Seven Not-So-Dirty Facts About the Street Soon to be Known as George Carlin Way


With a posthumous honor, the New York City native continues grappling with religion even after death. Here are, appropriately enough, seven things you should know about the newly-minted George Carlin Way.

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1. On October 22, the 400 block of West 121st Street (between Morningside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue) will be commemoratively named George Carlin Way after the pioneering “Seven Dirty Words” comedian who died in 2008.

2. Carlin lived at Broadway and 121st in Morningside Heights from his 1937 birth until dropping out of high school in 1954 and enlisting in the Air Force. He often referenced the “Irish Harlem” neighborhood in books and performances, including landmark 1972 album Class Clown.

3. The naming was originally designated to include the block containing 529 West 121st Street’s Corpus Christi Church, where Carlin attended Catholic school and religious services. In order to accommodate the church’s opposition to honoring the alumnus who denigrated their institution, the stretch was shifted one block east.

4. Kevin Bartini, warm-up comic for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, initiated the naming via online petition and spearheading a group of volunteers who canvassed the neighborhood, collecting more than 9,000 signatures in total.

5. The process to pass the proposed bill began in June 2011, was approved 24 to four by Manhattan Community Board 9, proceeded to the NYC City Council and was finally signed into law three years later by Mayor DeBlasio on July 9.

6. Attendees at the street’s 1 p.m. unveiling ceremony will include Colin Quinn, Keith Olbermann, Carlin’s daughter Kelly and older brother Patrick.

7. Later that night, Quinn hosts celebration event The Seven Dirty Words: George Carlin Is Finally Getting His “Way” at Carolines on Broadway, with talent including Bartini, Kelly Carlin, Jim Norton, Ted Alexandro, Richard Pryor’s daughter Rain Pryor, and more.

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