Comedian George Carlin to Perform at BEA Benefit

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Comedian, actor, and author George Carlin

BookExpo America (BEA) has announced that noted comedian, actor, and author George Carlin will perform for booksellers and other book industry professionals at this year's trade show on Saturday, June 5, in Chicago. Proceeds from Carlin's performance will benefit the Book Industry Foundation, which is comprised of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the Association of American Publishers "Get Caught Reading" campaign. BEA is scheduled for June 2 - 6 at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

"We're very excited that Carlin will be performing and not just because he's hilarious," ABFFE President Chris Finan told BTW. "He knows what it is to be censored. He was arrested in Milwaukee in 1972 because the police felt that he shouldn't have performed his standup routine at an outdoor festival where children were present. His act later became the subject of a Supreme Court case that unfortunately upheld the FCC's ruling that there are 'seven dirty words' that can never be spoken on radio or television. He's the perfect performer for a program that benefits an anti-censorship group like us."

Carlin will be at BEA to promote his new book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (Hyperion), an assortment of short- and long-form observations, essays, complaints, and routines. Among his numerous achievements, Carlin has released 18 comedy albums, won three Grammies, received the American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, and starred in 12 HBO comedy specials. His previous books, also published by Hyperion, are Brain Droppings, which sold more that 850,000 copies and was on the New York Times bestseller list for nine months, and Napalm and Silly Putty, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

For the past three years, BEA's Saturday night fundraiser has attracted standing-room-only crowds. Last year's featured performer was Ellen DeGeneres. The book industry's favorite band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, performed at BEA 2002, and a performance by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning artist Wynton Marsalis was a highlight of BEA 2001.

Tickets for BEA's Evening With George Carlin, which will be held at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, will be made available in the coming weeks via the BEA event program registration form. For more information on BookExpo America, call (203) 840-5614 or visit