(La La Land, CA) - In what he felt was his funniest anti-establishment joke of all time, George Carlin died yesterday.
Slated to receive The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in November, Carlin was increasingly concerned lately that an official honor from such a prestigious American institution would make him a sellout, according to those close to the comedian.
"George had been telling me for weeks now that he was going to come up with something that would really be a pie in the face to the Kennedy Center," said longtime Carlin friend Al Sleet, the Hippy Dippy Weatherman for Channel 69 in Los Angeles.
"When I heard the news that he croaked before he could get the prize, I must have laughed for an hour," said Sleet, before falling into a fit of giggles that ended the interview.
Long known for his subversive humor, Carlin arrived at St. John's Health Center yesterday laughing and complaining of chest pain.
"I've never seen a patient so giddy and so dead at the same time," said treating physician Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush. "Mr. Carlin had apparently worked himself into such an intense state of hilarity that it brought on atypical myocardial arrhythmia."
"Basically, you could say that he laughed himself to death."
Last year's Twain Prize winner, Billy Crystal, was stunned and envious when he heard the news.
"George really was an original," said Crystal. "He was always on the cutting edge of comedy. If I wasn't such a sellout, I probably would have done something similar myself. But I'm right in the middle of shooting City Slickers 3: The Hunt for Curly's Bacon, opening September 3rd at a multiplex near you."
Known most famously for his "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" monologue, which was recorded in 1972 and prompted a Supreme Court obscenity case in 1978, Carlin spent the rest of his life expanding his list of dirty words until it reached into the hundreds. Ever the perfectionist, Carlin was working on the list right up until his death.
"I've never heard such a foul mouth on a patient," said Dr. Hackenbush. "It was only after he finally croaked that someone explained to me that he was working and not calling me names. If I had known that earlier, I might have tried harder to save him."
Carlin's last words were "cooter sandwich."
Services for the comedian will be held at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, approximately ten miles due west of Santa Monica Pier. Mr. Carlin's will expressed his wishes for as many members of Congress as is possible to attend.
Following his paroxysms of laughter, Al Sleet offered up a plea to the Kennedy Center.
"The show must go on. George would have wished that his embalmed corpse be propped up on the stage and honored as if he were still here. I can only imagine that the horrific smell he'll be emitting by November would have been something that he would have felt entirely proper for the receiving of an official Washington honor.
"It would have made him smile."