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George Carlin (May 12, 1937 — June 22, 2008) was one of the world's greatest comedians. He was one of the greatest champions of anti-censorship and free speech in the United States. He is possibly best known for his most famous work, a dissertation on the highlights and flaws of an aristocratic society, entitled Shit! Piss! Fuck! Cunt! Cocksucker! Motherfucker! Tits! This performance led to a landmark Supreme Court decision that allowed the FCC to regulate certain 'indecent' words, now popularly referred as the seven dirty words, on broadcast television and radio. He was well known to be
pessimistic awake, hateful angry, and profane a master of words, and loved to take apart the idiocy that is the human language.
He wrote several books, and received numerous awards. He also played Rufus in the Bill and Ted films. He was also Cardinal Glick in Dogma. Extremely critical of religion, he was known for his long rants about how religion has pretty much fucked us over. He died some time past, and a little bit of light went out of the world. But the great thing about it was, he left us hours and hours of audio and video.
Carlin is often revered by conspiracy theorists (mainly the libertarian Illuminati/Truther Ron Paul variety) because of a scathing piece he performed in his later years, in which he says, among other things, that politicians exist to give the illusion of freedom of choice, and his questions regarding 9/11. Strangely enough, Carlin himself was center-left and never outright said that the U.S. government perpetrated 9/11, so we guess that he must have been a puppet of the Illuminati, and not the hero the cranks make him out to be?
Unfortunately, in an inverse stopped clock moment, one of Carlin's routines involved a sweeping dismissal of environmental concerns based on the claim that the planet itself is not in any danger from humans. This is only true in an abstract and irrelevant sense, because what environmentalists seek to preserve is not the planet's mere existence, but the planet's habitability for humans and other living things. Quite predictably, climate denialists have reposted this routine on YouTube under such dishonest titles as "George Carlin on global warming", despite the fact that Carlin didn't even mention global warming.
"I didn't say half the things I've said"
Given his popularity and dead-on-target wit, it was inevitable that some quotes which sound like they're by George Carlin, but weren't really by George Carlin, would eventually start making the rounds. Snopes has more than one article about false e-mails claiming to quote Carlin, often involving made-up political rants or glurge. In 2001, Carlin said of these fake quotes:
“”I want people to know that I take care with my writing, and try to keep my standards high. But most of this "humor" on the Internet is just plain stupid. I guess hard-core fans who follow my stuff closely would be able to spot the fake stuff, because the tone of voice is so different. But a casual fan has no way of knowing, and it bothers me that some people might believe I'd actually be capable of writing some of this stuff.
Among the things George Carlin didn't really say? The phrase "I didn't say half the things I've said." That was Yogi Berra.