Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008


I cannot describe how saddened I am this morning about the death of George Carlin. He has been such a huge inspiration to me and has helped shape my sense of humor. I have been listening to his body of work consistently for years. In fact, yesterday afternoon, before his death, I was hanging out with some friends and we discussing our favorite Carlin quotes. And eerie memorial to his life.

Believe it or not, I first heard of George Carlin when I was 15 in the 1987 film 'Outrageous Fortune' starring Bette Midler & Shelley Long. Carlin had a bit part in the film. I saw the film in the theater with a friend of mine and when Carlin first appeared on the screen, my friend who was more familiar with him at the time, lit up when he first appeared on screen and immediately began cracking up. I then became very curious as to who this guy is. Carlin's performance in that movie, albeit small, left a big impression on me. I soon discovered his comedy albums and has been a huge fan ever since. I now have all his albums and all his books.

There are so many 'Carlin-isms' that are my favorite to even begin to quote them here. But I'd like to leave you with one of his most favorite bits (And less vulgar for that matter) called 'A Place for My Stuff':

'Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That's all, a little place for my stuff. That's all I want, that's all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody's got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there. That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time.

A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you're taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody's got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you're saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff!

Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore. Did you ever notice when you go to somebody else's house, you never quite feel a hundred percent at home? You know why? No room for your stuff. Somebody else's stuff is all over the goddamn place! And if you stay overnight, unexpectedly, they give you a little bedroom to sleep in. Bedroom they haven't used in about eleven years. Someone died in it, eleven years ago. And they haven't moved any of his stuff! Right next to the bed there's usually a dresser or a bureau of some kind, and there's NO ROOM for your stuff on it. Somebody else's shit is on the dresser.

Have you noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff? God! And you say, "Get that shit offa there and let me put my stuff down!"

Sometimes you leave your house to go on vacation. And you gotta take some of your stuff with you. Gotta take about two big suitcases full of stuff, when you go on vacation. You gotta take a smaller version of your house. It's the second version of your stuff. And you're gonna fly all the way to Honolulu. Gonna go across the continent, across half an ocean to Honolulu. You get down to the hotel room in Honolulu and you open up your suitcase and you put away all your stuff. "Here's a place here, put a little bit of stuff there, put some stuff here, put some stuff--you put your stuff there, I'll put some stuff--here's another place for stuff, look at this, I'll put some stuff here..." And even though you're far away from home, you start to get used to it, you start to feel okay, because after all, you do have some of your stuff with you. That's when your friend calls up from Maui, and says, "Hey, why don'tchya come over to Maui for the weekend and spend a couple of nights over here."

Oh, no! Now what do I pack? Right, you've gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The third version of your house. Just enough stuff to take to Maui for a coupla days. You get over to Maui--I mean you're really getting extended now, when you think about it. You got stuff ALL the way back on the mainland, you got stuff on another island, you got stuff on this island. I mean, supply lines are getting longer and harder to maintain. You get over to your friend's house on Maui and he gives you a little place to sleep, a little bed right next to his windowsill or something. You put some of your stuff up there. You put your stuff up there. You got your Visine, you got your nail clippers, and you put everything up. It takes about an hour and a half, but after a while you finally feel okay, say, "All right, I got my nail clippers, I must be okay." That's when your friend says, "Aaaaay, I think tonight we'll go over the other side of the island, visit a pal of mine and maybe stay over."

Aww, no. NOW what do you pack? Right--you gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The fourth version of your house. Only the stuff you know you're gonna need. Money, keys, comb, wallet, lighter, hanky, pen, smokes, rubber and change. Well, only the stuff you HOPE you're gonna need.'

George we will miss you but never forget you.

- The Mountain Cat

25 comments:

Doc said...

I am with you Vin. I can't even count the untold hours we spent together listening and modeling our own humor after George. Very sad indeed.

Micky-T said...

One of my favorites from way back.
Bye George!

Matt-Man said...

Eh, what a frickin' shame. Cheers!!

Leighann said...

Thanks for the laughs George, for making us laugh with you and at you and for making us think about ourselves.

Dana said...

I liked George Carling in the early days - as host of Saturday Night Live - his Seven Words gig. Unfortunately, he got EXTREMELY liberal in his politics, and in his comedy, in his later years.

He will, however, be missed. He was a HUGE inspiration for many!!

Karen said...

It is a shocking loss. I did a double take when I caught the newa crawl on the TV.

leapofaith said...

Yeah, can't believe it! He's a legend, for sure!

Good bye, George...we will miss you!!

The Mountain Cat said...

Dana,
He was the very first host of Saturday Night Live.

One Carlin bit I say in my head all the time is 'Backwards word; You to say I. Again go I there. Shit oh.'

KaritaG said...

I was SO SHOCKED when I heard that on the news this morning. And, as a stuff-accumulator, that's one of my favorite bits that you posted there! RIP George!

As American as Apple Pie said...

As I don't watch the news and only hear bits and pieces on the radio this morning, I first heard about this here. My first thought...not another one? That's 2 great men who were taken much before their time.

Knight said...

This was sad news indeed.Thanks for sharing this bit with us.

On another note.
Did you guys see this article yet? I thought it was right up your err...alley.

Doc said...

Knight.... Shhhhhh !!!!

Tuesday is not until tomorrow....

Dianne said...

thank you so much for posting the 'stuff' routine!!

Cheers George ... I am going to miss you.

Doc said...

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house"


-Carlin

Anndi said...

"I knew a transsexual guy whose only ambition is to eat, drink, and be Mary."

- Carlin

Knight said...

I think my favorite was:
“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist”

Robin said...

My favorite from "Seven Words you can't Say on TV"--You can prick your finger but don't finger your prick.

Jay said...

RIP to the Hippy Dippy Weatherman.

Very sad.

Tink said...

I first became familiar with George Carlin on Shining Time Station. I loved him! Later, as an adult, I became familiar with his brilliant (and mature) comedy acts. I loved him even more for that. He's going to be missed...

Real Live Lesbian said...

What a great mind! I've enjoyed reading A Place for my Stuff...and all the other quotes up there.

It used to be all the old folk died. Now they're getting into people *I* know! I hate that.

CarmenSinCity said...

I like Carlin too and I was really surprised this morning when I woke up this morning and heard the sad news.

Cinder-Single said...

may he rest in peace!!!!

Jeff B said...

Carlin was made of the right "stuff". I got to see him many years ago doing stand-up. He had us all rolling in the isles for the duration of his show.

What a loss.

Mike said...

I'm a fan of his work on The Simpsons where he had a cameo as Munchie the aging hippie

Sitting in Silence said...

He sure will be missed....

RIP George...