Friends and fans gathered in Morningside Heights on Wednesday morning for the unveiling of George Carlin Way, a commemorative co-naming of West 121st Street at Morningside Drive.
Three years in the making, the ceremony was the result of efforts from Kelly Carlin, the late comic's daughter, City Council Member Mark Levine and comic Kevin Bartini, who found it important to pay respects to the anti-establishment hero who confronted taboo topics like consumerism, religion and decency in his material.
Among the over hundred guests at the ceremony stood fellow comics Judah Friedlander, Jim Norton, Robert Klein, Rain Pryor, Gilbert Gottfried, Dave Attell, and Colin Quinn, the latter of whom delivered a brief speech about his hero.
"George Carlin was a priest for all the damaged Catholic people," Quinn joked, citing the comic as a healing and inspiring force.
Levin went on to admit Carlin had a "bigger impact than a whole lot of politicians," before riffing on the funnyman's iconic "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" bit.
Sally Wade, Carlin's wife at the time of his passing, said the co-naming is the "best tribute [Carlin] could have, short of a drink named after him," an honor she said it wasn't too late to bestow.
Carlin loyalists had a vocal presence at the event as well, cheering for the homage as "the end of a long road."
"The formative moment of my entire life was when I wanted to buy George Carlin's books and my dad said, 'Yeah, let him, what's the worst that could happen?'" said 20-year-old Tony Gorta, remembering his introduction to Carlin. "The wheels were off the wagon after that."