Jon Stewart gives an example of Carlin’s brilliance (exclusive footage from a special appearing tonight on PBS, 9pm ET).
I first saw George Carlin around age 10. Much later, I discovered Mark Twain and realized both were philosophers of the same school: The Trojan Horse.
Twain and Carlin were experts at making important points with humor, oftentimes addressing topics that, even in Twain’s time, wouldn’t hit the politically-correct mainstream otherwise. Other skilled Trojan Horse comedians include Stephen Colbert (example from his speech following George W. Bush) and Chris Rock.
Motivated and pissed off by the rules and senseless authority of their times, both used humor via plain and simple language to poke fun where more than fun was at stake.
Separated at birth: Can you guess who said the following quotes, Carlin or Twain?…
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.
I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.
I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you opportunity to commit more.
Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries.
Let us be thankful for the fools; but for them the rest of us could not succeed.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you: the one to slander you, and the other to get the news to you.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
“It’s never just a game when you’re winning.”
I don’t have hobbies; hobbies cost money. Interests are quite free.
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
I’m not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose… it’ll be much harder to detect.
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.
Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.
People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think.
Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
Every quote from “It’s never just a game when you’re winning” (the only quote in quotation marks) and down is Carlin.
For exclusive uncensored video clips of Carlin, visit The Laugh Button, a new site I’ve helped a friend prep for launch, where you can also find free album tracks and highlights. Think of it as a combination of Pandora and YouTube for stand-up. I am not an investor, just an avid fan of stand-up and philosophies you can use, which are often the same thing.
Don’t miss tonight’s PBS tribute to Carlin with never-before-seen footage and some of your favorite comedians, including Jon Stewart, Garry Shandling, Margaret Cho, Denis Leary, and Lewis Black. The Mark Twain Prize will air on PBS stations nationwide (Wednesday, February 4) at 9pm ET.
Posted on: February 3, 2008.