Since George Carlin earned his first professional laughs a half-century ago, the country has experienced 10 presidents, three wars and a dozen HBO specials featuring his unique brand of observational humor, social satire and political jabs.
What has kept him going so long? The occasional encouraging word: "My Aunt Aggie once said, 'You're very clever.' " He also has been known to employ "bribery, treachery, blackmail, trained audiences and targeted assassinations."
In honor of his 50 years in showbiz, the DVD collection George Carlin: All My Stuff, with the 12 TV concerts plus two bonus discs, arrives in stores today. At $190, that's costly stuff. But just watching the funnyman's shifting hairstyles in ever-intensifying shades of gray as his act matures over four decades is fairly priceless.