George Carlin opens the 13th annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colo., in 2007, a year before his death at age 71. E. Pablo Kosmicki/AP
The Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan, where iconoclastic comedian George Carlin once attended school and which he later ridiculed in some of his monologues, has a new street address: George Carlin Way.
The New York Times calls what’s being described as a clerical error “an irony of Carlinesque proportions.” The church fought a street named after the comedian since the idea was proposed three years ago.
Even so, city officials say the mistake, which makes George Carlin Way a block longer than intended along West 121st Street, will be fixed in a few months when the City Council votes on a new batch of street names. The extra block is how the church ended up getting its unwelcome new address.
Carlin, who died in 2008, was well-known for his blistering attacks against religion in general — and the Catholic Church in particular — as well as his infamous “Seven Dirty Words” routine.
The street naming fiasco “offers yet another bit of compelling evidence that even years after his death, Mr. Carlin’s famed ability to irritate and frustrate the powers that be remains undiminished,” the Times says.
The New York Daily News notes that “although he was born Catholic, Carlin was no altar boy,” and that “the distaste was mutual.”
In signing the new street name bill, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s sure that “a lot of people have an opinion” about it. He added that he has “a good opinion” of it.
De Blasio said Carlin was “a New Yorker whose voice was heard literally around the world, born and raised in Morningside Heights, a true New Yorker, told it like it was, smart and blunt and honest and not afraid of controversy.”