George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American comedian, actor, author, and social critic. Regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time, he was dubbed "the dean of counterculture comedians". He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and taboo subjects. His "seven dirty words" routine was central to the 1978 United States Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government's power to censor indecent material on public airwaves.