Remembering George Carlin
I couldn’t have been much older than 12 when I first heard one of George Carlin’s famous rants about religion, stating that
“Have you noticed that most of the women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place? There’s such balance in nature.”
From that moment on, not only was I well on my way to developing an entirely new vocabulary my parents weren’t all too pleased with, but my view of the world would forever be changed.
Carlin was more than just a stand up comic.
His comedy was always relevant, practical and clever, and he always seemed to have a nact for saying what most people were thinking, with a few explatives mixed in here and there.
Religion and politics were the two topics which Carlin seemed to really bring out the big guns for, constantly pointing out the shortcomings of both.
Anybody who has heard of George Carlin is probably familiar with his ever infamous bit about the seven dirty words you can’t say on television.
“There are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 to 7. They must really be baaaad. They must be OUTRAGEOUS to be separated from a group that large. “All of you words over here, you seven….baaaad words.” That’s what they told us, right? …You know the seven, don’t ya? That you can’t say on TV? Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but all of the hours I had spent as an even younger child watching Thomas the Tank Engine on PBS was actually the first exposure I had to that distinctive, raspy voice of his, as Carlin was Mr. Conductor at Shining Time Station. Of course it wasn’t until I was older that I was able to appreciate the fact that one of the dirtiest mouths I had ever heard was also a primary figure on one of my favorite childhood shows.
Carlin is a Grammy award winner, an actor (most recently playing Ben Affleck’s father in Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl), an author (Carlin wrote 3 books based on his comedy- Brain Droppings, Napalm and Silly Putty, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops), but it will be his stand up comedy that will forever have Carlin remembered as an immortal presence on stage.
Interestingly, I was unaware of the fact that he was the first ever host of Saturday Night Live, which gives you only an idea of how long and how successful his career was.
He was scheduled to receive the Mark Twain lifetime achievement award for 50 years of outstanding work in comedy, and there may not be a more deserving recipient.
Comedy Central ranked Carlin as the second greatest stand up comic ever, behind only the equally as legendary Richard Prior, and while I am too young to have watched any of Prior’s comedy live, as far as im concerned, during the last 10-12 years of comedy I’ve had the privilege of watching, George Carlin was second to none.
His HBO specials were events I made sure to plan my schedules around, and listening to his CD’s in school was always a way for me to escape the pressures and endless boredom my education included.
One of my biggest regrets was never getting a chance to make it out to a show of his, despite his frequent visits to Westbury, Long Island, and with his passing, that regret only grows.
For all of his jokes, there are a number which will always stand out as far as im concerned.
I searched youtube and I probably could have posted more than 50 clips because everything he says is brilliant, but here is just a sampling of some of his work
My favorite bit of his, ranking above the 7 dirty words and anything regarding religion was his rant about airline announcements and the “safety lecture.
Religion is bullshit
George Carlin on the 10 Commandments
Little Moments We Share
Pro-Life is Anti-Woman
Saving the Planet
Carlin on how to handle death (maybe some advice for all of us)
He will forever be remembered as one of the most legendary comedic voices in history, and he will be dearly missed.
Personally, he was among my favorite entertainers, and I credit his comedy and his perspectives on heavily inspiring my own sense of humor and world views.
Thank you George Carlin, for doing nothing more than making me laugh.
You were one of a kind, and will forever be cherished.
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