Tuesday, June 24, 2008

5 Minutes Past the Big Hour of 5 O'Clock

Everything I knew about comedy growing up came from four people: Johnny Carson, Don Knotts, Tom Lehrer, and George Carlin. As a kid, my friends and I devoured stuff like George's AM/FM, Class Clown, Toledo Windowbox, etc. and thrilled at his cynical, irascible, irreverent hipness. He was the guy who talked about stuff nobody else did, and gave us the inside scoop - inspiring us to question the Establishment and Status Quo, while keeping us in stitches. Carlin's delivery, incomparable gift for dialect and inflection, and special quirk for observational humor set the standard for generations of comedians and fans that followed. As a friend wrote me today, "we're outliving all the good ones." Who could ever replace these people? Tom Lehrer is the only one left who played such a part part in shaping my appreciation for comedic genius, and understanding the world around us. We love and miss you George, and we're better people for having you in our lives. Bon voyage.
P.S. Bing bong!

7 comments:

Ruth Ann said...

Nick:

Carlin was great! I remember him on Ed Sullivan. Feels like a part of my childhood is gone. My kids loved him on the PBS KId's Show: Thomas the Tank Engine. He replaced Ringo Starr as the conductor. Amazing Talent. Strange year with Harvey Korman, Tim Russert gone. My husband works near the NBC studios in D.C. Still a flurry of activity there about Tim. A friend of Gary's at CNN said Russert was a tough but good manager.

Regards,
Ruth Ann

W. K. Moore said...

I most liked his last 2 HBO specials - a mordant surgical excision of the dull American: slack jawed, asleep, ignorant, religious, ball scratching (hey I do that!), etc etc......... Thx for posting the tribute Nicholas.

Nick said...

Ruth - Korman was so great, I never missed the Carol Burnett show because of him.

Bill - he got crankier with age, and really zeroed in on the important stuff. Unfortunately, too little too late - the patient flatlined 8 yrs ago.
Have a good trip to Bogota, and a safe return.

David Lobenberg said...

The older that man got the crustier and better he got. Yea...I'll miss him too!

Nick said...

David - an avalanche of Carlin clips have been posted on Youtube this week, you might want to check them out.

Anonymous said...

Nick:
How wonderful to see all the great stuff you are into these days. Googled my name and up came your list of guitar students and my name. Best of luck to you, we hope you have a life full of joy and reward. Joel VanCitters and Kathy Walker (Matt Barfield's mom) P.S. Matt is father to 7 and 5 year old boys!

Nick said...

Joel, thanks for writing, I remember your name. I remember Matt Barfield pretty well, but most of all I remember Kathy!!! I think she walked away with Hottest Mom Award, and might have even inspired it. :)