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American comedian George Carlin performs his stand-up comedy act on stage, 1981.
Comedian George Carlin spent a lot of time sending up cliches, including the cliches people use when they talk about someone who's died — making himself a tough guy to write an obituary for.
It's his routine "seven words you can never say on television" that will probably be most remembered. It led to his arrest in a case that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Carlin stayed busy to the end — he worked last weekend at The Orleans in Las Vegas, and had dates there through the end of November, when he was also scheduled to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington.