For the rest of his life, even after clearing his debt and guaranteeing he'd never have to do another phone ad again, he toured nonstop. Why not retire to a cushy film life as soon as financially possible? Well, because a funny thing happened on the way to the next gig: He got awesome at it. Thanks to constantly writing new jokes and constantly retelling them, his humor quickly became deeper, his delivery stronger, his arguments and analyses more logical, and his vulgarity more brutal. He truly became the George Carlin most people think of when they hear that name. The world heavyweight champion of free speech who once challenged us not to laugh at the idea of Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. The guy Comedy Central named the second greatest stand-up of all time (jobbing only to Richard Pryor). All because the IRS did that thing they do that we all hate (their job).
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George's place for his stuff would've fetched a pretty penny on the foreclosure market.
Oh, and if you think I'm stretching for the sake of controversy, then a thousand plagues on you and all you love. Also, I have backup: George Carlin, who in 2001 admitted all that debt work "... made me a way better comedian. Because I had to stay out on the road and I couldn't pursue that movie career, which would have gone nowhere, and I became a really good comic and a really good writer."
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And an even better connoisseur of wacky faces (hey, if you can do them, why wouldn't you?)
So for the first and likely only time ever, I thank the IRS. Mainly because now, I can tell fart jokes forever without forking over 70 percent of my pay.