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The George Carlin Show aired from January 1994 until September 1995 on FOX.

George O'Grady ( George Carlin), was a scuffy, ponytailed New York City cabbie who looked like an overage hippie from the 1960's. He spent most of his free time with a gang of other comic misfits at the Moylan Tavern, spoting philosophical observations and trading sarcastic complaints. Others 'round the bar were Jack ( Anthony Starke), the slow-witted bartender who couldn't make drinks properly; Sydney the barmaid ( Paige French), an attractive, wise-cracking would-be model; Harry ( Alex Rocco), the fast-talking bookie who had been George's friend for years; Neal ( Chritopher Rich), an out-of-his-element plastic surgeon; and Frank ( Michael G. Haggerty), a good-natured drinker with a beer belly to show for it. George, whose dating skills were marginal at best, developed a tenous romance with Kathleen ( Susan Sullivan), owner of the pet shop where he got supplies for his Yorkshire terrier, which he had named Miles Davis. ( He had won the dog from Neal in the premiere episode). It was fortunate for Neal that he had a lucrative practice-a compulsive gambler, he lost not only his dog but thousands of dollars at a time to Harry. Toward the end of the series run he was having an affair with Sydney. Larry and Bob ( Matt Landers, Phil LaMarr), were neighbors of George's who were often seen at the stoop of his Manhattan brownstone apartment.

A Review from Variety

The George Carlin Show Unexpected Things Happen to George
((Sun. (16), 9:30- 10 p.m., Fox))

Filmed in Los Angeles by Main Sequence Ltd. and Sweet Freedom Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers, George Carlin, Jerry Hamza, Sam Simon; producer, Michael Stanislavsky; director, Simon; script, Carlin & Simon.

Cast: George Carlin, Alex Rocco, Paige French, Anthony Starke, Christopher Rich, Susan Sullivan, Michael G. Haggerty, Phil Lamarr, L. Peter Callender, Leesa Bryte, Barry Zajac, Mike Walden, Paul Natier.

Cheers" parallels are obvious, but "The George Carlin Show," created by Sam Simon, has its own ambiance. The Boston bar never had a bookmaker in regular attendance, as does this series' New York working man's saloon -- the Moylan Tavern -- and Carlin's aging hipster character translates well to the sitcom stage. This is the comic without much of the acid that frequently flows in his standup routines. It's a half-hour that's easy to take, and Carlin fans won't be disappointed.
George O'Grady (Carlin) has just quit his job as a cab driver when the episode opens, citing "creative differences"-- management doesn't want him to continue to wear his hair tied in a pony tail. What must be the world's nicest bookie, "Broadway" Harry Rosetti (Alex Rocco), is looking to collect from O'Grady and is willing to settle for the cabbie's 27-inch TV and some prized jazz albums.

Regulars include bartender Jack Donahue (Anthony Starke); the wisecracking waitress (Paige French as Sydney Paris); assorted barflies; and three characters who are introduced to O'Grady and others in this episode: out-of-his-element plastic surgeon Neal Beck (Christopher Rich); pet-store owner and prospective romantic interest Kathleen Rachowski (Susan Sullivan); and a Yorkshire terrier.

Production designer Ed LaPorta has come up with a couple of nice sets for the bar and O'Grady's walkup apartment, and d.p. Gregg Heschong gives the show a grainy, New York look. "Carlin" is lightweight, an attribute that doesn't seem to have hurt "Seinfeld," and characters are promising, but show may require more coddling than Fox is used to giving its other, better comedies, like "The Ben Stiller Show" and "Bakersfield P.D."

A Review from USA TODAY


'The George Carlin Show' lives by the comedian's wit

If you line up all the stand-up comics angling for sitcom stardom, they might stretch from...well, maybe from Burbank to Encino.

And though The George Carlin Show may not seem that special, George Carlin sure is. Finally, someone who deserves a showcase! For him, this is worth giving the benefit of the doubt.

The pilot is shaky, yet show's promise of being the first good comedy to follow megahit Married...With Children since The Tracy Ullman Show. It's a cooler show than most of Fox's overheated favorites.

The coolest, actually.

Carlin is in his best biting, fighting form as ( who else?) George, a jazz-loving, hard-gambling, world-weary iconoclast who hangs at a Manhattan Irish bar a lot more believable than the Blue Shamrock of Love & War.

