, "the little world" (observational humor), and "the big world" (social commentary), often with a disparaging edge.
Salty standup comedy monologues with a strong content emphasis on social commentary and language.
Since the 1990s, wears all black clothing for his stand-up performances
His forever-famous "7 Words You Can't Say on TV"
Raspy voice
Jokes about religion
Beard
Heavy New York accent

Trivia (48)

Has received two Grammys: for his albums "FM & AM" (1972) and "Jammin' in New York" (1993).
Starred in 14 HBO specials from 1977 until his death in 2008.
He was the first-ever host of Saturday Night Live (1975) on 10/11/75, as well as the first-ever host of Fridays (1980), an ABC show fashioned after "SNL".
Inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame in November 1994.
Received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in January 1987. It's located at the corner of Vine and Selma Streets, between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards. Milton Berle presided over the ceremony.
Jack Burns and Carlin were a comedy team from 1960-1962. When they parted ways in 1962, Burns joined the Second City comedy group in Chicago, and Carlin pursued a solo stand-up comedy career.
The radio broadcast of an uncensored version of his routine "Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say on Radio or Television" became the center of a debate over censorship and FCC legislation over profanity.
Was educated mostly in Catholic schools in New York City.
Some of his comedy influences include Spike Jones, The Marx Brothers, Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, Lenny Bruce, and Bob Newhart.
His wife, Brenda Carlin, died one day before his sixtieth birthday.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 91-93. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Chosen as #2 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time (April 2004).
His list of the Seven Words You Can't Say on TV are referenced in Private Parts (1997).
Appeared in The Simpsons (1989) episode "D'oh-in' in the Wind," playing a former hippie. In a previous episode of the show, Krusty the Clown is told he's being sued by Carlin for stealing the "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television."
Daughter, Kelly Carlin-McCall, was born in 1963.
Irish-American.
Attended (but was expelled from) Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, New York--the same alma mater as Regis Philbin, Martin Scorsese, George Dzundza, Jamal Mashburn and Don DeLillo.
Has many popular writings on the Internet being falsely attributed to him, such as the anonymous commentaries "I Am a Bad American" and "The Paradox of Our Time," along with several lists of one-liner jokes. Carlin states on his website that he did not write them, and "nothing you see on the Internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website.
Just before Christmas 2005, he experienced significant shortage of breath and other heart-related symptoms. On Christmas Day he entered Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills. During an eight-day stay he was treated for a lung infection and narrowed arteries. He received antibiotics and an angioplasty that included the placement of a double stent. The procedure was successful, but he was advised to take things slowly in the New Year.
Awarded the 2008 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Father-in-law of Bob McCall.
Younger brother of Patrick Carlin.
He and his older brother Patrick were raised by a single mother in New York City. Their mother Mary died in 1984 at age 89.
Joined the U.S. Air Force as a radar technician.
Spent years writing a one-man show that he planned to do on Broadway before his death. Working titles included "Watch My Language" and "New York City Boy".
Business partner and best friend of Jerry Hamza.
Second-born son of Patrick Carlin, Sr., and Mary Carlin.
