No Free Passes: George Carlin Was An Equal Opportunity Offender

Left: George Carlin performing on 'Midnight Special' in 1974. Right: Carlin in 'Car Wash' (1976). Sources: NBCU Photo Bank / Getty; IMDB.

George Carlin had little patience for political correctness and smug do-gooders -- but he wasn't a fan of organized religion, guns or the patriarchy either. Carlin was a rare commentator who sat somewhere in the middle and took shots at both sides of the cultural spectrum. Once a traditional standup and sketch comedian, he transformed in the '60s (as so many people and things did), coming out as much a social critic as he was a funnyman. One of the unique voices in the grand American conversation, Carlin died in 2008 -- and some would say that one of the voices of reason left the building.

Of course, if you took offense at his comedy, you might have said something else -- like good riddance.

George Carlin, who was also an actor and an author, managed to be a hippie who saw hippies as ridiculous, and a cranky (prematurely) old man who made fun of his own kind.