George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was a Grammy-winning American stand-up comedian, actor and author, noted especially for his irreverent attitude and his observations on politics, language, psychology and religion as well as some taboo subjects.
- 1 Discography
- 1.1 FM & AM (1972)
- 1.2 Class Clown (1972)
- 1.3 Occupation: Foole (1973)
- 1.4 Toledo Window Box (1974)
- 1.5 A Place for My Stuff (1981)
- 1.6 Carlin on Campus (1984)
- 1.7 Playing With Your Head (1986)
- 1.8 What Am I Doing in New Jersey? (1988)
- 1.9 Doin' It Again / Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics (1990)
- 1.10 Jammin' in New York (1992)
- 1.11 Back in Town (1996)
- 1.12 You Are All Diseased (1999)
- 1.13 The Little David Years (1971–1977) (1999)
- 1.14 Complaints and Grievances (2001)
- 1.15 Life Is Worth Losing (2005)
- 1.16 It's Bad for Ya (2008)
- 2 Books
- 3 Internet
- 4 Interviews
- 5 Misattributed
- 6 External links
- I was on a talk show recently, and the host asked me, "What do you think about the dope problem?" I said, "Definitely, I feel we have too many dopes." No question about it. That's why we have a drug problem, I feel; it's because everyone has access to drugs...it's all those DRUG stores, right? Every three or four blocks, there's a big sign: "DRUGS", "Open All Night -- DRUGS", "We Deliver -- DRUGS", "Cut-rate DRUGS"...it's the biggest thing on their sign: "Cosmetics -- Sundries -- DRUGS".
- When they talk about drugs, they don't talk about all of them. They never mention coffee. The low end of the speed spectrum, I grant you, but there are coffee freaks. And they're walking around, nobody worrying about it.
- Birth control pills are still on prescription. You still need a note to get laid.
- Some day birth control will come off prescription, and they'll need those cute little catchy names like the patent medicines have...some day birth control pills will have names like, "Preg-Not"! Doctors prefer "Embry-No"! Here's one for the ladies, "Nary-A-Carry"! Something lofty and poetic: "Nay Family Way"; something earthy and crude: "Mom Bomb"; something for the youngsters, "Junior Miss"; here's a real man's product, "Inconceivable"! "Mommy-Not", "Fetus Fail", "Kiddie Kill", "Papa Stopper", "Womb Broom", "Humpty Dumpty"...I wouldn't be surprised if they came up with a birth control pill that doesn't work all the time; they'd call it "Baby Maybe"!
Class Clown (1972)
- I used to be Irish Catholic; Now I'm an American. You know, you grow.
- O Beautiful, for smoggy skies, insecticided grain
- for strip-mined mountains' majesty, above the asphalt plain
- America, America, man sheds his waste on thee
- and hides the pines, with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
- There are four hundred thousand words in the English language, and there are seven you can't say on television. What a ratio that is: 399,993 to 7. They must really be bad; they'd have to be outrageous to be separated from a group that large! "All of you over here, you seven? BAD WORDS." That's what they told us they were, remember? "That's a bad word!" ...No bad words; bad thoughts, bad intentions...and words. You know the seven, don't you, that you can't say on television? Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war.
- There are two-way words, like, it's okay for Curt Gowdy to say, "Roberto Clemente has two balls on him!" But he can't say, "I think he hurt his balls on that play, Tony, don't you?"
- And the other two-way word is "prick". It's okay if it happens to your finger; yes, you can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick!
Occupation: Foole (1973)
- Nobody goes right to work. You might get there on time, but, screw the company, those first twenty minute belong to you, right? It's not an attitude in line with the American Spirit, but there it is: we all screw around first. "I just got here, man, you kiddin' me?" Really. You never see a memo that says 9:01.
- If you take five white guys and put 'em with five black guys, and let 'em hang around together for about a month, and at the end of the month, you'll notice that the white guys are walking and talking and standing like the black guys do. You'll never see the black guys going, "Oh, golly! We won the big game today, yes sir!" But you'll see guys with red hair named Duffy going, "What's happenin'?"
- It was in 1951, when I was 14, when grass swept the neighborhood. We hadn't been into grass before, we were into gang fighting, and wine and beer in the park, and punching the shit out of people, and having jackets with your name, and your girls were your 'debs', and you had turf, and all that dumb shit, and we would get into fights over girls...and then pot came along and gang fighting went away. In one semester, in shop class, all the guys went from making zip guns to hash pipes.
- Spoiler: advertising man says, "It's Good!"
Toledo Window Box (1974)
- The seven dwarfs were each on different little trips. Happy was into grass and grass alone … Happy, that's all he did. Sleepy was into reds. Grumpy, too much speed. Sneezy was a full blown coke freak. Doc was a connection. Dopey was into everything. Any old orifice will do for Dopey. He's always got his arm out and his leg up. And then, the one we always forget, because he was Bashful. Bashful didn't use drugs. He was paranoid on his own. Didn't need any help on that ladder.
