George Denis Patrick Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author. Carlin was noted for his black comedy and his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. Carlin and his \"Seven dirty words\" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.\nHe is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians: One newspaper called Carlin \"the dean of counterculture comedians.\" In 2004, Carlin was placed second on the Comedy Central list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, ahead of Lenny Bruce and behind Richard Pryor. The first of his 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO was filmed in 1977. From the late 1980s, Carlin's routines focused on sociocultural criticism of modern American society. He often commented on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture.