June 23, 2008
The Day the Comedy Died...
In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem. -George Carlin
I was eleven years old when I first discovered George Carlin, the great comic icon. He was the first performer to ever "host" Saturday Night Live. The year, 1975. My older brother and I had to beg my parents to let us stay up and watch it. We were hooked. George's outlook on life was so refreshingly warped. He said what everyone else was thinking. Filtered through the mind of an eleven year old, it was harmless humor. Of course, most of the political talk went right over our heads, but we loved his spoof on 'dogs and cats'. His comparison of 'football and baseball'. His timing, his voice, his face and his posture. We and the rest of the world couldn't get enough.
It wasn't until I was older that I could fully appreciate the genius of George Carlin. One could always rely on George to comment on the state of things "as they really were" and it never left him at a loss for material. He was in touch with America and its' clear imbalances and inequities. He put his finger on obvious issues and twisted them like silly putty. He got it. We knew he got it. It was comforting to hear the truth. He was one of 'us' and never claimed to be anything but.
I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.- George Carlin
George, We hope you're still listening. You will be sorely missed.