Its denizens are funnier, too, including a bartender who's a beat behind a pretty but battle-scarred waitress and assorted Cheers-ish barflies from yuppies to a Norm clone ( Michael G. Hagerty, from CBS' The Building).

Carlin's nimble and corrosive wit binds this mishmash together, whether he's ranting about the absurd trend of loose-fitting jeans or tackling the bigger issues, like hope. Which he has no use for. Y'see, if you give up hope, you're free to enjoy yourself.

The tao of George.

He'd be a complete misanthrope except for a sort of perverse integrety that keeps him from cutting his ponytail to keep his job or relinquishing the mutt he holds as collateral for a gambling wager.

When he kneels in a scuzzy bathroom stall to secure God's help to clinch a bet-as if the Redskins could beat the Giants-he vows to give up gambling. Lotto too, " even though it helps the schools," he adds in an endearing aside.

You gotta love him even if you don't believe him. That might explain the tolerance of his bookie played by Alex Rocco with benign gruffness.

With The Simpsons' Sam Simon at the helm with Carlin, this could easily grow into a Sunday habit. Bet on it.

An Article from USA TODAY
Published on January 14, 1994

Carlin swaps stand-up for sitcom

By Jefferson Graham

LOS ANGELES-After 32 years in show business-radio, records, movies, concerts and countless talk show appearances -George Carlin is finally starring in a sitcom.

The George Carlin Show premieres on Fox Sunday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. Although the plot revolves around a cab driver who hangs out at a bar and mouths off a lot, the show really is a showcase for Carlin to be Carlin.

He had turned down previous sitcom offers because he didn't want to do a cookie-cutter, " Hi Honey, I'm home" type show. But after two heart attacks, an auto accident , drug and alcohol problems and an 11 year battle with the IRS, Fox's offer was too good to refuse. Specifically , the money and power that came with it.

Carlin is the show's executive producer, and he co-wrote the opening episode with co-creator Sam Simon ( The Simpsons, Taxi).

" I'm 56 now," he says. " I figured I owed this to my wife to see if we couldn't do something that could really provide for our future."

The show will have no single dads, no kids, no neighbors who don't knock, Carlin says. Instead it will feature lots of what the comic describes as " nice, controlled anger."

" It's a combination of indignance and indifference," he says. " Basically , I don't give a f-about the world. I'm pissed that we've wasted our potential on such moronic things as religion and profit. This character shares some of the attitudes and feelings that I have."

After years of leaving the house every Friday morning for three nights of solo concerts, each in a different city, Carlin is enjoying working with others for a change. " That part of my life had been missing."

His dream a few years ago was a movie career. He had small parts in Outrageous Fortune, The Prince of Tides and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and hoped they would leave to bigger roles. " Who wants to be a bit player all your life? That's not as satisfying as really getting into a character for two months."

Carlin grew up in New York and began his career in Shreveport, La., as a radio DJ, hoping to one day be a movie comic like Danny Kaye or Bob Hope. He eventually moved to clubs, and was a regular on the variety and talk show circuit.

He tried to move into acting, but failed most auditions -and that set him up " free to give up my dream and settle into myself." Carlin let his hair and beard grow, and over two years he became a different performer.

He was 28 and found an audience that responded to his counter-culture oriented comedy. His albums-including FM & AM and Class Clown, went gold and became rock radio staples. One routine-" Seven Words You Can't Say on Television"-became notorious when the FCC fined New York's WBAI for playing it on the air.

The case went to the supreme court and the FCC won. A framed Los Angeles Times banner headline about the case hangs in his office.

But Carlin says he wasn't the Howard Stern of the '70s. It was one routine out of a well-ballanced palette. " I wasn't a foul-mouthed comic. I was known for observational humor."

The 80s were mostly a time of working to pay back $ 3 million in back taxes; the debt ocurred , he says, because he wasn't paying enough attention to his personal affairs.

There were also the two heart attacks, an auto accident, and considerable time devoted to kicking booze and drugs.

" During all of this time, I never stopped taking notes and building my files," says Carlin. He kept doing HBO specials , which kept his name in front of the public and helped promote his weekend gigs, which led to his new home at Fox.

