When I was a junior in college, George Carlin came to campus and performed a show. This was April of 1992, and it was pretty exciting to have such a comedy legend in person, up there on stage. In fact, Carlin even consented to an interview for the campus newspaper, of which I was the editor-in-chief.
I did not get to meet him personally, but I do remember the show he did, and I still have the article that one of my reporters wrote, the one who was lucky enough to meet the great man, if only for a few minutes.
Carlin said to that reporter that every audience is the same, but every show is different. “I prefer mixed, secular, nonspecific audiences,” he said, adding that he preferred an older, more mature crowd because the people are generally “more confident with themselves” and have a “better understanding of life.”
I found that interesting, because where Carlin the performer was best known for his list of the seven dirty words you can’t say on TV, Carlin the man seemed more mild-mannered and easygoing, with a message, even.
He wore a green T-shirt and blue jeans for that show. There was nothing especially fancy about his appearance, yet he clearly had an extraordinary talent for making people laugh.
“When I was a little kid, I was funny,” he said. “It got me places.”
And let’s not forget his work in movies, such as the “Bill and Ted” flicks, “Outrageous Fortune” and “The Prince of Tides.”
During his show on my campus, Carlin talked about issues ranging from the Persian Gulf (this was 1992, remember) to sports and the homeless.
I’m glad I got the chance to see him perform in person.
Thank you, George, for brightening our lives. You will be missed.