RIP George Carlin

June 23, 2008 | By Clint Froehlich | Creative

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Comic George Carlin of “Seven Dirty Words” fame passed away on Sunday, June 22 of apparent heart failure after complaining of chest pains at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. He was 71 years old.

Carlin recently ranked second on Comedy Central’s ten best stand-ups of all time, just behind Richard Pryor, another great comic who understood the semantic power of filthy words. But Carlin’s work was notable – and unique – not just for a barrage of naughtiness. His mixture of taboo subjects with trenchant political commentary made him one of the few American comedians to leave audiences crying with laughter and pondering the contradictions of modern society at the same time. A true legend, Carlin’s death will leave an indelible mark on the comedy world. We can only hope that the revived attention given to his career will inspire younger comedians to be as bold.

Tracy Bennett / Miramax / View Askew Productions / The Kobal Collection / WireImage / Getty Images

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