Philosopher-comedian George Carlin (1937-2008) began his career in show business in 1956, and by 1960 was headlining Las Vegas and had his first album out. But despite this early success, Carlin’s career didn’t really take off until he fell in love with the irreverence of the counterculture during the late 1960s, when he released Take-Offs and Put-Ons (in 1972) and began to develop trademark routines like “The Hippy Dippy Weatherman” and the classic “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” In all, Carlin released many albums, wrote and performed numerous HBO specials, appeared in several movies and on countless television programs, had his own sitcom, and published five books during his lifetime. Richard Cusick spoke with the dark genius for the February, 1998 issue of High Times, which we’re republishing on the occasion of Carlin’s birthday May 12.
High Times: It’s been my perception—and that of many of your fans—that your work has grown darker…
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