Friend of Richard Belzer.
In 1983, he returned to Cardinal Hayes High School for the school's first Hall of Fame dinner-dance, and it was to honor Msgr. Stanislaus P. Jablonski. Jablonski was the priest who told him that "maybe he should attend another school." (He did briefly and returned.) Although they were adversaries as Principal/Student, they had a sense of respect for each other.
His first wife, Brenda Carlin, was always listed as Executive Producer on all his TV specials until her death. She died of cancer.
Worked with Jack Burns on Los Angeles' KNX-AM in the morning as the Wright Brothers.
Worked as a Disc Jockey at KXOL-AM 1360 in Fort Worth, Texas for nine months. He was hired on the spot by Program Director Bob Bruton. There he met newsman Jack Burns. They went on to work together as a comedy duo.
Worked as a Disc Jockey at KJOE-AM Shreveport, Louisiana.
Worked as a radio DJ in the northeastern United States.
Close friends with Joe Pesci and said he "prayed to him instead of God".
According to George in his A&E Biography profile, when he was young and would ask his mother what the meaning of a word was, she would invariably answer "Go look it up in the dictionary". He says his fascination with words, their meanings, and word play, is where is comedy routine comes from: The dissection of "words". Even his infamous "Seven Dirty Words" routine is about the meanings of these "bad" words.
Died two days before the 10th anniversary of his marriage to Sally Wade.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 1555 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
According to George Carlin's posthumously released autobiography "Last Words", he was planning to release a comedy concert movie called 'The Illustrated George Carlin' in the late 1970s, around the same time as Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979). He had part of his second comedy concert, On Location: George Carlin at Phoenix (1978), recorded on film and had planned animated segments and live-action reenactments of his bits (these animated segments would later wind up in his 1984 HBO concert George Carlin: Carlin on Campus (1984). The project went as far as pre-production and casting for the live-action segments, but was abandoned when Carlin ran out of money. He said he didn't regret it since the material wasn't up to his usual best and said it was part of his "micro-world" of stand-up.
Although his mother almost had an abortion when she was pregnant with him, he has spoken out in favor of abortion rights and even convinced his wife, Brenda, to have one when she became pregnant again in the late '60s, right in the middle of his financial troubles stemming from his outspokenness and lack of clubs willing to book him for it. According to his autobiography, since it was in the days before Roe v Wade when abortion was illegal in California, they had to meet the abortion providers in a parking lot in Burbank, and Brenda was blindfolded for the trip to the clinic and back.
Ran into IRS troubles in the late '70s and early '80s during another lull in work and after a heart attack when his accountants just stashed his tax bills away hoping things would "perk up". He didn't finally get out from under them until years later.
Was the first posthumous recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
He once met a young fan of Shining Time Station at an airport, and rather than disillusion him by telling him that Mr. Conductor didn't exist, he patiently explained that he was "on vacation" from the magical island.
Release of his autobiography, "Last Words" by George with Tony Hendra, will be set for November 2009. [July 2009]
Named after his uncle, George Beary.
He suffered heart attacks in 1978, 1982, and 1991.
During his stint in the Air Force, he was court martialed three times.
Was childhood friends with Dave Wilson. They attended summer camp together where they performed.

