LOS ANGELES – George Carlin, the frenzied performer whose routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, has died.
Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.
“He was a genius and I will miss him dearly,” Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.
Carlin’s jokes constantly breached the accepted boundaries of comedy and language, particularly with his routine on the “Seven Words” — all of which are taboo on broadcast TV and radio to this day.