Famously filthy-mouthed stand-up comedian George Carlin has died of heart failure at the age of 71. An icon of counterculture comedy and free speech rights, Carlin was most notorious for his "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television," a routine from his album Occupation Foole that eventually led to the Supreme Court:
A listener hearing New York's WBAI-FM play Carlin's "Filthy Words" routine on Oct. 30, 1973, in its unaltered entirety lodged a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC, in turn, threatened to pull WBAI's license. WBAI appealed the FCC's bark all the way to the Supreme Court, where in 1978, the justices ruled in favor of the FCC, agreeing that the seven words "you can't say on television," shouldn't be said on the radio, eithernot during hours that children might hear them.
Carlin's comedy encompassed more than just taboo-breaking profanity, however. He frequently examined life's amusing minutia ("Urinals are 50 percent universal") in a way that anticipated the observational humor of Jerry Seinfeld. He also delighted in wordplay and simple absurdity, like the headlines in his faux-news report: "A man attempting to walk around the world ... drowned today."
If you've been online at all on Monday morning, you've probably either seen the clip of "Seven Words" or a link to it. Here's something a little different: an expanded, exhaustive version of the list from Carlin's 1982 concert at Carnegie Hall. It features the familiar seven, as well as some terms that you may have never heard before ("donaker," "sugarbowl pie," "boy in the boat," "71") :
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Updated: In case the Carnegie Hall footage gets pulled, here's a similar routine, with Carlin's audio synchronized to some extremely odd video.