George Carlin was the first comedian I was ever allowed to listen to. My parents had the records and some of his shows on VHS and… come to think of it, maybe I wasn’t exactly allowed to listen to him as much as I just listened to him. Me and my brother, Pook. Not unlike The Entity Incident of 19831. But anyway.
George introduced us to lots of things, like the Seven Words You’re Not Allowed to Say on TV, which we promptly memorized for special occasions, such as waking up in the morning. He also taught us about wheat germ (“How do you know you don’t like it, if you’ve never even tried it?” “It came to me in a dream!”), the difference between dogs and cats (it’s eyebrows, by the way), and, of course, meat cake (“Actually, it has no smell whatsoever!”), which I’ve referenced every time I’ve cleaned out a fridge.
Yes, all three times. There is always meat cake in your fridge. Go check right now.
For my seventeenth birthday, my friend Shirley La Loon and I went to a Carlin show in Buffalo. He’d gotten a lot more political since his early 70s albums, but he was still hilarious. After the show, I bought a T-shirt, featuring a close up of his face and a single directive:
Simon Says Go F*** Yourself.
Only the F*** was actually spelled out, and when I tried to wear it to school, I was forced to turn it inside out. F***ing facists. No one ever got me in that place.
*Shakes it off*
Anyway, I was sad to learn of George’s death today, but it brought back some good and funny memories of me and Pook, hanging out in front of the TV doing Carlin monologues.
1. In 1983, my parents took a trip to Colorado and left us alone with my grandmother. Pook and I convinced her that we were allowed to watch horror movies—specifically, The Entity. So she let us watch it, probably to punish us for lying, and we scared (and scarred) ourselves so badly that we had to sleep in the same bed for a really long time. It got kind of awkward when I got married…