I saw George Carlin on stage three times — once at the Cape Cod Melody Tent, a prime venue. Mr. Carlin’s comedy was formative for me as it was for many people. His Occupation: Foole album was the first comedy album I’d ever heard.

Many comedians benefitted from the doors he open with his racy stuff. Lenny Bruce is rightly credited with being an earlier adopter of blue language into his routine, but Carlin made the rough stuff palatably rather than merely raunchy and angry.

His political stuff was always a decade ahead of the pack. As he drifted into his golden years, he didn’t mellow, but became more pointed on his attacks at the establishment. He was the very icon of what stand-up comedy means to me.

The seven famous words on his web site sum up it best: we love you and we’ll miss you.