- "Nursery Rhymes"
- Hansel and Gretel discovered the ginger bread house about 45 minutes after they discovered the mushrooms.
- "Nursery Rhymes"
A Place for My Stuff (1981)
- I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a man nailed to two pieces of wood. Especially if it's me!
- "Interview With Jesus"
- Don't give your money to the church. They should be giving their money to you.
- "Interview With Jesus"
- Have you noticed that most of the women who are against abortion are women you wouldn't want to fuck in the first place, man? There's such balance in nature.
- "Fussy eater" is a euphemism for "big pain in the ass".
- "Fussy Eater, Pt. 1"
- And, of course, the funniest food: "kumquats". I don't even bring them home anymore. I sit there laughing and they go to waste.
- "Fussy Eater, Pt. 1"
Carlin on Campus (1984)
- So I say live and let live. That's my motto. Live and let live. Anyone who can't go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It's a simple philosophy, but it's always worked in our family.
- Reminds me of something my grandfather would say. He'd say, "I'm goin' upstairs and fuck your grandmother." Well he was an honest guy ya know, he wasn't gonna bullshit a 4-year-old.
- Help me find some shoes I really like. Help me also to find a nymphomaniac coke connection who owns a Ferrari dealership.
- Let me arrive safely back at my hotel room. Don't let me be attacked by a maniac wearing a french tickler and a space helmet. Don't let my beard become entangled in the gears of a transcontinental bus. And don't let me be hit by a flying turd.
- Let's go for a drive OK? Well I'll go for a drive, you'll go for a ride. The person who drives the car they go for a drive, the other people they go for a ride. People don't know that, tell them when they're in your car. Say "you assholes are goin' for a ride!"
Playing With Your Head (1986)
- Have you noticed that there are some people, who when they lose something, their first reaction is that it had to be stolen? First thing- "Hey! It was stolen!" It's an ego defense. They can't stand the fact that they might have been stupid enough to have lost something. And even if it's something that anyone would really want that much. "Hey! Who stole my collection of used bandages?! And they also got away with my nude pictures of Ernest Borgnine!"
- There are battered husbands. Apparently this happens when the woman is real big, the man is very small, and they each drink a quart of whiskey a day.
- I never fucked a 10, but one night I fucked 5 twos!
- And you know, I always wanted to work in a delicatessen just so that a woman would come in one day and ask me to give her some tongue. And I'd say "Well, I don't get off 'till four o'clock." And she'd say "Well, I don't get off at all. That's why I'm looking for some tongue!"
- You know how you speed up baseball? Everybody gets one swing. That's it one swing fuck you, you're out sit down!
- And now, ladies and gentlemen, that we've enjoyed some good times this evening, and enjoyed some laughter together, I feel it is my obligation to remind you of some of the negative, depressing, dangerous, life-threatening things that life is really all about; things you have not been thinking about tonight, but which will be waiting for you as soon as you leave the theater or as soon as you turn off your television sets. Anal rape, quicksand, body lice, evil spirits, gridlock, acid rain, continental drift, labor violence, flash floods, rabies, torture, bad luck, calcium deficiency, falling rocks, cattle stampedes, bank failure, evil neighbors, killer bees, organ rejection, lynching, toxic waste, unstable dynamite, religious fanatics, prickly heat, price fixing, moral decay, hotel fires, loss of face, stink bombs, bubonic plague, neo-Nazis, friction, cereal weevils, failure of will, chain reaction, soil erosion, mail fraud, dry rot, voodoo curse, broken glass, snake bite, parasites, white slavery, public ridicule, faithless friends, random violence, breach of contract, family scandals, charlatans, transverse myelitis, structural defects, race riots, sunspots, rogue elephants, wax buildup, killer frost, jealous coworkers, root canals, metal fatigue, corporal punishment, sneak attacks, peer pressure, vigilantes, birth defects, false advertising, ungrateful children, financial ruin, mildew, loss of privileges, bad drugs, ill-fitting shoes, widespread chaos, Lou Gehrig's disease, stray bullets, runaway trains, chemical spills, locusts, airline food, shipwrecks, prowlers, bathtub accidents, faulty merchandise, terrorism, discrimination, wrongful cremation, carbon deposits, beef tapeworm, taxation without representation, escaped maniacs, sunburn, abandonment, threatening letters, entropy, nine-mile fever, poor workmanship, absentee landlords, solitary confinement, depletion of the ozone layer, unworthiness, intestinal bleeding, defrocked priests, loss of equilibrium, disgruntled employees, global warming, card sharks, poisoned meat, nuclear accidents, broken promises, contamination of the water supply, obscene phone calls, nuclear winter, wayward girls, mutual assured destruction, rampaging moose, the greenhouse effect, cluster headaches, social isolation, Dutch elm disease, the contraction of the universe, paper cuts, eternal damnation, the wrath of God, and PARANOIAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
What Am I Doing in New Jersey? (1988)
- I really haven't seen this many people in one place since they took the group photographs of all the criminals and lawbreakers in the Ronald Reagan Administration.
