Comedian George Carlin is known for tackling controversial topics with intelligence and humor. Dr. Oz talks with George about his health, his outlook on life and his role in the world.
Despite an early interest in how the body works, George says he didn't really take care of his own. "I celebrated immortality and invincibility by testing those things at all times—whatever substances there were and whatever hardships I could put on my body," he says. He says he finally started to pay attention to his health when he suffered his first heart attack at just 41 years old. With a family history of heart problems and a smoking habit, George says he decided to make some life changes and stopped smoking. "Whatever good habits I have and keep now have happened gradually and by degrees," George says. "I saw it as something that I could affect, but also something that was genetic."
George says he's able to maintain a good outlook on life by not taking it too seriously. "I think this whole thing is God's joke, this life on this earth," he says. "I don't think we have any divine right to be here." He says that his lighter attitude provides him a kind of humor without laughter. "I like considering the joke, processing the joke intellectually instead of reflexively," George explains. "I certainly am amused, but it's a quiet amusement."
George says his role in the world is to observe what is going on around him and find humor in everyday life. "If you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show," he says. "If you're born in the U.S., you're given a front-row seat. Some of us are allowed notebooks and pencils, and I'm one of them. I get to make notes and review the show from time to time."
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 13, 2013