George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)
The preeminent stand-up comedian of his time, George Carlin took us from the difference between AM and FM, baseball and football to his later curmudgeonly specials, and along the way, showed us his Toledo Window Box (left) and voiced a character named Munchee in the Simpson's episode "D'ohing in the Wind." Carlin admitted to smoking pot judiciously into his old age and died of heart failure at the age of 71.
According to his New YorkTimes obit, Carlin "talked openly talked about the use of drugs, including acid and peyote, and said that he kicked cocaine not for moral or legal reasons but after he found 'far more pain in the deal than pleasure.'...In December 2004 he entered a rehabilitation center to address his addictions to Vicodin and red wine."
"Beer leads to heroin, that's a fact. In fact, mother's milk leads to everything," Carlin joked on Toledo Window Box, where he says he got into weed instead of alcohol in 1952-3, realizing, "Grass doesn't make you stagger, your breath don't smell, and you don't puke on your shoes." He then deconstructs our favorite nursery rhymes, like, "Mary had a little gram..."
"There's a cold front coming Canada, not to be confused with a high front from Mexico," his Hippy Dippy Weatherman joked.
According to his AP obituary, "Carlin's infamous seven censored words sketch led to a Supreme Court decision on broadcasting offensive language. When he uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, freed on $150 bail and exonerated when a Wisconsin judge dismissed the case, saying it was indecent but citing free speech and the lack of any disturbance. The words were later played on a New York radio station, resulting in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening."
Carlin produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a few TV shows and appeared in several movies. He won four Grammy Awards for best spoken comedy album and was nominated for five Emmys. Just after he died, it was announced that Carlin was being awarded the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
George Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, and grew up in Manhattan, raised by a single mother. After dropping out of school in the ninth grade, he joined the Air Force in 1954. While in the Air Force he started working as an off-base disc jockey at a radio station in Shreveport, La., and after receiving a general discharge in 1957, took an announcing job at WEZE in Boston. "Fired after three months for driving mobile news van to New York to buy pot," his website said.
We trust Carlin is safe, safe at home.