- It's a great country, but it's a strange culture. ... This has got to be the only country in the world that could ever come up with a disease like bulimia; gotta be the only country in the world where some people have no food at all, and other people eat a nourishing meal and puke it up intentionally. This is a country where tobacco kills four hundred thousand people a year, so they ban artificial sweeteners! Because a rat died! You know what I mean? This is a place where gun store owners are given a list of stolen credit cards, but not a list of criminals and maniacs! And now, they're thinking about banning toy guns - and they're gonna keep the fucking real ones!
- Next time you're at a wishing well. Doesn't happen often. Next time you're at a wishing well ask to see the manager! Tell him you've been coming there for 10 years and none of your wishes have come true. Either you gimme my money back--or I'm shittin' in the well!
- It's the old American Double Standard, ya know: Say one thing, do somethin' different. And of course this country is founded on the double standard, that's our history! We were founded on a very basic double standard: This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.
- So about 80 years after the Constitution is ratified, the slaves are freed. Not so you'd really notice it of course; just kinda on paper. And that of course was at the end of the Civil War. Now there is another phrase I dearly love. That is a true oxymoron if I've ever heard one — civil war. D'you think anybody in this country could ever really have a civil war? "Say, pardon me...*machinegun sounds*...I'm awfully sorry! Awfully sorry."
Now of course the Civil War has been over for about 120 years. But...not so you'd really notice it. Because you see we have these people called "Civil War buffs"...in fact some of these people actually get dressed up once a year and then go out and re-fight these battles. D'you know what I say to these people? USE LIVE AMMUNITION ASSHOLES, WOULD YA PLEASE?!
Doin' It Again / Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics (1990)
- I know that. Some people don't want you to mention certain things. Some people don't want you to say this, some people don't want you to say that. Some people think if you mention some things they might happen. Some people are really fucking stupid. Did you ever notice that, how many stupid people you run into during the day? Goddamn there's a lot of stupid bastards walking around. Carry a pad and pencil with you, you'll wind up with thirty or forty names by the end of the day. Think about this; think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.
- Let me get a sip of water here...you figure this stuff is safe to drink? [audience yells "No"] Actually, I don't care, I drink it anyway. You know why? 'Cause I'm an American and I expect a little cancer in my food and water. I'm a loyal American and I'm not happy unless I let government and industry poison me a little bit every day.
- Government want to tell you things you can't say because they're against the law, or you can't say this because it's against a regulation, or here's something you can't say because its a...secret; "You can't tell him that because he's not cleared to know that." Government wants to control information and control language because that's the way you control thought, and basically that's the game they're in.
- Same with religion. Religion is nothing but mind control. Religion is just trying to control your mind, control your thoughts, so they're gonna tell you some things you shouldn't say because they're...sins. And besides telling you things you shouldn't say, religion is gonna suggest some things that you ought to be saying; "Here's something you ought to say first thing when you wake up in the morning; here's something you ought to say just before you go to sleep at night; here's something we always say on the third Wednesday in April after the first full moon in spring at 4 o'clock when the bells ring." Religion is always suggesting things you ought to be saying.
- Smug, greedy, well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It's as simple as that. The CIA doesn't kill anybody anymore, they neutralize people, or they depopulate the area. The government doesn't lie, it engages in disinformation. The Pentagon actually measures nuclear radiation in something they call sunshine units. Contra killers are called freedom fighters. Well, if crime fighters fight crime, and firefighters fight fires, what do freedom fighters fight?
Jammin' in New York (1992)
- I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don't believe anything the government tells me. [...] I look at war a little bit differently. To me, war is a lot of prick-waving! OK? Simple thing. That's all it is. War is a whole lot of men standing out on a field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of their dicks, and so they have to kill one another over the idea. That's what all that asshole jock bullshit is all about. That's what all that adolescent, macho, male posturing and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all about. It's called "dick fear!" Men are terrified that their pricks are inadequate and so they have to compete with one another, to feel better about themselves, and since war is the ultimate competition, basically, men are killing each other in order to improve their self-esteem! You don't have to be a historian or a political scientist to see the bigger-dick foreign policy at work. It sounds like this: "What, they have bigger dicks? Bomb them!" And of course, the bombs and the rockets and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It's a subconscious need to project the penis into other people's affairs. It's called "fucking with people!"
