Sunday, June 22, 2008

In memory of George Carlin

It's a sad day for pure sarcasm, sardonic intellectualism and down-right genius perspective on all things we take for granted as 'acceptable' and 'universal.'

George Carlin, the father of the "seven words you can never say on television" has passed on. remembers him this way:

"Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine called "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television." A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of the routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court."

Honestly, George Carlin was not "anti-establishment," he was just a pair of x-ray glasses giving us the ability to look directly through the  establishment to make us laugh at the fact that the emperor wasn't wearing any underwear! In fact, George Carlin needed and used the mainstream to base his perfect blend of sarcasm and irony on. George's humor could best be described as deconstruction of conventional wisdom, which he would then paste back together for audiences to perceive traditional constructs in a new light.

This MSNBC article mentioning George Carlin's "drug references" is also pretty misleading, making it seem as if he was a 'Cheech and Chong' type of comedian - when in fact George Carlin was probably best known for his anti-drug philosophy, especially making fun of pharmaceutical companies and products, alcohol and even coffee. Here's a brilliant audio clip on YouTube that gives you a sense of what it was like to listen to George on the radio, or on vinyl:

We grew up on George Carlin records, on his incredible HBO specials and live performances at major colleges and theaters around the country, laughing until we couldn't take it any longer - one of our favorite bits was George's definition of life: "looking for a place to put your stuff" "...all your house is, is a place for your stuff with a cover on it."

Quoting him just doesn't work, here is a segment from Comedy Cares, an HBO special that our Executive Producer James Ehrlich was involved with back in the 80's:

George Carlin was only 71. We know he'd probably disagree that there's a heaven and/or a hell to speak of, but we believe he's up there right now playing the big room, shows at 8 and 11 for all eternity (that'll teach you not to believe in religion George! : )

Peace, Love and finding humor and joy wherever we possibly can.

your Hippy Gourmet family

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