36. “Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.”
There’s no evidence George Carlin said this. It’s likely not his line.
“Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.”
I used to see this one on-line from time to time, but as usual it doesn’t show up on any of his albums, books, or HBO specials. I’ve seen it quoted a lot without any attribution, and it’s apparently a popular line among 12-step programs, but I still can’t find a reliable source for its authorship.
I suppose there’s a slim chance that Carlin said this in an interview talking about his own drug abuse history, which is really the only reason why I’m filing this as “likely not his” rather than “definitely not his”. But still, I doubt it. He was asked a lot about his history of drug use in his 1982 and 2005 interviews with Playboy magazine, as well as his 1997 interview with High Times magazine, but he never says the line in any of them. Never mind the fact that even if he did say it, I doubt he coined the phrase himself.