- "Rockets And Penises In The Persian Gulf"
- Now, to balance the scale, I'd like to talk about some things that bring us together, things that point out our similarities instead of our differences. 'Cause that's all you ever hear about in this country. It's our differences. That's all the media and the politicians are ever talking about--the things that separate us, things that make us different from one another. That's the way the ruling class operates in any society. They try to divide the rest of the people. They keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other so that they, the rich, can run off with all the fucking money! Fairly simple thing. Happens to work. You know? Anything different--that's what they're gonna talk about--race, religion, ethnic and national background, jobs, income, education, social status, sexuality, anything they can do to keep us fighting with each other, so that they can keep going to the bank! You know how I define the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep 'em showing up at those jobs.
- "Little Things We Share"
- That's another complaint of mine - too much use of this prefix "pre". It's all over the language now — "pre"-this, "pre"-that, place the turkey in a "pre-heated" oven. It's ridiculous! There are only two states an oven can possibly exist in: Heated or unheated! "Pre-heated" is a meaningless fucking term! It's like "pre-recorded" — "This program was pre-recorded." Well, of course it was pre-recorded! When else are you gonna record it, afterwards? That's the whole purpose of recording; to do it beforehand! Otherwise it doesn't really work, does it? "Pre-existing", "pre-planning", "pre-screening" — you know what I tell these people? Pre-suck my genital situation! And they seem to understand what I'm talking about.
- "Airline Announcements"
- There are over seventeen thousand golf courses in America, they average over one hundred and fifty acres a piece - that's three million plus acres, four thousand, eight hundred and twenty square miles - you could build two Rhode Islands and a Delaware for the homeless on the land currently being wasted on this meaningless, mindless, arrogant, elitist, racist, there's another thing; the only blacks you'll find at country clubs are carrying trays. And a boring game. A boring game for boring people. You ever watch golf on television? It's like watching flies fuck!
- The planet isn't going anywhere. We are! We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away.
- "The Planet Is Fine"
Back in Town (1996)
- Why, why, why, why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't wanna fuck in the first place? Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're fucked. Conservatives don't give a shit about you until you reach military age. Then they think you're just fine. Just what they've been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life... pro-life... These people aren't pro-life, they're killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? What, they'll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it? They're not pro-life. You know what they are? They're anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don't like them. They don't like women. They believe a woman's primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.
- Here's another question I have. How come when it's us, it's an abortion, and when it's a chicken, it's an omelet? Are we so much better than chickens all of a sudden? When did this happen; that we passed chickens in goodness? Name six ways we're better than chickens... See, nobody can do it! You know why? 'Cause chickens are decent people. You don't see chickens hanging around in drug gangs, do you? No. You don't see a chicken strapping some guy to a chair and hooking up his nuts to a car battery, do you? When's the last chicken you heard about came home from work and beat the shit out of his hen, huh? Doesn't happen... 'cause chickens are decent people.
- Catholics and other Christians are against abortions and they're against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these fucking people alone for Christ's sake. Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion and the Catholics and the Christians are just tossing them aside. You'd think they'd make natural allies. Go look for consistency in religion.
- But you know, the longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear this phrase 'sanctity of life'. You've heard that. Sanctity of life. You believe in it? Personally, I think it's a bunch of shit. Well, I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians all taking turns killing each other 'cause God told them it was a good idea. The sword of God, the blood of the lamb, vengeance is mine. Millions of dead motherfuckers. Millions of dead motherfuckers all because they gave the wrong answer to the God question. 'You believe in God?' 'No.' Boom. Dead. 'You believe in God?' 'Yes.' 'You believe in my God? 'No.' Boom. Dead. 'My God has a bigger dick than your God!'
- And you might have noticed something else. The sanctity of life doesn't seem to apply to cancer cells, does it? You rarely see a bumper sticker that says 'Save the tumors'. Or 'I brake for advanced melanoma'. No, viruses, mold, mildew, maggots, fungus, weeds, E. Coli bacteria, the crabs. Nothing sacred about those things. So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up!
- "Sanctity of Life"
- And what can we do to silence these Christian athletes who thank Jesus whenever they win, never mention his name when they lose? Not a word. You never hear them say "Jesus made me drop the ball." "The good Lord tripped me up behind the line of scrimmage." According to these guys Jesus is undefeated, meanwhile these assholes are in last place. Must be another one of those "miracles."
- "Free-Floating Hostility"
You Are All Diseased (1999)
- Most people seem to have been indoctrinated to believe that bullshit only comes from certain places, certain sources: advertising, politics, salesmen – not true. Bullshit is everywhere. Bullshit is rampant. Parents are full of shit, teachers are full of shit, clergymen are full of shit, and law enforcement people are full...of...shit - this entire country. This entire country is completely full of shit, and always has been. From the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to the Star-Spangled Banner, it's still nothing more than one big steaming pile of red, white and blue, all-American bullshit. Because, think of how we started. Think of that. This country was founded by a group of slave-owners who told us all men are created equal. Oh yeah, all men, except for Indians and niggers and women, right? I always like to use that authentic American language. This was a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding, slave-owners who also suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. Now, that is what's known as being stunningly and embarrassingly full of shit. And I think Americans really show their ignorance when they say they want their politicians to be honest. What are these fuckin' cretins talking about? If honesty were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse!
