George Carlin honoured

...for his contribution to US humour

Veteran stand-up George Carlin is to be awarded this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The Kennedy Center, which hands out the awards, said the 71-year-old’s material and style made him a perfect recipient of the prize.

‘In his lengthy career as a comedian, writer and actor, George Carlin has not only made us laugh, but he makes us think. His influence on the next generation of comics has been far-reaching,’ said the centre's chairman, Stephen A. Schwarzman.

Carlin issued a statement saying: ‘Thank you Mr Twain. Have your people call my people.’

The former cocaine addict has recorded 18 albums of stand-up, was the first ever host of Saturday Night Live – and now provides the voiceover for Thomas The Tank Engine in the States.

But he is still best known for his controversial Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television routine. He was arrested for obscenity for performing the routine in 1972, but its later airing on a New York radio station led to a groundbreaking US Supreme Court case in 1978, which led to a nationwide 10pm watershed for indecent material.

Carlin will receive his award – which has previously been won by Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin – on November 10.

Here is Carlin performing a follow-up to his dirty words routine:

Published: 18 Jun 2008

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.