PERFORMERS: GEORGE CARLIN

 carlinby PETER TATCHELL (revised version of article from LAUGH MAGAZINE issue #19, 1999)

 For fifty years George Carlin delighted comedy fans with his clever wordplays and incisive wit. Along the way, he pushed the boundaries of subject matter and language, as he progressed from a standard fifties double act to the controversial thinking man’s comic of the 21st century.

Born in New York in 1937, George started out as a radio disc jockey in the late 1950s but when he met comedian Jack Burns, the pair teamed up and played the nightclub circuit for several years (even producing an LP). Going solo in 1962, Carlin appeared on many television shows of the period (in­cluding a regular spot on The Kraft Summer Music Hall and a minor role on the sitcom That Girl) and his performing style began to change.

By 1970, his use of unacceptable language and penchant for including political comments made him unwelcome at the more traditional venues like Las Vegas casinos and Playboy clubs and he began appearing at rock concerts and other out­door events. A 1972 performance led to a charge of disorderly conduct (later dropped) and the broadcasting of a Carlin com­mercial recording caused a radio station to be fined.

George’s peripatetic lifestyle and use of drugs contributed to a heart attack in the mid-1980s but (unlike fellow comedian Richard Pryor) he preferred not to incorporate his private problems into his act. At the time he ventured into print with a book containing much of his wit and attitude to twentieth century existence.

Carlin’s lifelong ambition had been to appear in movies (Danny Kaye was an early role model) but apart from a few supporting roles in such films as the Bill And Ted adven­tures, success there eluded him. He was more at home in live concert TV specials (14 were aired aired by HBO between 1977 and 2008), In the early 1990s he also starred in his own television sitcom which gained only a limited audience, surviving for just two half-seasons.

Right up until his death in June 2008, George continued doing what he did best … performing to live audi­ences who were drawn to a man whose fascination with the English language and perplexities of life consistently tickled their brain cells.

 

RECORDINGS

 

At The Playboy Club Tonight (also featuring Jack Burns)
Era LP EL-103
= The Original George Carlin Era LP E-600
= Killer Carlin Laff LP A 219, Uproar CD 3664-2
Mothers Club
Killer Carlin
Captain Jack & Jolly George
War Pictures
Herb Coolhouse (aka The Cool World)
Edward R. Murrow (aka Person To Person)
Lenny Bruce – Mort Sahl (aka The Sickest)

Take Offs and Put Ons (1967)
R.C.A. LP LPM/LSP 3772, ANL1-1086, Camden CAS 2566, One Way CD OW 34498
Wonderful WINO (Top-40 Disc Jockey)
Commercials
Daytime Television
The Newscast
The Indian Sergeant

Wonderful Wino/Al Sleet, Your Hippy-Dippy Weatherman
R.C.A. single 47-9110

The Sullivan Years -Comedy Classics (1991)
TVT Records CD TVT 9432-2
features the Carlin appearance of February 28 1971

FM & AM (1971)
Little David LP LD 7214, Eardrum CD 92924-2
Shoot
The Hair Piece
Sex in Commercials
Drugs
Birth Control
Son of Wino
Divorce Game
Ed Sullivan Self Taught
Let’s Make A Deal
The 11 o’clock News

Class Clown (1972)
Little David LP LD 1004, Eardrum CD 92923-2
Class Clown: Bi-Labial Fricative + Attracting Attention + Squeamish
Wasted Time – Sharing a Swallow
Values (How Much Is That Dog Crap in the Window?)
I Used To Be Irish Catholic
The Confessional
Special Dispensation – Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and Limbo
Heavy Mysteries
Muhammad Ali – America the Beautiful
Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television

Occupation: Foole (1973)
Little David LP LD 1005, Eardrum CD 92925-2
Welcome To My Job
Occupation: Foole
White Harlem
The Hallway Groups
Black Consciousness
New York Voices
Grass Swept the Neighborhood
Childhood Cliches
Cute Little Farts
Raisin Rhetoric
Filthy Words

Toledo Window Box (1974)
Little David LP LD 3003, 90129, Eardrum CD 92922-2, Laugh.com CD LGH 1031
Goofy Shit
Toledo Window Box
Nursery Rhymes
Some Werds
Water Sez
The Metric System
God
Gay Lib
Shot, the Original Rubber Cement
Urinals Are 50 Percent Universal
A Few More Farts

Here’s Johnny – Magic Moments From The Tonight Show
Casablanca 2LP SPNB 1296 (1974)
features the Carlin track Morningside Heights

An Evening with Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo (1975)
Little David LP LD 1008, Eardrum CD 92920-2
New News
Teenage Masturbation
Mental Hot Foots
High on The Plane
Bodily Functions
Wurds
For Names’ Sake
Basebal – Football
Good Sports
Flesh Colored Band-Aids
Religious Lift
Radio Dial
Y’Ever
Unrelated Things

On The Road (1977)
Little David LP LD 1075, Eardrum CD 92921-2
On The Road
Death and Dying (Laugh? I Thought I’d Die + Suicide and Reincarnation + The Funeral + Random Thoughts on the Perfect Murder, The Last Meal, and Flashbacks + Two Minute Warning)
Head Lines
Kids Are Too Small
Rules, Rules, Rules!
Parents’ Cliches and Children’s Secret Answers
Words We Leave Behind
How’s Your Dog
Supermarkets

A Place for My Stuff (1981)
Atlantic LP SD 19326, CD 81585-2
Acknowledgements
Opening – A Place for My Stuff
First Announcements
Have A Nice Day
Rice Krispies
Second Announcements
Interview with Jesus
Join the Book Club
Abortion
Third Announcements
Ice Box Man
Fourth Announcements
Asshole, Jackoff, Scumbag
Fifth Announce­ments
Fussy Eater – part 1
Sixth Announcements
Fussy Eater-part 2

Carlin on Campus (1984)
Atlantic/Eardrum Records LP ED 1001, CD LGH 2231
Opening Sequence
The Prayer
First Leftfielders
Moment of Silence
Second Leftfielders
Breakfast Wine and Who’s Boss
Third Leftfielders
Baseball and Football
Fourth Leftfielders
Cars and Driving
An Incomplete List of Impolite Words

Playin’ With Your Head (1986)
Atlantic/Eardrum LP 90523, CD 90972-2, 90523-2
Hello – Goodbye
Love And Regards
Groups And Charities
Sports
Five Twos
Losing Things
You’re Lost
Missing
Earrings
Battered Plants
Things To Watch Out For

The Best of Comic Relief (1986)
Rhino LP RNIN 70704
includes new performance of Stuff

What Am I Doing In New Jersey (1988)
Atlantic/Eardrum CD 90972-2
Reagan’s Gang, Church People and American Values
Keeping People Alert
People I Can Do Without
More Stuff on Cars & Driving: Intro. & Toll Booths, New Jersey & License Plates,
Bumper Stickers, Baby On Board, Red Lights & Tickets,
Joggers & Bicycles, the Other Cars

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics (1990)
Atlantic/Eardrum CD 91593-2
Offensive Language
I Ain’t Afraid Of Cancer
Some People Are Stupid
Rape Can Be Funny
Feminist Blowjob
Good Ideas
Things You Never See
Things You Never Hear
Things You Don’t Wanna Hear
Life’s Little Moments
I Love My Dog
Organ Donor Programs
Don’t Pull the Plug on Me
They’re Only Words
Euphemisms

The Best Of Comic Relief ‘90 (1990)
Rhino CD R2 71010
includes one Carlin track

Jammin’ In New York (1992)
Atlantic/Eardrum CD 92221-2
Rockets and Penises In The Persian Gulf
Little Things We Share
Airline Announcements
Golf Courses for The Homeless
The Planet Is Fine

Back In Town (1996)
Atlantic/Eardrum CD 92728-2
Abortion
Sanctity of Life
Capitol Punishment
State Prison Farms
Farting In Public
Familiar Expressions
Free-Floating Hostility

Free Complimentary Bonus Disc Not For Sale Anywhere
Included with The Little David Years: 1971 – 1977 (1999)
Little David 7CD set 92853-2
George’s Disc Jockey Theme and Show Opening
Tattoos
Hitchhiking (short version)
Clerks, Hankies and Emma
Elmo’s Song – Johnny Badcheck
Monopoly
New Sports
Hitchhiking (long version)
Guacamole
Nuts in Cake and Toenail Clippings
400,000 American Musical Favorites
Peas
Losing Your Place
I’m Musical
Lost and Found
Public Affairs
Snapper Lawn Mowers
How to Handle a Heckler
Closing

You Are All Diseased (1999)
Atlantic CD 92828-2
How’s Everybody Doin’?
Airport Security
Fear of Germs
Cigars
Angels
Harley Davidson
House of Blues
Minority Language
Man Stuff
Kids and Parents
TV Tonight
Names
Advertising Lullaby
American Bullshit
Businessmen
Religion
There Is No God

Braindroppings (2000)
High Bridge 2CD HBP 80114
George reads extracts from his book Braindroppings

Complaints and Grievances (2001)
Atlantic CD 83501-2
The Opening
Traffic Accidents – Keep Movin’
You and Me (Things That Come Off of Your Body)
People Who Oughta Be Killed: Self-Help Books
Motivation Seminars
Parents of Honor Students
Baby Slings
My Daddy
Telephone Mimes
Hands-Free Telephone Headsets
Answering Machines
Family Newsletters
Music on Answering Machines
People Who Wear Visors
Singers with One Name
Rich Guys in Hot Air Balloons
People Who Misuse Credit Cards
Guys Named Todd
Gun Enthusiasts
White Guys Who Shave Their Heads
NASA-Holes
Why We Don’t Need 10 Commandments

Napalm and Silly Putty (2001)
High Bridge 2CD HBP 88740
George reads extracts from his book Napalm and Silly Putty

