Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

This blog notes the passing of comedian ; as the man once observed what are you supposed to do during a moment of silence??

UPDATE The previous mention, albeit brief, was made around 4:45 this morning.

I first heard George Carlin back when I was about 12 years old. My brother had an LP titled Put-ons and Take-offs (while I am certain of the title, I cannot find any reference to it anywhere online – perhaps it was a boot leg?).

The album had his retrospect on daytime TV, which I could instantly identify with since I spent many years in front of the set. Sppofs TV commercials, soap operas, mid-day news, cooking shows, movies: great stuff that I committed to memory in the hopes of being even half-as-funny as he was (I seldom succeeded).

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, once again the big hand is on the four, the little hand is on the two and it’s time for the 6:00 report.

Our top story: Johnson sends Humphrey
a broad. We’ll have full details in just a moment - including some wild films - after this word from our sponsor.

Patient: Say nurse, what was the name of that great tasting red mouthwash the dentist used?
Nurse: Oh that’s muscatel; he’s a wino!

Now back to the news: well the world breathes a little easier today as 5 more nations sign the nuclear test-ban treaty. Today signers were Chad, Sera Leon, Upper Volta, Monaco and Iceland.

As a kid of about 12-13, I of course had to find out the significance of both the Nuclear-test ban treaty, and why those 5 nations were the punch line (hint: none had any nuclear aspirations).

And of course there was Weird Willy West on Wonderful WINO Radio, who inspired me later on to try out for the college radio station as a disc jockey (While I did succeed in making an ever-so-small in road to radio, I clearly was over my head compared to my peers).

Mr. Carlin’s humor could be child-like – literally, as he once narrated the Thomas the Tank Engine series – to things our parents could enjoy, to acerbic. And whether you appreciated any particular style, you always laughed, even if it offended you. He was that amazing.

In 1984 he came to St. John's University, and I saw him live on his Carlin on Campus tour. Here's a video of that tour (not at SJU):

His legacy is that of the many commedians he inspired, and his work will never be forgotten. Today, heaven is laughing a bit harder, even if he's pissed off a few while he's at it.

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