May 13th, 2010
06:43 PM ET

Comedians celebrate George Carlin's legacy

George Carlin's birthday is not a national holiday, but it has special meaning for many comedians.

Hollywood's Laugh Factory hosted a posthumous birthday bash Wednesday night for Carlin, who would have been 73, to honor his lifelong struggle for comedic freedom.

Comedians Tom Arnold, Paul Mooney, Paul Rodriguez, Tom Green, Judy Tenuta, Jay Phillips and Shawn Wayans each held a sign with one of Carlin's "heavy seven" words from his legendary routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television."

Green, whose outrageous humor as a talk show host helped change television in the 1990s, is now following in Carlin's footsteps as a stand-up comic. Green's appearance even echoes Carlin's since he's replaced his goatee with a full beard.

"Remembering George Carlin and his revolutionary fearless comedy shined a light on the world and exposed its hypocrisy," Green said. "He is sorely missed today."

Carlin's former publicist Michael Levine, who organized the birthday party, said Carlin has "lasting iconic relevance" not just for his comedy but for free speech issues.

"George Carlin is someone who could be someday on a postage stamp," Levine said. "He's a modern-day Mark Twain."

Carlin was 71 when he died of heart failure June 22, 2008.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Jim

    George was a great guy and yes we miss him I had the Plesure of working with George on the Tv Movie Working trash

    May 31, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TheParadigmShift

    George Carlin Talks War And American Politics

    Best video ever!

    May 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Stacie

    One of my life's goals was to see George Carlin live – I am so happy to say that I had the honor of seeing him in his final tour. And whenever I feel dismayed about the direction things are going, I remember what he said in one of his final tv appearances – "this country is just circling the drain – the only real question now is what the endgame is going to look like." LOVE YOU GEORGE!!!

    May 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BeckFastPaws

    Jon Stewart once said, "He is a member of our (referring to comedians) Holy Trinity: Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin. The rest of us are just congregation."

    Carlin's words still ring true today, as they will continue to do so for a long time to come. Language is a tool that is abused too often, and the hypocritical musing of those to twist it must continue to be pointed out. Those of us less talented than him must take on that task, and be forever vigilant.

    May 14, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Shannon

    Whether you agreed with him or not, he had a unique and hilarious way of observing the world around him. Hypocrisy was definitely one of his favorite targets, and he inspired me to reconsider a few of my political positions... Happy Birthday George!

    May 14, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Phil

    I really wish George were alive today to hear his thoughts on the world today which seems to be getting crazier all the time. Or perhaps he would say nothing and prefer death.

    May 14, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Eric

    We miss you, George.

    May 14, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |

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