After the Me decade I didn't think about Carlin as much, though he would appear in various TV shows and movies as the too-cool-for-school aging hipster. Most memorably, he was the guide in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure which solidified his position as elder statesman of liberal ethos while ironically playing a relatively conservative role.
George Carlin seemed to disappear after that or maybe I wasn't paying attention. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to see Carlin perform for a HBO special in Santa Rosa CA. Having not seen him in over a decade, Carlin had aged considerably and much of his opening monologue revolved around Death. It was a fun show and Carlin was in fine form with his raging intellect and no nonsense delivery intact.
George Carlin along with Richard Pryor defined stand up comedy in the 70's. They used the microphone as a platform to break down barriers and taboos of what could be publicly discussed about race, politics and censorship. Both also served as examples of the excesses of their time period with raging drug habits. Nonetheless, George Carlin will be remembered for his humor and freedom he represented. A very sad passing of a great comedian.
Below are links to the opening segments to his recent HBO special where he riffs on the premise of Death and people's reaction to it. Warning: like much of George Carlin's humor, there is a lot of profanity and irreverence for authority and religion / God. While I think most people who are familiar with George Carlin knows this, just thought I'd mention it to play it safe. There are seven parts in total on You Tube, here's the first two if you would like to check it out.