Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin, Dead at 71

George Carlin had a heart attack and died, here in LA yesterday. The guy was a comic genius. It is impossible to categorize his contributions and achievements. He played a major role, over the last 50 years, in molding the way people view the American society they live in, how they interact with each other and the language they use to do that interacting. The language that we used to liberate and liberalize ourselves was, in no small part, language that he made it acceptable to use. He will probably be cremated and there will likely be no public memorial ceremony or funeral.

Compare and contrast the length and depth of Carlin's contributions to those of Tim Russert, another public figure who recently died of a heart attack. Think about the difference in the public accolades each will have received, before they exit the passing parade. Carlin would have seen the joke there and laughed as loud as anyone.

The first I remember him was from the hippy-dippy weatherman skits, in maybe 1962. They weren't nearly as satirical as the stuff that would become his trademark, almost naively sweet. They were funny though and completely different.

Carlin is one of those guys who inspires us all to greater exercise of wit but can never be replaced.

No comments: