Monday, June 23, 2008

Thanks, George

I'm sure every blog is going to have a clip of George Carlin today, but I want to keep a little of it going. George Carlin was a HUGE influence in me wanting to do comedy and he has always been a great Atheist.

This clip is from the album, I can't remember which one it was, it was the first comedy album that I ever owned. It was a white tape and I listened to it ALL the time. Over and over until it broke. I just listened to it now and felt like I was in elementary school again. It's a little dated at the end, but it is a classic.


Blotz said...

I agree wholeheartedly.

If I ever made anyone laugh as an amatuer stand-up, Georged was partly responsible.

So yeah, Thanks George.

Mike said...

That religion bit is probably the most intelligent, amazing thing i've heard... I actually stole a copy of that album from the radio station i worked at in college, back when it came out! Like ray, i think i may have burned a whole in it, from listening! Now i have it as mp3, so only if i lose my hard drive!

"[Praying] it seems like a big waste of time!"

Mike said...

Also: he has a Box-Set aptly title "All My Stuff": Box Set

Jesse Hearts said...

Rest In Power George, I grew up listening to his records when I was really young, and then when I got a little older I would purposely watch every movie he was in, and also his short lived show.
The dude was amazingly intelligent!

C.E.Durant said...

As other children grew up idolizing Baseball players, Football stars, Jordan or The Great One. I grew up praising Carlin. He woke me up. I'd like to think when he did his latest HBO special, the graveyard background wasn't just a coincidence.

Pat said...

does anyone else remember george as the conductor on shinning time station on PBS. I always got a kick out of that when I was a kid. Also, the fact that he was replaced by ringo starr.
I have all his books and read parts of them over and over again. I saw him at UMO about three years ago and there were people getting pissed off and offended at some of his jokes. He never intends to offend anyone, its just an added perk

Mike said...

I'm sure most of us are Kevin Smith fans, Here's what Kevin had to say about the passing of Carlin. From It says this is going to be in Newsweek!

‘A God Who Cussed’
Director Kevin Smith remembers George Carlin

They say you should never meet your heroes. I’ve found this a good rule to live by, but as with any rule, there’s always an exception.

My first exposure to George Carlin was in 1982, when HBO aired his “Carlin at Carnegie” stand-up special. When I saw the advert—featuring a clip of Carlin talking about the clich├ęd criminal warning of “Don’t try anything funny,” and then adding, “When they’re not looking, I like to go …,” followed by a brief explosion of goofy expressions and pantomime—I immediately asked my parents if I could tape it on our new BetaMax video recorder.

That was a hilarious bit. But when I finally watched the special, Carlin blew my doors off. Whether he was spinning a yarn about Tippy, his farting dog, or analyzing the contents of his fridge, Carlin expressed himself not only humorously, but amazingly eloquently as well. I was, as they say, in stitches.

And that was before he got to the Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television.

I was 12 years old, watching a man many years my senior curse a blue streak while exposing the hypocrisy of a medium (and a society) that couldn’t deal with the public usage of terms they probably employed regularly in their private lives. And while he seemed to revel in being a rebel, here was a man who also clearly loved the English language, warts and all—even the so-called “bad words” (although, as George would say, there are no such things as “bad words”). I wouldn’t say George Carlin taught me obscenities, but I would definitely say he taught me that the casual use of obscenities wasn’t reserved just for drunken sailors, as the old chestnut goes; even intelligent people were allowed to incorporate them into their everyday conversations (because George was nothing if not intelligent).

From that moment forward, I was an instant Carlin disciple. I bought every album, watched every HBO special, and even sat through “The Prince of Tides” just because he played a small role in the film. I spent years turning friends on to the Cult of Carlin, the World According to George, and even made pilgrimages to see him perform live (the first occasion being a gig at Farleigh Dickinson University in 1988). Carlin influenced my speech and my writing. Carlin replaced Catholicism as my religion.

Sixteen years later, I sat across from the star of “Carlin at Carnegie” in the dining room of the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. It was a meeting I’d dreamed of and dreaded simultaneously. George Carlin was the type of social observer/critic I most wanted to emulate … but he was a celebrity, too. What if he turned out to be a true prick?

What I quickly discovered was that, in real life, George was, well, George. Far from a self-obsessed jerk, he was mild-mannered enough to be my Dad. He was as interested as he was interesting, well-read and polite to a fault—all while casually dropping F-bombs. But most impressive, he didn’t treat me like an audience member, eschewing actual conversation, electing instead to simply perform the whole meeting, more “on” than real. He talked to me like one of my friends would talk to me: familiar, unguarded, authentic.

I made three films with George over the course of the next six years, starting with “Dogma” and his portrayal of Cardinal Glick, the pontiff-publicist responsible for the Catholic Church’s recall of the standard crucifix in favor of the more congenial, bubbly “Buddy Christ.” A few years later, I wrote him a lead role in “Jersey Girl”—as Bart Trinke (or “Pop”), the father of Ben Affleck’s character. It called for a more dramatic performance than George was used to giving, but the man pulled it off happily and beautifully. (Something most folks probably don’t know about George: He took acting very seriously. The man was almost a Method actor.) Sadly, I consider that “Jersey Girl” part my one failing on George’s behalf, and not for the reasons most would assume (the movie was not reviewed kindly, to say the least). No, I failed because George had asked me to write a different role for him.

In 2001, George did me a solid when he accepted the part of the orally fixated hitchhiker who knew exactly how to get a ride in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” When he wrapped his scene in that flick, I thanked him for making the time, and he said, “Just do me a favor: Write me my dream role one day.” When I inquired what that’d be, he offered, “I wanna play a priest who strangles children.”

It was a classic Carlin thing to say: a little naughty and a lot honest. I always figured there’d be time to give George what he asked for. Unfortunately, he left too soon.

He was, and will likely remain, the smartest person I’ve ever met. But really, he was much more than just a person. Without a hint of hyperbole, I can say he was a god, a god who cussed.