Carlin has only done two episodes so far, but he couldn't be happier. " If they said I could never do stand-up again in exchange for 10 years of this, I'd choose this."

A Review from Entertainment Weekly

TV Review
The George Carlin Show
By Ken Tucker

Like George Carlin himself, there's something likably unkempt and irascible about The George Carlin Show. In the veteran comic's first situation comedy, he plays a New York City cabdriver given to philosophical musings and a compulsive gambling habit abetted by his bookie, played by Alex Rocco (The Famous Teddy Z). There aren't many laughs in The George Carlin Show, and what few there are seem lifted from Carlin's stage act, but the series has something most sitcoms never achieve-an atmosphere of warmth and good-naturedness. If Carlin stays on awhile, maybe its humor will blossom. C+

A Review from the Baltimore Sun

URNED ON IN L.A. -- Spring Preview
January 15, 1994|By David Kronke | David Kronke,Contributing Writer

Imagine a world without George Carlin. Or, more precisely, a world without George Carlin as a celebrated stand-up comedian.

That's how Mr. Carlin sees the premise for his first TV sitcom, "The George Carlin Show," which debuts tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. on WBFF (Channel 45).

"People talk about alternate lives, about how your life would have turned out if you lived it differently," Mr. Carlin, 56, told reporters at a press conference. "This is what I might've been if I hadn't ever left my neighborhood, if I had never gone on stage."

Mr. Carlin stars as George O'Grady, an acerbic New York cab driver who spends most of his time railing against the foibles of contemporary society and hanging out with friends in his working-class neighborhood. The series was created by Sam Simon, who co-created "The Simpsons" and has written for "Taxi," "Cheers," "It's Garry Shandling's Show" and "The Tracey Ullman Show."

Though Mr. Carlin has been exposing life's absurdities and hypocrisies for more than 30 years, and has had a series of successful cable specials on HBO, he admits he has always been reticent to bring his act to network television.

"I always resisted doing TV sitcoms, because I always thought, 'Who wants to do that commercial stuff?' I'm an iconoclast, I'm an outsider," he said. "And I had a lot of stuff I still wanted to do in stand-up.

"But I've always had this acting bug as well," he continued, "and I enjoyed doing these small roles in movies like 'The Prince of Tides,' 'Outrageous Fortune' and 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.' But I wanted to move on to roles where I was second- or third-billed, and the studios didn't agree, so that acting bug went somewhat unfulfilled.

"My question about TV was, can you keep the creative level up, can the writing be consistent and can you keep the show funny -- that was something I was afraid to investigate," Mr. Carlin said. "Fox changed that. I saw how we could do this without being typically sitcom-y. I decided I owed it to myself to take a risk to try to do something authentic and funny, to go for the home run and create something that could last a long time."

Creator and executive producer Mr. Simon says Mr. Carlin and Fox are a perfect fit.

"George represents what Fox wants to be," Mr. Simon said. "He's a renegade. . . . Our goal was to deliver his attitude, his comedy, his observations and his anger, to take George's character and put it in situations where we build stories around him."

Which is just fine with Mr. Carlin, who says he's enjoying the camaraderie that comes with TV production as opposed to the isolation of a touring comic.

"A comic on stage is all alone. I've always been a bit of an outsider, I've always been on the outside looking in. . . . I felt a need to belong to a part of something that is bigger than just me," said Mr. Carlin, who is executive producer of the show.

Mr. Carlin noted that one thing has changed since his notorious '70s routine about the seven words you cannot say on TV -- one of those words is now acceptable on TV, if not in a family newspaper.

"You can say, '[expletive]-off' but not '[expletive]-on' -- it's the preposition that makes the difference," Mr. Carlin joked. "I'm glad we can talk about more things on TV than we used to, that the content has expanded. That's good for writers and for audiences."

An Article from The LA Times


Another popular stand-up comedian has ventured into the world of TV sitcom. But he's not just another stand-up. The venerable George Carlin bows as the star and co-executive producer of his new comedy series, simply titled "The George Carlin Show," premiering Sunday on Fox.

Ask Carlin about the genesis of the series and he gives what he calls "a many-layered answer."

Carlin, 56, has wanted to be an actor since he was a kid growing up on New York City's Upper West Side. His idols were movie clowns Danny Kaye and Bob Hope.

