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Published June 23, 2008

539w.jpg Moments after death, comedy legend George Carlin stood before a multitude of heavenly spirits and began picking apart the linguistic and procedural peculiarities of the afterlife. The 71-year-old standup veteran died of heart failure on Sunday and his soul was immediately whisked to the gates of heaven, where he remained nonplussed by the experience.

"Really, what is the purpose of this gate? Are people trying to break into heaven?" said Carlin, waiting in line with other recently departed souls.

Upon Carlin's entry through the gates, the Heavenly Host greeted him with the most beautiful song ever heard by human ears: "You have an entire band consisting of harps. You know, there are other instruments" said Carlin. "You people live in heaven and you've never thought about getting a bass, a keyboard, a clarinet, a trombone, a violin, a fucking oboe?"

From the bosom of never-ending paradise, Carlin made some road-tested observations to the legion of angels. Observing his many mourners on this mortal coil, Carlin pulled out the sardonic classic: "Your popularity goes straight up when you die… You get more flowers when you die than you got in your whole life. All your flowers arrive at once, too late."

Given the chance to bask in the eternal glory of the Almighty Lord, Carlin turned down the opportunity: "Face it, religion is bullshit. I just came from a world with floods, famine, and war. I think most reasonable people might agree that God is incompetent and maybe doesn't give a shit."

After performing an eight-minute hunk on the euphemisms for death ("Why do they call it 'expire', like a magazine subscription?"), Carlin spent several hours parsing the syntactic difference between "eternal" and "everlasting." 

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