- "American Bullshit"
- Everybody knows by now, all businessmen are completely full of shit; just the worst kind of low-life, criminal, cocksuckers you could ever wanna' run into - a fuckin' piece of shit businessman. And the proof of it, the proof of it is, they don't even trust each other. They don't trust one another. When a business man sits down to negotiate a deal, the first thing he does is to automatically assume that the other guy is a complete lying prick who's trying to fuck him outta his money. So he's gotta do everything he can to fuck the other guy a little bit faster and a little bit harder. And he's gotta do it with a big smile on his face. You know that big, bullshit businessman smile? And if you're a customer - Whoah! - that's when you get the really big smile. Customer always gets that really big smile, as the businessman carefully positions himself directly behind the customer, and unzips his pants, and proceeds to service...the...account. I am servicing this account. This customer needs service. Now you know what they mean. Now you know what they mean when they say, "We specialize in customer service." Whoever coined the phrase "let the buyer beware" was probably bleeding from the asshole. That's business.
- Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time... But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!
- I decided to look around for something else to worship. Something I could really count on. And immediately, I thought of the sun. Happened like that. Overnight I became a sun-worshipper. Well, not overnight, you can't see the sun at night. But first thing the next morning, I became a sun-worshipper. Several reasons. First of all, I can see the sun, okay? Unlike some other gods I could mention, I can actually see the sun. I'm big on that. If I can see something, I don't know, it kind of helps the credibility along, you know?...
- Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about the Divine Plan? Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn't in God's Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It's a Divine Plan. What's the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayer book can come along and fuck up Your Plan? And here's something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? "Well, it's God's will." "Thy Will Be Done." Fine, but if it's God's will, and He's going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn't you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It's all very confusing.
- "There Is No God"
- [in response to someone in the audience yelling something] Would somebody just put a dick in that guy's mouth, please? 'Cause that's what he wants. He's a cocksucker in disguise. He's got his mouth open 'cause he wants someone to cum in it. Now, do you wanna keep making noise, motherfucker, and we can find you that way, or are you just a punk coward asshole bullshit loud motherfucker and you're gonna shut up now so we don't find out where the fuck you're sitting? 'Cause if you keep it up, we'll grab your ass and throw you on the fucking street, where you belong, with your mother! And I'm fucking her in the asshole every night anyway, so fuck you and your sister and your wife! If you got a kid, I hope your fucking kid dies in a car fire! How do you like that, you stupid cocksucker? Shut the fuck up and get the fuck out of here! … You know? See … You gotta use psychology. You gotta be a bit of a psychologist up here and know how to appeal to a person.
- "How to Handle a Heckler"
Complaints and Grievances (2001)
- Here's some bumper stickers I'd like to see:
- We are the proud parents of a child whose self esteem is sufficient that he doesn't need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.
- We are the proud parents of a child who has resisted his teachers' attempts to break his spirit and bend him to the will of his corporate masters.
- We have a daughter in public school who hasn't been knocked up yet.
- We have a son in public school who hasn't shot any of his classmates yet. But he does sell drugs to your honor student. Plus he knocked up your daughter.
- We are the embarrassed parents of a cross-eyed little nit-wit who at the age of ten not only continues to wet the bed but also shits on the school bus.
- If my car should be in such a position where I can't quite see what's going on, can't get a good enough look, I'm not the least bit shy about asking the police to bring the bodies over a little closer to the car. "Pardon me, officer, would you mind dragging that twisted-looking chap over here a little closer to the car, please? My wife has never seen anyone shaped quite like that. Look at that, Sugar Lips! That's his ribcage sticking out the glove compartment. That will be all, officer. You can throw him back on the pile."
- "Traffic Accidents: Keep Movin'!"
- Here's my problem with the ten commandments: why are there ten? Why are there ten? You don't need ten. I believe the list of ten commandments was artificially and deliberately inflated to get it up to ten. Here's what happened:
About 5,000 years ago a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try to figure out how to control people, how to keep them in line. They knew people were basically stupid and would believe anything they were told, so they announced that God had given them some commandments, up on a mountain, when no one was around... God had given them the Ten Commandments.
Well let me ask you this- when they were making this shit up, why did they pick ten? Why not nine, or eleven? I'll tell you why- because ten sounds official. Ten sounds important! Ten is the basis for the decimal system, it's a decade, it's a psychologically satisfying number, the top ten, the ten most wanted, the ten best dressed. So having ten commandments was really a marketing decision. And it's clearly a bullshit list. It's a political document, artificially inflated to sell better.
- I give you my revised list of the two commandments: "Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie", and "thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than the one you pray to". Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket, and I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment: "Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself".