"I thought that was acting," explains Carlin, relaxing behind the desk of his comfortable production office in Brentwood. "I wanted to be an actor, so I (thought) I would become a deejay, a comedian and then they would let me be an actor. That was my childhood trilogy of what would happen. My life would have three stages."

Radio and stand-up came easily to Carlin. The acting didn't. "In the late '60s, I got a chance to do (the TV series) 'That Girl' and a movie with Doris Day called 'With Six You Get Eggroll.' I did auditions and screen tests."

But, Carlin admits, he was horrible--nervous and filled with anxiety. "I didn't know how to do it," he says. "I had no experience or training. I saw that dream ending."

But as his acting ambitions evaporated, Carlin's stand-up career took off. By the late '60s, he left mainstream comedy and cultivated his outsider personae--"my sort of out-of-step malcontent; my outlaw self, which I really had been most of my life. I let my hair grow. I got into what people call counterculture comedy, but actually it's just personal comedy with political overtones. That made me a big success. It was on my own terms. The acting thing was put way over on the side."

By the late '70s, Carlin was receiving "vague" offers to do TV series. But he turned them down, opting to do cutting-edge, uncensored comedy specials for HBO.

"I just didn't want to have anything to do with commercial TV," he says. "I had a career that was different. I had an attitude about commercial TV and sitcoms."

In the '80s, Carlin was becoming more comfortable with the idea of giving acting another try. "I am feeling maybe I am a little more down the road personally and internally and some of the blocks will be gone. I will be able to act. Let me try to put that acting thing to work. So eventually 'Outrageous Fortune,' 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' and 'The Prince of Tides' came along. And I feel comfortable with this. Certainly I can hold my own."

In the fall of 1991, he even joined the cast of the popular PBS children's series "Shining Time Station" in the role of the diminutive Mr. Conductor.

"I think these parts will turn into bigger parts in the movies," Carlin recalls. "I am still thinking like a child. Now, they will give me second and third leads. I can be a funny sidekick and then I'll get my own movie."

But it didn't work out that way. "They found me to be a very acceptable marquee bit player, almost a glorified cameo. They didn't want to offer me anything."

In the interim, Carlin did two more critically acclaimed HBO specials. His last one, the in-your-face, outrageous "Jammin' in New York," garnered amazing reviews and ratings. Carlin subsequently received a CableACE award and an Emmy nomination for the 1992 show.

"That (special) kicks me up to a higher gear," Carlin says. "And for the past four or five years since Fox began, they have been coming to me to do a show, a sitcom. My reaction was similar to my old reaction."

But as the years went by, Carlin says, "the offers keep getting a little better."

Last summer, Fox threw the name of producer-writer Sam Simon into the mix. Simon was involved with the TV classics 'Taxi," "Cheers," "The Tracey Ullman Show" and "The Simpsons."

"He's very smart and funny," Carlin says. "He didn't necessarily want to do anything. He had left 'The Simpsons' and didn't have the desire to do anything immediately. So here we were, two people who don't want to anything. Fox thought, 'Let's put these two guys together.' "

Carlin knew what elements he didn't want in the series. "We knew it wasn't going to have a living room in it. No kids. No neighbor that doesn't knock. No working mom. No single dad. No widows from another continent. None of that stuff."

But what co-executive producer Simon created for Carlin is a variation of his famous malcontent character. Carlin's George O'Grady is a middle-aged, part-time New York cab driver and philosopher who lives in a working-class neighborhood on the Upper West Side. His favorite hangout is a rundown neighborhood tavern where his friends love to listen to his opinions.

The series is "very close to my own inner truth," Carlin says. "He's one of the people I might've become in my life if I'd stayed in the neighborhood. We all have alternative lives we might've led. It just fit right."

These days, Carlin doesn't feel like the outsider. "One of the interesting things about being an outsider is the longing to belong. It's a paradox. All of my life, there's been a need to belong to something and be recognized. I've joined a kind of club. I've joined the network commercial TV club and in a way, there's more respectability."

"The George Carlin Show" premieres Sunday at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.

Here is George Carlin's Obituary from The New York Times.

