Stand-up comedian George Dennis Carlin (1937-) was born on this day in the Bronx, New York. He dropped out of high school and joined the Army. "I quit school in ninth grade. So everything I've learned, I've learned by watching things and listening and reading," he explained.
With a love for language, he became a radio disc jockey, then found comedy. He has used the genre to critique society with a career that spanned over 40 years.
"If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?" asked Carlin in one of his thought-provoking routines. Always posing the provocative question, Carlin performs over 80 concerts a year, with 13 weeks in Las Vegas; 2005 will mark his 13th HBO special.
"Comedy is a socially acceptable form of hostility and aggression. That is what comics do, stand the world upside down," said the master of irreverent satire. In the spirit of comic Lenny Bruce, Carlin's performances were known for their unpredictability.
"Some people think of the glass as half full. Some people think of the glass as half empty. I think of the glass as too big," he said.
The first host of Saturday Night Live in 1975, Carlin challenged the FCC by pushing the boundaries of free speech with Seven Words You Can't Use On Television. The 12-minute legendary monologue featured two female body parts, two bathroom functions, a synonym for sex, and a pair of rude nouns.
"The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life," said Carlin whose popular and clever Baseball vs. Football and Dogs and Cats routines have remained hilarious through the years.
In a touching tribute to his wife in 2003, he said, "Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind."
Don't sweat it.