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Carlin to Receive “Freedom of Expression Award”

29 Apr, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

Comedian George Carlin will receive the inaugural “Freedom Of Expression Award” from the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) at its 21st annual convention, Home Entertainment 2002. The award will be presented to Carlin July 16 during the opening ceremony at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas.

“There could be no finer honoree for an award championing the fight to retain freedom of speech and creative expression than the incomparable George Carlin,” said VSDA president Bo Andersen in announcing the award to the famously outspoken and often controversial comedian. “VSDA's efforts, every year, in defense of the First Amendment right of retailers, suppliers and consumers, are appropriately symbolized in this award and honored by its first recipient.”

In future years when this award is presented, it will be known as the “George Carlin Freedom of Expression Award,” being named after its inaugural recipient, according to the VSDA.

Beginning as a radio personality in the mid- 1950s, Carlin migrated to stand-up comedy in clubs and coffee houses where he honed his counter-culture approach. By the mid-1960s he began to make regular appearances on television talk shows with Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas and others (58 in one two-year span alone), and later in the decade added numerous appearances on variety shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Jackie Gleason and Carol Burnett.

Over the next three decades as his irreverent material grew in popularity, Carlin recorded 14 albums (10 nominated for Grammy Awards), performed concerts throughout the world, headlined in Las Vegas, wrote several top-selling books and taped 12 HBO stand-up concerts (most recently November 2001), many of which are available on DVD and VHS from HBO Home Video. He was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 at the 15th annual American Comedy Awards.

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