Life Is Worth Losing (2005)
- I'm a modern man, a man for the millennium, digital and smoke-free. A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist. Politically, anatomically, and ecologically incorrect.
- "Modern Man"
- You know the best thing about necrophilia? You don't have to bring flowers. Yeah, usually they're already there. Isn't that nice? It's nice. It's convenient.
- "Extreme Human Behavior"
- People are fucking nuts. This country is full of nitwits and assholes. You ever notice that? Nitwits, assholes, fuckups, scumbags, jerkoffs, and dipshits. And they all vote. In fact, sometimes you get the impression that they're the only ones who vote.
- There's a reason for this, there's a reason education sucks, and it's the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you've got... because the owners of this country don’t want that. I'm talking about the real owners now... the real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right.
- They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later 'cause they own this fuckin' place. It’s a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club. ...The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. ...And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes every day, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream, 'cause you have to be asleep to believe it.
- Americans love to eat. They are fatally attracted to the slow death of fast food... This country is big-time pig time... Change the bald eagle to a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. A big bowl. 'Cause everything in this country is king size, extra large and super jumbo. Especially the fucking people! Have you seen some of the people in this country? Have you taken a good look at some of these big, fat motherfuckers walking around? Big fat motherfuckers! Oh, my God. Huge piles of redundant protoplasm, lumbering through the malls like a fleet of interstate buses. The people in this country are immense. Massive bellies, monstrous thighs, and big fat fucking asses! Next time you're in the vicinity of one of these creatures, stand there for a minute and observe. And if you stand there for a minute you'll begin to wonder, "How does this woman take a shit?" How does she shit? And more frightening still, how does she wipe her ass? Can she even locate her asshole? She must require assistance. Are paramedics trained in this field?
It's Bad for Ya (2008)
- One great thing about getting old is that you can get out of all sorts of social obligations just by saying you're tired.
- "Getting old"
- This conversation is bound to turn up. Two guys in a street meet each other, and one of them says, "Hey, did you hear? Phil Davis died." "Phil Davis? I just saw him yesterday." "Yeah? … Didn't help. He died anyway. Apparently, the simple act of you seeing him did not slow his cancer down. In fact, it may have made it more aggressive. You know, you could be the cause for Phil's death. How do you live with yourself?"
- I call him Governor Bush because that's the only political office he's ever held legally in this country. I don't care where they hang his portrait, I don't care how big his library is. To me, he'll always be "Governor Bush." I don't even capitalize his name when I type it anymore.
- "george bush"
- Rights aren't rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a fuck about them! The government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a fuck about you! It's interested in its own power. That's the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.
Brain Droppings (1997)
- Don Ho can sign autographs 3.4 times faster than Ephraim Zimbalist Jr.
- Irony deals with opposites; it has nothing to do with coincidence. If two baseball players from the same hometown, on different teams, receive the same uniform number, it is not ironic. It is a coincidence. If Barry Bonds attains lifetime statistics identical to his father's, it will not be ironic. It will be a coincidence. Irony is "a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was to be expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result." For instance: a diabetic, on his way to buy insulin, is killed by a runaway truck. He is the victim of an accident. If the truck was delivering sugar, he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence. But if the truck was delivering insulin, ah! Then he is the victim of an irony. If a Kurd, after surviving bloody battle with Saddam Hussein's army and a long, difficult escape through the mountains, is crushed and killed by a parachute drop of humanitarian aid, that, my friend, is irony writ large. Darryl Stingley, the pro football player, was paralyzed after a brutal hit by Jack Tatum. Now Darryl Stingley's son plays football, and if the son should become paralyzed while playing, it will not be ironic. It will be coincidental. If Darryl Stingley's son paralyzes someone else, that will be closer to ironic. If he paralyzes Jack Tatum's son, that will be precisely ironic.
- There is something refreshingly ironic about people lying on the beach contracting skin cancer in an attempt to acquire a purely illusory appearance of good health, while germ-laden medical waste washes up on the sand all around them. (entitled Surf's Down Forever, p.207)
- "One thing leads to another"? Not always. Sometimes one thing leads to the same thing. Ask an addict.
- Try explaining Hitler to a kid.
- When it comes to God's existence, I'm not an atheist and I'm not an agnostic- I'm an acrostic, the whole thing puzzles me.
- I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.
- I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.
- Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that shit.
- Cf. Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah (1921), Pt. I : In the Beginning: I hear you say "Why?" Always "Why?" You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
- I do not torture animals, and I do not support the torture of animals, such as that which goes on at rodeos: cowardly men in big hats abusing simple beasts in a fruitless search for manhood. In fact, I regularly pray for serious, life-threatening rodeo injuries. I wish for a cowboy to walk crooked, and with great pain, for the rest of his life.
- Animal Instincts
- I am perfectly willing to share the room with a fly, as long as he is patrolling that portion of the room I don't occupy. But if he starts that smart-ass fly shit, buzzing my head and repeatedly landing on my arm, he is engaging in high-risk behavior.
- Animal Instincts
Napalm and Silly Putty (2001)
- I think I am, therefore I am. I think.
- An art thief is a man who takes pictures.
- I don't understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that's perfectly legal to give away? I can't follow the logic on that one at all! Of all the things you can do, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people! In civilian life you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm! Maybe I'm not supposed to understand it...
- The mayfly lives only one day. And sometimes it rains.
- I recently bought a book of free verse. For twelve dollars.
- There's something I like about the clitoris, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
- I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.
- If people stand in a circle long enough, they'll eventually begin to dance.
- You might have noticed that I never complain about politicians. I leave that to others. And there's no shortage of volunteers; everyone complains about politicians. Everyone says they suck. But where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky; they don't pass through a membrane from a separate reality. They come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches, and American businesses. And they're elected by American voters. This is what our system produces, folks. This is the best we can do. Let's face it, we have very little to work with. Garbage in, garbage out.
- So maybe it's not the politicians who suck; maybe it's something else. Like the public. That would be a nice realistic campaign slogan for somebody: "The public sucks. Elect me." Put the blame where it belongs: on the people. Because if everything is really the fault of politicians, where are all the bright, honest, intelligent Americans who are ready to step in and replace them? Where are these people hiding? The truth is, we don't have people like that. Everyone's at the mall, scratching his balls and buying sneakers with lights in them. And complaining about the politicians.
- For myself, I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way. On Election Day, I stay home. Two reasons: first of all, voting is meaningless; this country was bought and paid for a long time ago. That empty shit they shuffle around and repackage every four years doesn't mean a thing. Second, I don't vote, because I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. I know some people like to twist that around and say, "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain." But where's the logic in that? Think it through: If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and you screw things up, then you're responsible for what they've done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote—who, in fact, did not even leave the house on Election Day—am in no way responsible for what these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created. Which I had nothing to do with. Why can't people see that?
- People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.
- I had no shoes, and I felt sorry for myself until I met a man who had no feet. I took his shoes. Now I feel better.
- They say rather than cursing the darkness, one should light a candle. They don't mention anything about cursing a lack of candles.
- Catholic kids are stupid; they don't know how to handle a pedophile priest. Here's what you do: First of all, you don't get all scared and do whatever he tells you. Who wants to get sucked off by a forty-three-year-old clergyman with beard stubble? Not me. Instead, what you do is kick him in the nuts. You kick him squarely in the nuts, and you get the fuck out of there as fast as you can, and you go tell somebody right away; you tell as many grown-up people as you can––one of them is bound to believe you. That's what you do. You don't wait thirty years. You kick the priest in the nuts and say, "Fuck you, Father, I don't do that shit"... And you're out the door.
- Regarding public Christmas displays: At some point, someone who worked at Rockefeller Center must have said, "Boys, I have a great idea for Christmas. Let's kill a beautiful tree that's been alive for seventy-five years and bring it to New York City. We'll stand it up in Rockefeller Plaza and conceal its natural beauty by hanging shiny, repulsive, man-made objects on it, and let it stand there slowly dying for several weeks while simpleminded children stare at it and people from Des Moines take pictures of it. That way, perhaps we can add our own special, obscene imprint to Christmas in Midtown."
- Dear Political Activists,
All your chanting, marching, voting, picketing, boycotting and letter-writing will not change a thing; you will never right the wrongs of this world. The only thing your activity will accomplish is to make some of you feel better. Such activity makes powerless people feel useful, and provides them the illusion that they're making a difference. But it doesn't work. Nothing changes. The powerful keep the power. That's why they're called the powerful.
This is similar to people's belief that love can overcome everything, that it has some special power. It doesn't. Except one on one. One on one, love is incredibly powerful. It is a beautiful thing. But if love had any power to change the world, it would have prevailed by now. Love can't change the world. It's nice. It's pleasant. It's better than hate. But it has no special power over things. It just feels good. Love yourself, find another person to love and feel good.
Georgecarlin.com (official website)
Floating around the Internet these days, posted and e-mailed back and forth, are a number of writings attributed to me, and I want people to know they're not mine. Don't blame me.
Some are essay-length, some are just short lists of one and two-line jokes, but if they're flyin' around the Internet, they're probably not mine. Occasionally, a couple of jokes on a long list might have come from me, but not often. And because most of this stuff is really lame, it's embarrassing to see my name on it.
And that's the problem. I want people to know that I take care with my writing, and try to keep my standards high. But most of this "humor" on the Internet is just plain stupid. I guess hard-core fans who follow my stuff closely would be able to spot the fake stuff, because the tone of voice is so different. But a casual fan has no way of knowing, and it bothers me that some people might believe I'd actually be capable of writing some of this stuff.
- "Don't Blame Me". Georgecarlin.com (official website). Retrieved on 2007-01-19.
- [On his work appearing on the Internet] It's a conflicted feeling. I'm really a populist, down in the very center of me. I like the power people can accrue for themselves, and I like the idea of user-generated content and taking power from the corporations. The other half of the conflict, though, is that, traditionally speaking, artists are protected from copyright infringement. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about solving this issue. It's someone else's job.
- For a while, I thought of myself as an atheist until I realized it was a belief, too. It's a shame everything has to have a label. I feel that if I was figuratively dropped on the Earth and there was a political line, I would be just left of center. The difference for me is that conservatives are more interested in property values and rights and free markets, and liberals are more interested in human rights. In the end, there are people who don't fit into the marketplace and are not equipped. I believe the government should step in where the free market fails.
- [On why he lacked faith in humanity] The two big mistakes were the belief in a sky god -- that there's a man in the sky with ten things he doesn't want you to do and you'll burn for a long time if you do them -- and private property, which I think is at the core of our failure as a species. That's the source of my indignations, my dissatisfactions, however it comes out on stage. I feel betrayed by the people I'm part of, these creatures, these magnificent creatures.
- Mother Jones Magazine, March/April 1997
- [On the existence of God] No. No, there's no God, but there might be some sort of an organizing intelligence, and I think to understand it is way beyond our ability. It's certainly not a judgmental entity. It's certainly not paternalistic and all these qualities that have been attributed to God. It's probably a dispassionate... That's why I say, "Suppose He doesn't give a shit? Suppose there is a God but He just doesn't give a shit?" That's the kind of thing that might be at work.
- After "Jammin' In New York", I went from a comedian who wrote his own material to a writer who performed his own material... I became socially conscious, and found I had something to say that wasn't too common.
- New York Times Interview, 1995
- Comedy is filled with surprise, so when I cross a line... I like to find out where the line might be and then cross it deliberately, and then make the audience happy about crossing the line with me.
- When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts … Germany lost the Second World War. Fascism won it. Believe me, my friend.
- Real Time with Bill Maher, September 9, 2005
- The difference between left and right of center … originated in the French parliament. The people left of center were liberals; the people right of center were conservatives. Broadly speaking. And generally speaking, people on … the right of center, are interested in property values, property, property rights. The rights and the rights of property. And generally speaking again – it's all generalized – the left-of-center people are more concerned with humans and human beings and human concerns; to the care of humans, not the care and worry about property rights. That's generally been true. And Bush is pushing this country farther down the hill, faster than anyone has before.
- Real Time with Bill Maher, September 9, 2005
- The things that matter in this country have been reduced in choice, there are two political parties, there are a handful insurance companies, there are six or seven information centers...but if you want a bagel there are 23 flavors. Because you have the illusion of choice!
- Bill Maher's program on ABC
- We are on a nice downward glide. I call it circling the drain ... And the circles get smaller and smaller and faster and faster, if you watch the sink empty... Huish! And we'll be gone. And that's fine. I welcome it. I wish I could live 1000 years to watch it happen. From a distance — so I can see it all.
- Archive of American Television, from one of Carlin's final interviews (2008)
- I gave up on this stuff. I gave up on my species and ... I gave up on my countrymen. Because I think we squandered great gifts. I think humans were given great great gifts: walking upright, binocular vision, opposable thumb, large brain ... We grew. We had great gifts, and we gave it all up for both money and God ... We gave it all up to superstition, primitive superstition, primitive shit ... Invisible man in the sky, looking down, keeping track of what we do, make sure we don't do the wrong thing, if we do, he puts us in hell, where we burn forever. That kind of shit is very limiting for this brain we have. So we keep ourselves limited. And then we want a toy and a gizmo and gold and we want shiny things, and we want something to plug in that will make big big big things for us... And all that shit is nothing! It's nothing.
- Archive of American Television, from one of Carlin's final interviews (2008)
- You know what, I said it this way: when you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat. And some of us get to sit there with notebooks. And I'm a notebook kind of guy: [pretends to be taking notes] "Oh, my God, did you see that? Did you see what he just did?..." And I watch the freak show, and I kept my notes, and I make up stuff about it, and I talk about the freaks. And the freaks are all humans, and they are all like me, and we are all the same. I'm not better, I'm not different, I'm just apart now. I'm separate, I'm over here, because I put myself out of the mix. I don't have a stake at the outcome. I'm not a cheerleader for a given outcome now.
- Archive of American Television, from one of Carlin's final interviews (2008)
- They say if you scratch a cynic, you'll find a disappointed idealist. And I would admit, that somewhere underneath all this there's a little flicker of a flame of idealism that would love to see it all — huish! — change. But it can't happen that way. And incremental change — it just seems the pile of shit is too deep.
- Archive of American Television, from one of Carlin's final interviews (2008)