Personal Quotes (34)

Most people are not particularly good at anything. [from the book "Brain Droppings"]
If acting was hard for me, I wouldn't do it; it is something that I like to do.
If you love someone, set them free; if they come home, set them on fire. [from the book Brain Droppings, 1997]
When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve.
Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second best policy. Second is not all that bad. [from the book "Brain Droppings"]
Somehow I enjoy watching people suffer. [from the book "Napalm & Silly Putty]
Heart disease has changed my eating habits, but I still cook bacon for the smell. [from the book "Brain Droppings"]
I'm completely in favor of the separation of church and state. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death. [unsourced]
I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it. [from the book "Brain Droppings"]
[March 1997] We use up words like "spiritual" so fast in this culture. Twenty years ago "spiritual" had a distinct meaning. But now there's a lot of jack-off thinkers who just love to talk about the spiritual. And there is a lot of bogus -- is "bogosity" a word? It should be -- a lot of bogosity in these spiritual seekers. So you have to find another way to express it. I just call it "how I fit".
I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood. [from "An Interview with Jesus", from the album "A Place for My Stuff"]
I don't have a fear of heights. I do, however, have a fear of falling from heights. [from the book Napalm & Silly Putty]
Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong. [from the book "Brain Droppings", p88]
Don't confuse my point of view with cynicism. The real cynics are the ones who tell you that everything's gonna be all right. [from the introduction to the book "Brain Droppings"]
Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established. [from the book "Napalm & Silly Putty"]
Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done". [from George Carlin: Carlin on Campus (1984)]
Standing ovations have become far too commonplace. What we need are ovations where the audience members all punch and kick one another. [from the book "Napalm & Silly Putty"]
[in his will, regarding his funeral] I wish no public service of any kind. I wish no religious service of any kind. I prefer a private gathering at my home, attended by friends and family members... It should be extremely informal, they should play rhythm and blues music, and they should laugh a lot.
I enjoy criticizing on the basis of "It's you folks." Because I never felt a part of this, I never identified with a local group. I never belonged to any club, organization, or state. I love New York City, but that's a chauvinist thing. I suppose it's a belonging thing. I'm not proud of this country, I don't care what happens to it, I honestly don't give a shit if it all goes up in flames. Having that freedom just made the writing so much more fun.
I collected autographs as a kid - not in any sort of hardcore way, but just by hanging around the stage doors. And I loved Danny Kaye. He was in the stage show at Radio City, and I went and I stood at that door for over an hour. It was a rainy, cold day - I wasn't in the direct rain, but it was very cold and it was getting dark. And I stood there and waited for Danny Kaye, and he came and I was the only kid there. And he walked right past me. He wouldn't even say anything. And I did my little rap, "Oh please, please, please . . ." And then later I see him with these UNICEF kids, with 30 of them sitting on his lap, and I knew he was full of shit.
[on being fired from his Las Vegas lounge act in the the early '60s]: I was fired for saying 'shit' in a town where the most popular game is called 'craps'. [from the album "FM & AM"]
That's my job: thinking up goofy shit. [Said on several different recordings, including A Place for My Stuff]
Did you ever do this? Look at your dog and think of the saddest thing you can think of. It'll look like it's happening to your dog. All the sadness of the world is in the eyes of a dog. [from On Location: Carlin at Carnegie (1983)]
Doing new stuff is a point of pride with me. People may not consider it so, but stand-up comedy is one of the performing arts, and artists are supposed to grow and evolve over time. Through the years, my technique has sharpened, my writing has improved and even my observations have grown richer. I can't do old material; I would feel like a failure. Essentially, this job is that of a writer, but a writer who doesn't produce new work all the time is not a writer - he's a typist.
Always do whatever's next. [from the book Brain Droppings, p215]
As long as you have observations to make, as long as you can see things and let them register against your template, as long as you're able to take impressions and compare them with the old ones, you will always have material. People have always asked me: 'Don't you ever think you might run out of ideas? Don't you ever worry about not having anything to say anymore?' Occasionally that does flash through your mind, because it's a natural human impulse to think in terms of beginnings and endings. The truth is, I can't run out of ideas - not as long as I keep getting new information and I can keep processing it.
If my teacher could have influenced my sexuality, I would have turned out to be a nun. [During the 1970s, responding to the mistaken belief that gay people "recruit" children and shouldn't be teachers]
Floating around the Internet these days, posted and e-mailed back and forth, are a number of writings attributed to me, and I want people to know they're not mine. Don't blame me. [...] Here's a rule of thumb, folks: Nothing you see on the Internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website. [from his official website, in response to the massive number of jokes and rants on the internet that are falsely attributed to him.]
Who says life is sacred? God? Hey, if you read your history, God is one of the leading causes of death. (from George Carlin: Back in Town (1996))
On election day, I'll be doing the same thing you folks are doing, except when I'm finished masturbating I'm going to have a little more to show for it. (from George Carlin: Back in Town (1996))
For centuries now, man has done everything he can to destroy, defile, and interfere with nature: clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over-fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes, destroying wetlands and aquifers...so when nature strikes back, and smacks him on the head and kicks him in the nuts, I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it's natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse. (Life is Worth Losing)
[on The George Carlin Show (1994)] Lesson learned: always check mental health of creative partner beforehand. Loved the actors, loved the crew. Had a great time. Couldn't wait to get the fuck out of there.

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