George Carlin, Comic Who Chafed at Society and Its Constraints, Dies at 71

Published: June 24, 2008
Correction Appended

George Carlin, whose astringent stand-up comedy made him an heir of Lenny Bruce, who gave voice to an indignant counterculture and assaulted the barricades of censorship on behalf of a generation of comics that followed him, died on Sunday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 71 and lived in Venice, Calif.

The cause was heart failure, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. Mr. Carlin, who performed earlier this month at the Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, had a history of heart problems.

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth, read a message on Mr. Carlin's Web site,, and he spent much of his life in a fervent effort to counteract the forces that would have it so. In his always irreverent, often furious social commentary, in his observations of the absurdities of everyday life and language, and in groundbreaking routines like the profane Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television, he took aim at what he thought of as the palliating and obfuscating agents of American life politicians, advertisements, religion, the media and conventional thinking of all stripes.

If crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? he asked in a 1980s routine, taking a jab at the Reagan administration's defense of the Nicaraguan Contras.

During a career that spanned five decades, Mr. Carlin emerged as one of the most popular, durable, productive and versatile comedians of his era. He evolved from Jerry Seinfeld-like whimsy and a buttoned-down decorum in the 60s to counterculture hero in the 70s.

By the 80s, he was known as a scathing social critic, wringing laughs from the verbal tics of contemporary language like the oxymoron jumbo shrimp (and finding another oxymoron in the term military intelligence ) and poking fun at pervasive national attitudes. He used the ascent of football's popularity at the expense of the game he loved, baseball, to make the point that societal innocence had been lost forever.

Baseball is a 19th-century pastoral game, he said. Football is a 20th-century technological struggle. Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park. The baseball park! Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Through the 1990s and into the 21st century, Mr. Carlin, balding but still pony-tailed, prowled the stage eyes ablaze with intensity as the comedy circuit's most splenetic curmudgeon, raging over the shallowness of a me first culture; mocking the infatuation with camcorders, hyphenated names and sneakers with lights on them; lambasting white guys over 10 years old who wear their baseball hats backwards, baby boomers who went from do your thing to just say no and from cocaine to Rogaine ; and foes of abortion rights. How come when it's us it's an abortion, he asked, and when it's a chicken it's an omelet?

George Denis Carlin was born in New York City on May 12, 1937. His mother, Mary, a secretary, separated from his father when he was an infant, and he grew up with his mother and his older brother, Patrick, on West 121st Street in Manhattan.

I grew up in New York wanting to be like those funny men in the movies and on the radio, Mr. Carlin said. My grandfather, mother and father were gifted verbally, and my mother passed that along to me. She always made sure I was conscious of language and words.

He dropped out of high school and joined the Air Force, and while stationed in Shreveport, La., he worked as a radio disc jockey. Discharged in 1957, he moved to Boston for a radio announcer's job, then to Fort Worth, where he was a D.J.

Along the way he met Jack Burns, a newscaster and comedian. They worked together in Fort Worth and Los Angeles, performing on the radio and in clubs and even appearing on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. The comedian Mort Sahl, whose penchant for social commentary Mr. Carlin came to share, dubbed them a duo of hip wits.

Still, the Carlin-Burns team was only moderately successful, and, in 1960, Mr. Carlin struck out on his own.

He made his first television solo guest appearance on The Tonight Show in 1962, in the interim between Paar's departure and Johnny Carson's arrival; the host that night was Mr. Sahl. His second wasn't until 1965, when he made the first of 29 appearances on The Merv Griffin Show.

At that time, he was primarily known for his clever wordplay and reminiscences of his Irish working-class upbringing in New York. But there were intimations of an anti-establishment edge. It surfaced, for example, in a parody of television newscasts, for which he invented characters like Al Sleet, the hippy-dippy weatherman : Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued mostly dark tonight turning to widely scattered light in the morning.

Mr. Carlin released his first comedy album, Take-Offs and Put-Ons, to rave reviews in 1967. He also dabbled in acting, winning a recurring part as Marlo Thomas's theatrical agent in the 1960s sitcom That Girl and a supporting role in the 1968 movie With Six You Get Eggroll. He made more than 80 major television appearances during that time, including on the Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show ; he was also regularly featured at nightclubs in New York and Las Vegas.

He was one of America's most popular comedians, but as the convulsive decade of 1960s ended, he'd had enough of what he considered a dinky and hollow success.

