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George Carlin


Venerable stand-up comedian George Carlin is a master of words and how they're used and abused in American society. His linguistic knack, coupled with a strong desire to push boundaries and challenge social mores, has made him a popular figure in large venues and college campuses since the early 1970s. Huge notoriety came to him when he recorded the piece "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" for Class Clown (1972), leading to court battles and the comic's arrest for violating obscenity laws. It's scathing and adroit skits such as this that provide a literal and spiritual link between Carlin and his biggest influence, Lenny Bruce, for both were associated with the counterculture and each suffered legal troubles. The comedian's obsession with the foibles and absurdities of modern society still continues, leading to such whimsical sketches as "Baseball vs. Football," politically charged rants like "Rockets and Penises in the Persian Gulf" and, of course, riffs on language quirks such as those heard on "Airline Announcements." Whether he's adopting a tone that's aggressive and confrontational or welcoming and friendly, Carlin never fails to point out the absolute ridiculousness that surrounds us on every side.
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