George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, philosopher, author, and social critic. He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. He and his "seven dirty words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves. Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential American stand-up comics of all time, Carlin was dubbed by one newspaper to be "the dean of counterculture comedians".The first of Carlin's 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO was filmed in 1977. From the late 1980s, Carlin's routines focused on sociocultural criticism of American society. He often commented on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture. He was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, and hosted the first episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975.
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If you're condemned to death they have to give you one last meal of your choice. What is that all about? A group of people plans to kill you, so they want you to eat something you like? Do they think the food part will take your mind off the dying part? Or do they prefer to kill you when you're just coming off a peak experience and full of positive energy?
I look at the politics of this country as a game that is played on the people, this illusion of choice. It's interesting that the important things have been reduced in number: oil companies, communications, pharmaceuticals, insurance, banking, accounting, all these firms have been merged and reduced. The choices are very limited. But if you want a bagel, we've got twenty-six flavors. There are four hundred kinds of mustard in this country. These are the illusions of choice. I don't really think choice is here to any substantive degree.