Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

I woke up this morning to very sad news. Comedian, writer, actor and four time Grammy winner, George Carlin died at age 71 in L. A. of heart failure. I loved this man. Monica and I both loved him. To say that he was influential as an American culture analyst is beyond understatement.
He was known as the legendary, groundbreaking, counter culturist, envelope pushing, edgy, genius and of course, very, very funny comedian. He was also known in Hollywood as a gentle and considerate man.

I didn't know that George Carlin began as a radio dj in Texas along with comedian Jack Burns and that the two teamed up as an act to pursue a night club career. The team broke up in 1962 after they saw controversial comedian Lenny Bruce. It was a turning point for Carlin.

Carlin reflected:
"I was doing superficial comedy entertaining people who didn't really care: Businessmen, people in nightclubs, conservative people. And I had been doing that for the better part of 10 years when it finally dawned on me that I was in the wrong place doing the wrong things for the wrong people."

He stopped wearing suits and ties on stage and went with the beard, ponytail and all-black attire for which he came to be known.

I first remember him as the always high Al Sleet, the "hippie-dippie weatherman"
"Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely-scattered light towards morning."

His routines simply made fun with everyday life as with my favorite routine about My Stuff. Brilliant!

Carlin observances are my kind of silly:
These crack Monica up.

If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?

When cheese gets it's picture taken, what does it say?

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

Electricity is really just organized lightning.

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted?

When someone asks you, A penny for your thoughts, and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?

George Carlin constantly breached the accepted boundaries of comedy and language. He took on politics, religion, children, and especially censorship. His most famous 1972, "Seven Words You Can Never say on TV" - all of which are still taboo on broadcast TV and radio to this day.
It was a bit which got radio stations that played it in trouble with the FCC, leading to landmark First Amendment and decency ruling by the Supreme Court.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," he told The Associated Press earlier this year.

Monica said this morning that he talked to his audience as if he were in your living room, and she liked the way he moved around the stage and used his body during his stand up. His facial expressions were a priceless part of his delivery. Her favorite routine is his berating us all for being so overprotective of the "Chilllldren".
"We swam in the raw sewage of the Hudson River, and we skated and rode bikes without helmets and elbow pads. It's called survival of the fittest."

But even with his decidedly adult-comedy bent, Carlin never lost his childlike sense of mischief. He was Mr. Conductor on "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends" and the voice of Fillmore, the Volkswagen bus in the movie "Cars."
Monica was upset by the news. She thought about why. George Carlin was actually part of our relationship. We have enjoyed his comedy as a couple, his jokes are part of our everyday conversations and memories. It's like a big part of us is gone.

I love George Carlin for his brilliance and humanity that made me laugh and think. His analysis of life and defense of free speech will be missed.

George Carlin. Enjoy!
A Place for your Stuff. Brilliant.

Check out YouTube for these funny videos.
7 Words
baseball and football
cats and dogs


Dustin said...

Thanks for posting this. He had a great routine and I especially appreciated his routine he did about people who have children.

Jackie said...

Oh, I like that one too!

Moni said...

I was very sad to hear of George Carlin's death. Back when our relationship was new, we had a lot of fun watching George Carlin. Funny thing-just the other day we were saying one of his silly quotes, remember? When we were doing our annual summer cleaning, we were talking about a "place for our stuff." What about "washing all the 5 critical spots"? Teeth face, armpits, asshole, crotch. And every time someone comes on TV whining about "the children and our children's children" we look at each other and say "f*** the children"!
Yes, I will miss him dearly. He was a truly a comic genius.

Jackie said...

I know sweetie, it seems weird that he's not here anymore. But, he'll always be with us.