How This 30-Year-Old George Carlin Performance Explains His Enduring Fame

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By Michael Stahl On April 25, 1992, George Carlin walked onstage to the applause of 5,600 people at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater and delivered an hour-long stand-up performance in which he channeled Nostradamus even more than he did Lenny Bruce, his comedy hero. “In this country, the whole social structure — just beginning to collapse,” he said in the 46th minute. “You watch.” Well, we have watched, for 30 years, and since that night when HBO presented George Carlin: Jammin’ In New York live for a cable audience, the majority of Amerians have, unwittingly or otherwise, adopted his…

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