Since George Carlin’s death some people have compared him to Mark Twain. They both talked about similar themes in their humor including politics, language and human nature. Mark Twain is still quoted today, almost a century after his death and one wonders Mr. Carlin will be quoted a century from now?
Many of the most well known George Carlin quotes have to do with wordplay and the English language. This was something that was an apparent part of his comic routine from the beginning. One of his favorite themes was to point out saying which didn’t make sense and do it in a comical way. Here’s an example: “I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
Another common theme in his humor was to laugh at how people think and act. A good comic will make you look at something a little differently and many of George’s comedy made me look at myself and laugh. Here’s an example: “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” Yes, that is what I do, but I never really thought of it until it was pointed out to me.
There were also the more controversial quotes and routines. The most famous was for using “obscene” words on stage and this eventually resulted in a case before the Supreme Court. George Carlin was also one of the few comics of our time to talk about religion and atheism. “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” “We created god in our own image and likeness!” “If churches want to play the game of politics, let them pay admission like everyone else.”
Mark Twain and George Carlin had a lot in common. They lived in different times and had different experiences. I’ve certainly enjoyed both their humors and my guess is many more will for years to come.
A related Article: Noteworthy Quotes
Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years. She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career. She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms, analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publisher houses, and years of “teacher tips” and “general interest examples,” and passes them on to interested writers.
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