I am sorry to hear about the death yesterday of George Carlin at age 71. I have followed Carlin's career for over 35 years, and consider him to have been more than just a comedian. He was a social commentator and iconoclast, speaking out on the ridiculous things that are verboten to discuss. When I took a class in public speaking at Allegany Community College (now Allegany College of Maryland) back in 1973, Carlin was one of the people whose recordings we listened to in order to study different styles of presentation.
From his routines like the Hippie Dippie Weatherman, through the infamous Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television, to his biting commentaries on business and religion, Carlin made hamburger out of sacred cows. His very entertaining books like Napalm and Silly Putty, and When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops kept me laughing.
Four years ago, I got to see George perform at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Now that he is gone, I am glad I went to the show rather than sticking around for the entertainment provided by the convention I was attending.
The world needs its iconoclasts. George Carlin will be missed by many.