I was entertaining the fathers and the mothers of the people I sympathized with, and in some cases associated with, and whose point of view I shared, he recalled later, as quoted in the book Going Too Far by Tony Hendra (Doubleday, 1987). I was a traitor, in so many words. I was living a lie.

In 1970, Mr. Carlin staged a remarkable reversal of field, discarding his suit and tie, as well as the relatively conventional and clean-cut material that had catapulted him to the top. He reinvented himself, emerging with a beard, long hair, jeans and a routine steeped in drugs and insolence. A backlash followed; in one famous incident, he was advised to leave town when an angry audience threatened him at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wis., for joking about the Vietnam War. Afterward, he temporarily abandoned nightclubs for coffee houses and colleges, where he found a younger, hipper audience that was more attuned to both his new image and his material.

By 1972, when he released his second album, FM & AM, his star was again on the rise. The album, which won a Grammy Award as best comedy recording, combined older material with his newer, more acerbic routines.

One, from Class Clown, Mr. Carlin's third album, became part of his Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television, with its rhythmic recitation of obscenities. It was broadcast on the New York radio station WBAI. Acting on a complaint about the broadcast, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order prohibiting the words as indecent. In 1978, the Supreme Court upheld the order, establishing a decency standard that remains in effect; it ensnared Howard Stern in 2005, precipitating his move to satellite radio.

Mr. Carlin refused to drop the bit and was arrested several times after reciting it onstage.

By the mid- 70s, like his comic predecessor Lenny Bruce and the fast-rising Richard Pryor, Mr. Carlin had emerged as a cultural renegade. In addition to his jests about religion and politics, he talked about using drugs, including LSD and peyote; he kicked cocaine, he said, not for moral or legal reasons but because he found far more pain in the deal than pleasure.

Three of Mr. Carlin's comedy albums of the 1970's Class Clown, Occupation: Foole and An Evening With Wally Lambo sold more than a million copies. In 1975, he was chosen to host the first episode of the late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live. And two years later, he found the perfect platform for his stinging and cerebral, if sometimes off-color, humor in the fledgling world of cable television: the first of his 14 HBO comedy specials, George Carlin at U.S.C. was aired in 1977, the last, George Carlin: It's Bad for Ya, in March.

During the course of his career, Mr. Carlin overcame numerous personal trials. His early arrests for obscenity (all of which were dismissed) and his problem with cocaine were the most publicized. But he also weathered serious tax problems, a heart attack and two open-heart surgeries; his health problems cost him five years of productivity between 1977 and 1982. Though he had been able to taper his cocaine use on his own, he said, he continued to abuse alcohol and also became addicted to Vicodin. In December 2004 he entered a rehabilitation center.

Stand-up is the centerpiece of my life, my business, my art, my survival and my way of being, Mr. Carlin once told an interviewer. And while it did always take center stage in his career, Mr. Carlin also acted in films, among them Car Wash (1976), Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), The Prince of Tides (1991), and Dogma (1999).

He also wrote books, expansions on his comedy routines, including Brain Droppings (1997), Napalm & Silly Putty (2001) and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (2004), all published by Hyperion. A 1994 sitcom, The George Carlin Show, lasted a single season. He also did a stint narrating the children's television show Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.

Mr. Carlin won a total of four Grammy Awards. He was recently named the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which he was to receive in November at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. The Kennedy Center said Monday that the prize would be given posthumously and that the evening would be a tribute to his life and work.

In addition to his brother, Patrick, Mr. Carlin is survived by his wife, Sally Wade, and a daughter, Kelly Carlin McCall. His first wife, Brenda Hosbrook, died in 1997.

Mr. Carlin's most recent work was especially contentious, even bitter, full of ranting against the stupid, the fat, the docile. But he defended the material, insisting that his comedy had always been driven by an intolerance for the shortcomings of humanity and society.

Scratch any cynic, he said, and you'll find a disappointed idealist.

Anahad O'Connor contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 25, 2008
Because of an editing error, an obituary on Tuesday about the comedian George Carlin misstated the location of the Playboy Club where he angered an audience by joking about the Vietnam War. It was Lake Geneva, Wis. (There is no town named Lake Geneva in New York.)

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