George Carlin on Comedy (interviewed by Larry Wilde) (2002)
Laugh.com CD LGH 1109
First Time Funny
Early Influences
Burns & Carlin
Standing Alone
The Vegas Incident
Lenny Bruce
The Writer
The Big Change
Writing Techniques
Politics
The Laughter Reflex
Trying Stuff Out
Structuring the Act
Physical Carlin
Respect
Words
Regional Differences
Point of View
Timing and Delivery
Comedy and Pain
Prerequisites
The Business of Comedy
Comedy’s Evolution
Advice

More Napalm and Silly Putty (2002)
High Bridge 2CD HBP 89075
George reads more extracts from his book Napalm and Silly Putty

Life Is Worth Losing – As Seen On HBO (2006)
Atlantic CD 83892-2
A Modern Man
Three Little Words
The Suicide Guy
Extreme Human Behavior
The All-Suicide TV Channel
Dumb Americans
Pyramid of the Hopeless
Autoerotic Asphyxia
Posthumous Female Transplants
Yeast Infection
Coast-To-Coast Emergency

When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops? (200?)
George reads extracts from his book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

It’s Bad For Ya (2008)
Eardrum/Laugh.com CD LGH 2224

George Carlin and Friends Roast Arnold Schwarzenegger (2009)
Laugh.com CD LGH 1012
includes one Carlin track

 

REISSUE COLLECTIONS

Indecent Exposure (1978)
Little David LP LD 1076
Tracks from FM & AM, Class Clown, Occupation: Foole, Toledo Window Box and An Evening With Wally Londo:
Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television
Sex In Commercials
Bodily Functions
Cute Little Farts
The Confessional
Teenage Masturbation
Urinals Are 50 Percent Universal
Filthy Words

The George Carlin Collection (1984)
Little David LP 90241
Tracks from Class Clown, Occupation Foole, On The Road, Toledo Window Box and An Evening With Wally Londo:
Occupation Foole
I Used To Be Irish Catholic
New York Voices
High On The Plane
Headlines
Goofy Shit
Class Clown
Nursery Rhymes
For Names Sake
News Hostility Scoreboard (extract from New News)

Classic Gold (1992)
Atlantic/Eardrum 2CDs 92219-2
Reissue of Occupation: Foole, FM & AM and Class Clown

The Little David Years: 1971 – 1977 (1999)
Little David 7CD set 92853-2
Reisssues the albums: FM & AM, Class Clown, Occupation: Foole, Toledo Window Box, An Evening with Wally Londo, On The Road
plus a new release: Free Complimentary Bonus Disc Not For Sale Anywhere (see above for track itemisation)

George Carlin Reads To You (2004)
High Bridge 6CD set HBP 89389
Reissues the three 2CDs: Braindroppings, Napalm And Silly Putty and More Napalm And Silly Putty

 

 

TELEVISION

The Kraft Summer Music Hall (60 min)
NBC June 6 to August 29 1966

The George Carlin Show (30 min)

Season 1
:  Fox January 16 to May 18 1994 (14 episodes)
January 16 1994           When Unexpected Things Happen to George
January 23 1994           George Sees an Airplane
February 6 1994          George Goes on a Date (part 1)
February 13 1994        George Goes on a Date (part 2)
February 20 1994        George Helps Sidney
February 27 1994        George Expresses Himself
March 6 1994              George Gets Some Money
March 20 1994            George Destroys a Way of Life
March 27 1994            George Loses His Thermos
April 10 1994               George Digs Rock n Roll Music
April 24 1994               George Uses Some Words
May 1 1994                 George Becomes a Hostage
May 8 1994                 George Plays Pinball
May 18 1994               George Steals a Statue

Season 2:  Fox October 16 1994 to January 1 1995, July 9 and 16 1995 (13 episodes)
October 16 1994         George Meets His Son
October 23 1994         George Gets a Parcel
October 30 1994         George Gets Caught in the Act
November 6 1994        George Tags Along
November 13 1994      George Needs Passengers
November 27 1994      George and the New Look
December 4 1994        George is Contagious
December 11 1994      George’s Two Wives
December 18 1994   George Gets Evicted (aka George Does A Bad Thing)
December 25 1994      George Is Nice To Customers
January 1 1995    George Gets Struck By Lightning (aka George Helps A Friend)
July 9 1995                  George Tells the Truth
July 16 1995                George Learns a Secret

H.B.O. specials

1977    George Carlin at U.S.C.
1978    George Carlin Again?
1982    Carlin at Carnegie Hall
1984    Carlin on Campu
1986    Playin’ With Your Head
1988    What Am I Doing in New Jersey?
1990    Doin’ It Again
1992    Jammin’ in New York
1996    Back in Town
1997    George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy
1999    You are All Diseased
2001    Complaints and Grievances
2005    Life is Worth Losing
2008    It’s Bad For Ya

*** many of the HBO specials were released on video and laser disc. In 2007, a DVD box set of all but the last (and the 1997 compilation show) was released.

 

BOOKS

Sometimes A Little Brain Damage Can Help
by George Carlin (1984)

Brain Droppings
by George Carlin (1997)

Napalm and Silly Putty
by George Carlin (2001)

When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?
by George Carlin (2004)

Last Words
posthumous autobiography by George Carlin, with Tony Hendra (2009)

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