Sadly, the title isn’t the start of a joke where George Carlin dies and goes to heaven, whereupon he has some amusing conversation with God. He really has died.

Grammy-award winning comedian George Carlin, best known for his Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV routine, has died of heart failure aged 71.

The star was admitted to a hospital in Los Angeles on Sunday with chest pains and died later that day.

Jack Burns, Carlin’s comedy partner in the early 1960s, told the Associated Press agency: “He was a genius and I will miss him dearly.”

He’s had heart problems since the 80s so perhaps this isn’t so much of a surprise but I’m saddened for the loss of one of the world’s funniest, insightful comedians. He was vulgar, outrageous, blasphemous and certainly not to everyone’s taste but he was immensely funny and he’s a huge loss to the world of comedy.

George had a wonderful, if rather indelicate, way of ripping apart the religious. Here he is in one of his more famous routines where he’s rationalising the ten commandments:

He’ll be sadly missed by many.

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