TOPICS > Nation

Irreverent Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71

June 23, 2008 at 6:50 PM EDT

GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight, remembering George Carlin. The irreverent comedian’s body of work included 23 albums, three books, and many awards.

Best known for his “Seven Dirty Words” routine, Carlin was known for his riffs on American culture. We have two excerpts from his performances. The first is from 1982, where Carlin plays the angry everyman who refuses to have a nice day.

GEORGE CARLIN, Comedian: I don’t have a nice day anymore. I don’t bother much with that. I think I’m beyond that now. I think I’ve outgrown the nice day. I think I’ve had my share. Why should I be hogging all the really nice ones? Let somebody else have a few.

Of course, everyone still wants me to have one. Everybody wants me to have a nice day. “Have a nice day.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want to give me my (bleep) change, please? I’m triple parked.”

Some of them are really insistent. “I said have a nice day!” “All right, all right, (bleep) I’ll give it a shot.”

You know how important that is. That’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it, trying to find a place for your stuff. That’s all your house is. Your house is just a place for your stuff. If you didn’t have so much (bleep) stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time.

That’s all your house is. It’s a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You see that when you take off in an airplane, and you look down, and you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. Everybody’s got their own pile of stuff. And when you leave your stuff, you’ve got to lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff.

They always take the good stuff. They don’t bother with that crap you’re saving. Ain’t nobody interested in your fourth-grade arithmetic papers. They’re looking for the good stuff.

That’s all your house is. It’s a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. And if you have to stay overnight at someone’s house, you know, unexpectedly, and they give you a little room to sleep in that they don’t use that often, someone died in it 11 years ago, and they haven’t moved any of his stuff.

Or wherever they give you to sleep, usually right near the bed, there’s a dresser and there’s never any room on the dresser for your stuff. Someone else’s (bleep) is on the dresser. Have you noticed that their stuff (bleep) and your (bleep) stuff.

GWEN IFILL: George Carlin was 71 years old.