Comedian George Carlin has died at the age of 71. Reports say that he checked into a hospital Sunday afternoon with chest pains, and at 5:55 PM, he was gone, with heart failure being the cause.
This is still very fresh for me, as I just found out a couple of hours ago, but for those of you who hadn’t heard yet, here you go; news that will truly ruin a day.
It was one of those surreal-while-painful moments for me. I read the headline and gasped and literally seconds later it began to pour outside, thunder roaring out angrily — it was fitting and it was heartbreaking. To make matters even worse, there’s a small venue near here at the beach where various bands and comedians play throughout the summer; George Carlin had a date(s) every year, this year’s being July 24th. Every year, including less than a week ago, I would look through the acts and see his name and think to myself, “I really need to get out to that. Who knows how much longer he’ll get to tour.” Now that won’t ever happen, and that makes this suck that much more.
People always talk of this phenomena where celebrities pass away in 3’s, and it’s always sounded like such an absurd thing, but I just can’t help but see it happen time and time again and wonder why that is. I’m sure it doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens so much more often than something that crazy sounding should happen. We will go months and months without hearing about someone passing away, and then out of nowhere, you’ll get a group of them that are not only upsetting, but unexpected as well. This last group consisting of Tim Russert, Stan Winston, and now George Carlin is really an icebreaker for me as to why this always seems to unfold like it does. For those of us who are huge fans of any given someone, this can be like losing a family member; you’ve never looked this person in the eyes, yet their passing is devastating to you, which is exactly the case here for countless people today, and why I wonder about things like this. The fact of the matter is that there is no coincidence or mysterious explanations to these things, there is only the fact that George had a history of heart problems and at 71 years of age, it just became too much for his body to continue.
George Carlin will be remembered for the rest of time as someone who did it and said it his way. If he thought it, he spoke it and he didn’t care what people thought of him for it. It just so happens that while doing and saying whatever he wanted, he was one of the funniest men ever to live, leaving an eternal imprint in the entertainment world. If for some insane reason you don’t know George Carlin or haven’t heard his stuff (and if you’re not easily offended), you’d be well-off to check out some of his stuff, you will not regret it.
George Carlin — 1937 – 2008