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There's a new documentary on HBO chronicling the life of legendary stand-up comic, actor, and author George Carlin. Carlin is probably most famous for his now iconic routine on "The Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television."  By today's standards, and with the advent of cable, this list is now pretty much obsolete.  You can hear any of these, and much more, regularly, ironically, on HBO... a pay television service. But in 1972, when there were only 3 major broadcast television networks, and radio was even more heavily monitored by the FCC than it is today, it was unfathomable to think that you could hear any of those words on your home television. Now to be fair, you still won't hear most of them over broadcast stations, only on cable channels or networks like the pay channels.

George Carlin Appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
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Carlin was a master of the english language, and has been described as a wordsmith. Over the years through his observational humor, he demonstrated his mastery and knowledge through creative routines like "Everyday Expressions."

Like... Legally Drunk... well if it's legal... what's the problem?? Leave the guy alone... he's legally drunk!"

Undisputed Heavyweight Champion... well if it's "undisputed".... what's all the fighting about?  In your own words... do you have your own words?? I'm using the ones everyone else it using!  Next time they say to say something in your own words say nick flat blarney quando fleur!"

and of course, his favorites...  Jumbo Shrimp, and Military Intelligence

But back in 1956, Carlin was in the Air Force stationed at Barksdale. A mere 19 years old, he was in a community theatre play in Shreveport. (I would have to think it would've been at Shreveport Little Theatre).  Another cast member in the show happened to be the manager of a local radio station, KJOE.  He and Carlin hit it off, and he asked George to come in and read some copy. And the rest... as they say... is history.  From GeorgeCarlin.com:

George Carlin began his professional career in radio (KJOE, Shreveport, LA) in July, 1956 at the age of 19 while serving in the USAF. Following KJOE, he landed at WEZE in Boston. That job lasted three months (1959).

 

Carlin returned to Shreveport in the mid 70's performing his stand-up routine at the (also) legendary Municipal Auditorium.

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