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June 23, 2008

Comedy Titan George Carlin Dies The status quo-bucking stand-up legend was SNL's very first host June 23, 2008

George Carlin Press play-arrow below to see video excerpt of George Carlin's December 2007 talk with the Archive of American Television.

Santa Monica, CA - Award-winning comedian and screen star George Carlin—whose infamous rant, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," prompted a Supreme Court ruling banning those same seven words to date—died Sunday. He was 71.

Carlin, who remained a top comic draw for more than 40 years, had a history of heart trouble. He complained of chest pains Sunday afternoon, headed into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica and died around 6 p.m., according to publicist Jeff Abraham.

The five-time Emmy nominee had recently wrapped a show at The Orleans in Las Vegas and had planned to take part of the summer off to relax and work on a new book, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Carlin was booked through the end of the year, scheduled to kick off touring again on July 20 in San Diego.

Known as much for his blistering social commentary as his colorful language, Carlin taped groundbreaking specials and starred in several television and movie roles—including one on his own series, The George Carlin Show, in 1994. He was also the very first host of Saturday Night Live.

Although best known for mature content, Carlin endeared himself to youngsters with his performance as Mr. Conductor on the children’s program Shining Time Station, for which he earned two Daytime Emmy award nominations, and as the narrator of numerous episodes of the kids’ series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.

Plus, the Grammy winner recorded many gold comedy albums.

Carlin is survived by his wife Sally Wade, daughter Kelly Carlin McCall, son-in-law Bob McCall, his brother Patrick Carlin and sister-in-law Marlene Carlin. His first wife, Brenda, died in 1997.

George Carlin talks with the Archive of American Television

In December 2007, George Carlin granted the Archive of American Television what his representative says is his very last in-depth interview.

See an excerpt of this lengthy conversation with Carlin here on YouTube. The complete interview is available for viewing at the AAT office, located on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plaza in North Hollywood.

Contact the Television Archive at (818) 754-2800 for more information.

To learn more about this life and works of this American Archive of Television personality online, please visit the Archive of American Television Update blog.

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