Everything I knew about comedy growing up came from four people: Johnny Carson, Don Knotts, Tom Lehrer, and George Carlin. As a kid, my friends and I devoured stuff like George's AM/FM, Class Clown, Toledo Windowbox, etc. and thrilled at his cynical, irascible, irreverent hipness. He was the guy who talked about stuff nobody else did, and gave us the inside scoop - inspiring us to question the Establishment and Status Quo, while keeping us in stitches. Carlin's delivery, incomparable gift for dialect and inflection, and special quirk for observational humor set the standard for generations of comedians and fans that followed. As a friend wrote me today, "we're outliving all the good ones." Who could ever replace these people? Tom Lehrer is the only one left who played such a part part in shaping my appreciation for comedic genius, and understanding the world around us. We love and miss you George, and we're better people for having you in our lives. Bon voyage.
P.S. Bing bong!