(Warning: video NSFW)
Like many a blogger, I woke up this morning, fed the cat, and headed straight for the laptop, and read several Twitter posts and Facebook entries.
Then, I did a quick search, and it was true - George Carlin had passed away.
It's hard to see how, at one time, Carlin was considered cutting edge - most of his later material (presented on HBO) seemed to present him as a grouchy old man. (Consider this video focusing on language versus his "classic" routine on stuff). Ironically, Carlin started off as a relatively "mainstream" comic, much like the Smothers Brothers...and like them, he made a radical shift. Only where theirs was slight, Carlin embraced a Lenny Bruce-esque persona, and ran with it.
But ultimately, what Carlin did (in my view) was bring a sharper, smarter approach to comedy, allowing the "smart kids" to tap into their anger. Wit became a weapon with which to bring down big targets - on one side, you have Bill Hicks, and Bill Maher's Real Time...on the other side, Dennis Miller's obnoxious pop-culture-referenced rants.
However, we'll no longer have George to serve as our "cranky old man", often pointing out our hypocrisies...or even for those fake e-mails that get forwarded in his name.
Goodbye, George. We'll miss you.