First picked up on this news last night on John Scalzi’s site — it’s a little disconcerting when you read something big on a blog before a news site, but it happens more and more now.
Carlin was a funny guy, a talented comic, and an inspiration to so many comedians that came after him (read Jerry Seinfeld’s NY Times op-ed to get an idea of this). I have to admit that most of his really famous work was before my time, and while I’m fully aware of things like “Seven Words” and other famous routines he did in the ’60s and ’70s, I really haven’t heard them, or at least all of them.
Oddly enough, he’s most familiar to me for his work in recent times, like his acting for Kevin Smith in Dogma, Jersey Girl and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, or his voice work on a Simpsons guest spot. I remember probably the first time I ever saw him was in (of all things!) Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, where he played uber-cool time traveller Rufus. And of course, my son knows him without knowing him, for one obvious reason:
Carlin was warmly entertaing as Fillmore, the hippie VW Combi van in the Pixar movie Cars, a veteran alongside many other veterans like Paul Newman, Cheech Marin and Paul Dooley.
It’s great my four-year-old son knows the man’s work, even without really knowing him.