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…
I was terribly sad to hear of George Carlin’s death too. Being a vintage 60’s kid, the first memories I have of him are as his “Hippy Dippy Weatherman” persona, but sometime around junior high, we all managed to covertly hear the album with the seven dirty words and of course, memorize them.
Scott and I watched his last HBO special (I think it came out in March) and even though there seemed to have been a more angry, bitter edge to his humor over the last decade, he was still one quick, funny motherfucker 😉
OH yes thank you—at that concert you attended you took one of my George Carlin record album jackets and got his autograph…hey I wonder if it is worth anything on Ebay…any bidders????? We loved his humor!!!! It’s that 60’s thing!!!
It’s funny but I have no recollection of getting his autograph. I must have been star struck.
Whatup. I was really glad to see your blog posting re Carlin. I was saddened by the news as well. Same damn, wonderful memories of listening to his records. Such a loss. Hugs from your erstwhile Office BFF.
Shirl, I’m so sad. How could you throw away meat cake? SOMEBODY is saving it!!!
It’s funny, because when I found out last night you were the first person I thought of.
We didn’t get to meet him, though. My mom and little brother did and you gave them your album to get signed. I wish we met him. Believe it or not I still have that shirt!
This is a sad day in Loon history.
He’ll be missed. I still have the “Class Clown” album” “Conduit!, ya get Conduit!!!” His last performance was only a cpl weeks ago. What a talent!
Ahh, no wonder I don’t remember meeting him. I had a feeling I wouldn’t casually forget an experience like that!
Shirl, I don’t know what it is about you, me, and comedy, but you will forever remind me of Denis Leary, too.
Dad, don’t let mom sell those albums on eBay. Or let other children in the house turn them into wall clocks, like my Thriller album.