By George, He Was Funny

Monday, June 23 2008 @ 08:04 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! I hope I'll be safe at home!

George Carlin has died at the age of 71.

The above baseball/ootball rant was just one of the many lines in one fo the great monologues (the whole bit is here) brought to us by a man who truly could lay claim to being, at least arguably, the greatest American stand-up comedian ever.

That a bit like saying "Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player ever" ...

... in that nobody can deny there's a good case to be made for that position, but you'll have your Willie Mays guys and your Alex Rodriguez guys and even your Walter Johnson guys and ... well, you get the idea.

Declaring someone the greatest at something that thousands of people have done or are doing smacks a bit of arrogance and a bit more of reverence. I admit, there are times I watched a Carlin bit and was horribly offended. But I never ... never ... watched a Carlin bit without, at some point, laughing out loud.

I think George would have liked to hear people say that about him. But then again, as he surely would have intoned, what the hell do I know?

I searched for an appopriate obituary online to link to, then realized that all of the best ones widely quoted Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television," so here instead I just offer an invitation ... link to something you particularly like about Carlin, or better yet, BY Carlin ... and join me in hoping he's now safe at home.

Thanks, George.