George Carlin

American stand-up comedian (1937–2008)

George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American actor, writer, comedian and writer. He was known for his dark comedy and jokes about politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and taboo.

George Carlin
Carlin in 1975
George Denis Patrick Carlin

(1937-05-12)May 12, 1937
DiedJune 22, 2008(2008-06-22) (aged 71)
Cause of deathHeart failure
Occupation(s)Actor, writer, comedian.
Years active1956–2008
Known forNarrator of Thomas and Friends
Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station
Spouse(s)Brenda Hosbrook
(m. 1961–1997; her death)
Sally Wade
(m. 1998–2008; his death)

Early life


Carlin was born and raised in Manhattan, New York City. Carlin said that he started to appreciate effective use of the English language because of his mother, though they had a difficult relationship and he often ran away from home. He grew up on West 121st Street in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which he and his friends called "White Harlem" because it "sounded a lot tougher than its real name".

His mother had a television, which was a rare and new technology at the time, and Carlin became a fan of the late-night talk show Broadway Open House during its short run.[1]

Carlin joined the U.S. Air Force and trained as a radar technician. During his time in the Air Force, he had been court-martialed three times and received many nonjudicial punishments and reprimands.[2]



The first of Carlin's 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO was filmed in 1977. From the late 1980s, his performances were focused on sociocultural criticism of American society.

Carlin acted in movies including Jersey Girl, Dogma, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (and its sequel), Scary Movie 3, and Disney's Tarzan 2. He also narrated the children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends from 1984 to 1995 (Actor Alec Baldwin later took over the role in 1998), and Portrayed Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station.

He was known for his "seven dirty words" routine. The routine was about seven words people should not say in the media. (The list was ironically used by many radio stations, as a guide to what kind of language was not allowed.) Comedy Central called Carlin one of the greatest stand-up comedians.

Personal life


Carlin married Brenda Hosbrook on June 3, 1961, together they have a daughter named Kelly.[source?] They remained married until her death in 1997, just a few day's before Carlin's 60th birthday.[source?] Carlin then married Sally Wade on June 24, 1998, the married lasted until Carlin's death in 2008.[source?]

Carlin had a history of heart problems. He had several heart attacks. He died of heart failure in Santa Monica, California at age 71.




Year Title Role Notes
1968 With Six You Get Eggroll Herbie Fleck
1976 Car Wash Taxi driver
1979 Americathon Narrator
1987 Outrageous Fortune Frank Madras
1989 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Rufus
1990 Working Tra$h Ralph Sawatzky
1991 Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Rufus
The Prince of Tides Eddie Detreville
1995 Streets of Laredo Billy Williams
1998 Godzilla Uncredited Party Guest
1999 Dogma Cardinal Ignatius Glick
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Hitchhiker
2003 Scary Movie 3 Architect
2004 Jersey Girl Bart Trinké
2005 Tarzan II Zugor Voice only
The Aristocrats Himself
2006 Cars Fillmore Voice only
Mater and the Ghostlight
2007 Happily N'Ever After Wizard



Video games


HBO specials

Special Year Notes
On Location: George Carlin at USC 1977
George Carlin: Again! 1978
Carlin at Carnegie 1982
Carlin on Campus 1984
Playin' with Your Head 1986
What Am I Doing in New Jersey? 1988
Doin' It Again 1990
Jammin' in New York 1992
Back in Town 1996
George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy 1997
You Are All Diseased 1999
Complaints and Grievances 2001
Life Is Worth Losing 2005
All My Stuff 2007

A boxset of Carlin's first 12 stand-up specials
(excluding George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy).

It's Bad for Ya 2008


Book Year Notes
Sometimes a Little Brain Damage Can Help 1984 ISBN 0-89471-271-3[3]
Brain Droppings 1997 ISBN 0-7868-8321-9[4]
Napalm and Silly Putty 2001 ISBN 0-7868-8758-3[5]
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? 2004 ISBN 1-4013-0134-7[6]
Three Times Carlin: An Orgy of George 2006 ISBN 978-1-4013-0243-6[7] A collection of the 3 previous titles.
Watch My Language 2009 ISBN 0-7868-8838-5[8][9] Posthumous release (not yet released).
Last Words ISBN 1-4391-7295-1[10] Posthumous release.


  1. George Carlin (December 17, 2007). George Carlin Interview Part 1 of 7 - Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Event occurs at 20:23. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  2. "Comedian George Carlin dies at 71". Variety. June 22, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  3. Carlin, George (1984). Sometimes a Little Brain Damage Can Help. Philadelphia: Running Press Book Publishers. ISBN 0-89471-271-3.
  4. Carlin, George (1998). Brain Droppings. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-8321-9.
  5. Carlin, George (2001). Napalm & Silly Putty. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-8758-3.
  6. Carlin, George (2004). When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0134-7.
  7. Carlin, George (2006). Three Times Carlin. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0243-6.
  8. Carlin, George (2009). Watch My Language. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-0-7868-8838-2.
  9. "Watch My Language". Archived from the original on September 10, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
  10. Carlin, George (2009). Last Words. New York: Free Press. ISBN 978-1-4391-7295-7.

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