Big Bad Behind: George Carlin PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Projectionist   
Friday, 06 April 2012 13:06

Click to View Larger... Click to View Larger...When I was about 9 years old I discovered the wonderful world of comedy albums. I heard my first Bill Cosby LP, 200 MPH. I was entranced. The fact that someone could stand in front of an audience, with nothing but a microphone and his own wit, and could make an audience laugh... Well, that was just magic!

I soon discovered other comedians, Bob Newhart, Shelly Berman, Richard Pryor... Then, I made the discovery that would change the way I thought about stand up comedy, I saw George Carlin on a variety show. He did "Hippy Dippy Weather Man" that was it. I was an instant fan.

From then on, while other kids my age were spending their allowances on the latest rock and roll bands, i was going to record stores and second hand shops, and searching through the comedy record and 8-track tape section in search of George Carlin.I usually tried to find the 8-tracks because they were easily hidden from my parents, and could be played under the covers at night thru an earphone where my parents couldn't hear them.

 

I wasn't so foolish as to think that my parents didn't hear me laughing my ass off under the covers at night and not wonder what was going on. I was very lucky that I had parents that let me have some room to myself. They let me discover what my new things were, and let me find out what was good and what was bad in the world. I'm not saying they didn't discipline me. No, I can still feel some of the spankings my Dad gave me. No, John and Lois simply chose their battles wisely. A comedy recording with "The Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" was not something they chose to make an issue out of.

I memorized every routine, and of course tried them out on my friends with varying results. I sacanned the television listings in the newspaper every evening to make sure I didn't miss an appearance by Carlin on one of the variety or talk shows that filled the airwave back then. When I did find a television appearance I generally felt a little cheated after watching, because a television George Carlin was a safe, watered down George Carlin, and I preferred my Carlin straight and uncensored. Back to the 8-track player.

Carlin appeared in various movies and television series over the years, and as I grew older, I didn't make the effort to search out his new stuff as much as I had in younger years. I still enjoyed him, I just didn't HAVE to listen to him like I needed to as a child.

Click to View Larger... Click to View Larger...Fast forward to the mid 90s, I was working for a software company. My job reqiured me to travel around the country installing our software. Luckily, one week I was in Las Vegas for an installation. As luck would have it, I drove by Bally's Casino and noticed the marquee in front. "Appearing This Week Only: George Carlin!" I had the evening free, so what the hell! I bought a ticket.

The 90s George Carlin was edgier, meaner, just a little bitter. He called out a lady in the front row for an innapropriate groan. He ranted, he raved, but he still made me laugh. He was still one of the greatest comedians to ever appear on a stage. I was once more that pimply face teenager listening to the 8-track tape player under my covers at night. I once more became a fan.

George continued to entertain and inform audiences right up until shortly before his death. He'll never be forgotten by any true fan of comedy.

I miss you George, you taught me how to think slightly out of the box. That has been both a burden and a blessing, but I will never regret it.

You know, i still remember the "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television". Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. And tits doesn't even belong on the list... It sounds like a snack!

 

Last Updated on Friday, 06 April 2012 21:50
 

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