37 years ago today, my life was changed forever, helping me become than man (child) you see (hear) once a month. George Carlin recorded a live concert at The Cellar Door in Washington D.C. which became the double live album AM/FM. He was smart, funny, silly, stupid, political, and echoed almost everything flying around in our teenage heads and collective conciousness since the late 1960’s. The voice of madness. The voice of freedom. The voice of Al Sleet, “your hippy-dipppy weatherman, bringing you the hippy-dippy weather, man!” www.georgecarlin.com
A year later (1972) I was a freshman at Farleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, NJ and our homecoming concert was David Bromberg (you're gonna just have to Google him) and of course, Jolly George. (a name from his radio days in Los Angeles, partnering with future Avery Schreiber partner (“huh-yeah-huh-yeah!” Jack Burns on the Cap’t Jack and Jolly George Show) At the college concert, he did the 7 dirty words you can’t say on television and I was floored. Language was as powerful a tool as any weaponry. He made you think and more and more. He made you challenge old/provincial thoughts and paradigms you had accepted for years. Most of all, he made you laugh, from the bottom of your gut, ‘til the milk came flying out of your nose. Brother Jim and I shared many Carlin moments together, bonding and laughing. Funny, we never drink milk in the same room at the same time anymore….
He explained why language wasn’t obscene but intention was, and then exposing the things in life that were truly obscene. (hatred, bigotry, fascism) He taught me Nice is Not Funny and with comedy there is clarity. He also taught me about making the fart sound with your hand underneath your own armpit. There is no Def Comedy Jam without Carlin. There is no ranting Dennis Miller, no huge HBO comedy specials without him. Without he, there is no funny me.
If you loved George Carlin, he did his job. If you hated George Carlin, he did his job. And if you don't get George Carlin, he never would have given a sh*t. ("but ya can't really give a sh*t, just take a sh*t") Regardless, he was the voice of a generation, a counter-culture, our childhood and our truths.
The torch must be passed on. Great change is occurring, and those of us who live outside of it rather than in the middle of it must continue to be the voice, or at least a voice, of the people.
I leave you with George’s words that hang by my computer:
“I’m an outsider by choice, but not truly. It’s the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out. I’d rather be in, in a good system. That’s where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside.”
I hope he got his “two-minute warning” And F**k
Doritos for the neighborhood,
actor/comedian, thanks you George