George Carlin

On this date in 1937, George Carlin was born in Manhattan to an Irish Catholic family. The salty stand-up comedian has received two Grammys, for "Fm & Am" (1972) and "Jammin' " (1993). He was arrested for disorderly conduct in Milwaukee in 1972 for performing "Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say on Radio or Television." A case about his right to perform this show on the radio went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Carlin was the first host of "Saturday Night Live" (1975), and has appeared in 11 HBO specials since 1977. Typical quips: "When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve." "If churches want to play the game of politics, let them pay admission like everyone else." "I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death." Carlin inspired the Freedom From Religion Foundation's "Emperor Has No Clothes Award," honoring public figures who "tell it like it is" about religion. D. 2008.

Photo by Bonnie from Kendall Park, NJ, under CC. 2.0

“ . . . this experiment, this magnificent experiment in democracy is just being shredded to pieces by these right-wing Christians, the Ashcroft branch of Republicanism. (They're) just shredding the rest of the Bill of Rights which hadn't been shredded already.”

—George Carlin, interview in Idaho Statesman, Jan. 24, 2004

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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