George Denis Patrick Carlin was born and raised in Manhattan, New York City, to Mary (Bearey), a secretary, and Patrick John Carlin, an advertising manager for The Sun; they had met while working in marketing. His father was from Donegal, Ireland, and his mother was Irish-American. His parents divorced when he was two months old, and he was raised by his mother. 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.
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