Time escapes me. There were a lot of things I was going to write about; Stan Winston dying; how Violet Blue (the writer) is a total asshole; our recent visit from our local Vice squad; the incredbily awful Incredible Hulk.

Then George Carlin died, and all that went out the window. There are an assortment of comics I like, but damned few I respected. I can use the past tense because every funnyman I respected is dead now.

A lot has been written about Carlin’s life and career, and I’m not going to flog the dead livestock on the subject. For me, he achieved real brilliance around 1990 when he began to get seriously political. Even at his darkest, I rarely heard Carlin say something I disagreed with, even if I didn’t have the balls to admit it.

My favorite of all Carlin’s bits exposed ecology as an adventure in self-interest and arrogance. When he ranted, “The planet is fine. The planet isn’t going anywhere. We are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks, we’re going away.” I was sitting in front of the T.V. nodding like a convert at a revival meeting about to begin speaking in tongues.

George Carlin got it.

I met him once. It was 1988, and he was performing at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix. A friend I did theater with was running the lights, and he got me in. After the show, we went backstage to say hello, and my friend embarrassed me by explaining that I did stand-up as well (I hadn’t quit yet).

George shook my hand, cocked one eyebrow and said “You’re not gonna ask me for advice, are you?” I said no.

“Good,” he said. “I don’t want to have to tell ya to get a fuckin’ job.”

I love that story. I’ll miss him.

Whatcha think?

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