More George

One of the less successful moments in the late George Carlin’s great career was in 1994 when he did a self-titled sitcom for the Fox network. It was a well-meaning project. Fox, which had been in business less than ten years, still had a reputation for being an edgy network; it was the only broadcast network that would have allowed Carlin to be even a watered-down version of himself. Any other network would have stuck him with a wife and three cute kids; on Fox he was a weird conspiracy-theorizing New York cabbie, which is a character he could plausibly play. The creator was Sam Simon, one of the co-creators of The Simpsons; it was his first project after quitting The Simpsons. And the show was slotted after Married… With Children, a very solid hit and not a bad lead-in for Carlin’s iconoclasm.


Oh, My Carlin, Oh, My Carlin

After I read the terrible news about the death of George Carlin, I turned on CNN to see how they were covering it. When they got to the famous “7 Words You Can’t Say on TV,” they bleeped four of them (showing the word “S–t” with the announcer saying: “A word for excretion”) and completely censored the other three: “And three words so controversial,” the announcer said, “we can’t even describe them.”