Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP George Carlin

Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists Everywhere,

We lost a giant. George Carlin is dead.

Carlin and Richard Pryor were the link between Lenny Bruce and pretty much every single comedian of the last forty years. Carlin took Bruce's ability to talk about the new, the shocking, the edgy and made it tight and funny, brought it back into the more standard stand-up format.

His work was often political, anti-institution, anti-religion, pushing the boundaries. In this respect, his routine "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV" was the bit that made him a household name. But just as often, his routines were straight ahead skit-type comedy, as with his fake news casts featuring (my favorite) Al Sleet the hippie-dippy weather man, with all the hippie-dippy weather, man, or straight ahead observational comedy as in his famous comparison between baseball and football.Fact is, he was an incredibly smart man who was a master jokesmith and a performer par excellence. He will be missed.

A few great lines:

Hansel and Gretel discovered the ginger bread house about 45 minutes after they discovered the mushrooms.

And, of course, the funniest food: "kumquats". I don't even bring them home. I sit there laughing and they go to waste.

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

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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

I've begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It's there for me every day, and the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, reflections at the park -- the occasional skin cancer, but hey. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. But I don't pray to the sun - it wouldn't be polite to presume on our friendship. You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci.

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

And finally,

I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.

What were your favorite Carlin lines or routines?

Thank you George Carlin for all the years and all the laughs.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve