George Carlin: Modern Man

The George Carlin we grew up with — and deeply internalized — was not the Carlin of comedy albums and HBO specials, but the Carlin of Tonight Show appearances, a forum in which he had to work clean. Our Carlin was the Carlin of language, whose take on “jumbo shrimp” and “military intelligence” proved you could never take people at their word — or if you did, you’d best pay close attention.

The other Carlins we certainly admired once we discovered them, but they’re not the Carlin of our youth, the Carlin who to this day informs everything we say and write, the Carlin who taught us the delights of language itself. That Carlin we despaired of honoring online, until Harry Shearer found a clip that sums it up for us.

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