I remember one of the first standup comics I ever saw was George Carlin. I was with my parents watching HBO in our first house in Florida. I was probably 9 or 10. I distinctly remember his seven dirty words routine. Yes, my parents let me watch the whole thing, even though it’s distinctly R-rated material, but it may have had something to do with the fact that my dad was laughing his ass off the entire time. Rarely have I seen my dad laugh so hard. I believe his own humor was very much in the same vein as Carlin’s. I didn’t understand everything Carlin was talking about at the time (“Dad, what’s a twat?”), but I remember I was blown away by how raw and powerful Carlin was. This was an awakening for me.
Watching seven dirty words now is just as funny and just as brilliant. His stuff ages very well.
I haven’t thought about Carlin in a long time, but after watching a handful of Youtube clips and going back into my memory bank, I know realize that my own sense of humor was hugely influenced by Carlin’s brand of intelligent but raw humor. My debts are obvious now.
Rest in peace, George Carlin.
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A drink for you—and another one!
–Old Irish toast