George Carlin: a comic with a zeal for freedom

George Carlin, who died on Sunday from heart failure at the age of 71, was one of the funniest and most influential American comics of the 20th century, with a wealth of wise and witty things to say about the world we live in and the way we live today, yet he'll probably be best remembered for seven words: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.

These were the "seven words you can never say on television", a thoughtful, illuminating routine about swearing, censorship and semantics, which got him arrested and sparked a legal case that went all the way to America's supreme court. These words were conspicuous by their absence from most of Carlin's obituaries, an irony he surely would have relished.

(The Guardian UK)


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