Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin is dead...

the heavens do quake.
I can recall with the simplest nostalgia that dozens of guys I knew growing up slavishly imitated Carlin's tone, inflection and demeanor...he was a very common influence for a lot of high school kids growing up in the 1970's. For all his irreverence (and that was a consider component of his personality) Carlin was an ubiquitous presence on television for years, yes he hosted the first "Saturday Night Live" but does anyone else remember his guest appearance as a DJ on Welcome Back Kotter? Lenny Bruce once famously observed, "I'm a hustler, as long as they are willing to give, I'll tak!e".
And of course Bruce's shadow falls long over George Carlin's career it was Lenny's free form act that inspired Carlin to go solo and start really pushing boundaries on stage.
There however, the two men diverge, Lenny ultimately destroyed himself, whilst the tide of his career dropped Carlin safely down in Malibu sans appreciable damage to his sensibility.
At least until last night when the squarest of square maladies, heart disease took Carlin's life at age 71.
Should satirists die in bed? Or is that just their secret fantasy?

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