George Carlin was 71 years old at the time of his demise. The stand-up comedian and actor was born on May 12, 1937 and passed away on June 22, 2008.
The first of Carlin’s 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO was filmed in 1977. From the late 1980s, his routines focused on sociocultural criticism of American society.
He often commented on American political issues and satirized American culture.
He was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era and hosted the first episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975.
His final comedy special, It’s Bad for Ya, was filmed less than four months before his death from cardiac failure.
In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In 2004, he placed second on Comedy Central’s list of top 10 American comedians.
In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him second (behind Richard Pryor) on its list of the 50 best stand-up comedians of all time.
His film roles included a taxi driver in Car Wash, Frank Madras in Outrageous Fortune, Rufus in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Eddie Detreville in The Prince of Tides, Cardinal Ignatius Glick in Dogma, Architect in Scary Movie 3, and Bart Trinké in Jersey Girl.
He did voice-over roles as Zugor in Tarzan II, Fillmore in Cars and narrated the first four seasons in the American dub of the British children’s television show Thomas & Friends.