Where is George Carlin? Strange topic, right?
I introduced a friend of mine a month ago to George Carlin. Interviewed a guest for Season Two, whose hero is George. A neighbour stopped me on the street the other day with a Carlin joke.
So, on this last Sunday in August, let’s talk about George Carlin.
I assume you have not been living a sequestered life and have, at some point, heard about him. He died fifteen years ago, and his best bits are immortalized on the interwebs. And yes, exceptionally easy to Google.
I am mentioning him mainly because, more than ever, we need him today. See, he was a highly regarded, important and influential stand-up comedian and was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour shortly after he died. His comedy was quite dark and always spot-on when it came to politics, the English language, psychology, religion and taboo subjects.
When we listened to him, we did two very important things. We came out of our usual slumber (because he actually woke us up to the insanity that surrounded us), and we laughed (hard) at ourselves and the world. Both of those factors are missing today.
Everything is always very serious nowadays.
And calamitous, enraging, contrary to somebody’s rights, politically oh so correct, beige, terrifying and stupefying. Have you noticed we don’t seem to laugh much anymore?
Here’s the thing about laughter. It immediately releases a tiny bit of the stress we carry in our bodies. It clears a bit of the stress smog we carry in our brains and lightens the mood we carry in our souls.
I am blissfully unaware of any comedian or stand-up comic or entertainer these days with the ability of George Carlin. Look at the events of the world, dissect and view them for what they really are, toss in a big dollop of pragmatism with a soupcon of sarcasm and serve it all back to us and cause us to split our sides laughing at the absurdity and truth of it all.
I started this piece by asking Where is George Carlin. The answer: at the end of your fingertips.
We have one week left in August, and then the unofficial end of summer will be here. As a measure of adult sanity salvation, I’d like to suggest that you Google George Carlin Best of and take your pick.
It will be the best 20 minutes of shock, awe and laughter you’ve had in a long time.