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Carlin was a class act

June 25, 2008

Re "George Carlin, 1937 - 2008," June 23

The very night before I heard that George Carlin had died, I was up a little later than I should have been, watching one of his old taped shows.

Interestingly, he was doing some of his bits about death. Carlin joked about a "two-minute warning" that he said every dying person gets. It's a voice that only the person who is about to die can hear, and it says very simply: "Two minutes. Get your [expletive deleted] together."

Now, I can't help but chuckle out loud and wonder what Carlin must have thought when he received his own two-minute warning. Did he spend that time in quiet reflection over a successful career and his impact on American culture?

Carlin being Carlin, I think it is more likely he spent his last moment arguing with the voice, saying, "I'm not going!"

Eduardo Leaton Jr.

Los Angeles

In 1972, five of my fellow college students and I hurried to catch Carlin's show. We hoped to get cut-rate student tickets or rush seats. To our great disappointment, neither was being offered. We were bummed out, and our debating what to do and griping at the box office went on until we were the only ones left standing there.

Ten minutes before showtime, Carlin walked out of the theater's front doors and quietly said, "I hear you can't get tickets. I'm sorry there aren't student tickets. Here, take these." And he quickly turned and went back inside.

Orchestra tickets for everyone! We were stunned. After the performance, we managed to get backstage to tell him we enjoyed the show and to thank him profusely. A quiet "You're welcome. I'm sorry there weren't student tickets" was his response.

Humble, shy and self-effacing -- that's the George Carlin I'll never forget.

Roza Besser

Calabasas

With much sadness and all due respect, I submit there are now seven more words you can't say on television: "Ladies and gentlemen, here is George Carlin."

Keith Veraldi

Los Angeles

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