"Here's a question I've been pondering..."
Here's my big attempt to answer some questions and give other info about this site, Carlin's work, and other stuff I do. I've broken it down into sections:
- Questions about this site
- Questions about George
- Addressing bogus quotations
- About this site's author and his other projects
1) Questions about this site
Is this the official George Carlin website?
No. That would be GeorgeCarlin.COM. I'm just a fan who wanted to make his own George Carlin web site. I am in no way affiliated with the George Carlin estate, HBO, Atlantic Records, or Hyperion Publishing.
Why did you bother to make a George Carlin page? Isn't Wikipedia and GeorgeCarlin.com enough?
My main motivation for starting this site is an attempt to address and correct the many, many written pieces on the internet that have been falsely attributed to Carlin, and still continue to be falsely attributed to him to this day. (See the bogus Carlin quotations page for more information.) I also thought it would be nice to have a place that lists Carlin's vast catalog chronologically (as opposed to being categorized by medium -- albums, videos, etc.), and offer my analysis and opinions on his style and its evolution, while maybe also sharing some of my own Carlin memories. When the opportunity came to buy the "GeorgeCarlin.net" and "GeorgeCarlin.org" domain names from somebody, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to make it all happen.
As great as Wikipedia and GeorgeCarlin.com are, they have their limitations. Wikipedia isn't a suitable place to give personal opinions of somebody's work, or to even give facts and trivia without having to reference sources. I don't want to spend a lot of time writing something on Wikipedia, only to see it changed the next day by some schmuck who's probably never even bought a single George Carlin recording in his lifetime! As for GeorgeCarlin.com, to be honest it was never really updated all that frequently to begin with, personally I didn't like the format the last time I went there. In late 2012, GeorgeCarlin.com was revamped and "modernized" a bit which made it look nicer, but unfortunately a lot of great documents got removed in the process. That included Carlin's essay addressing bogus stuff on the internet that have been misattributed to him.
Also, keep in mind that before Wikipedia, it wasn't unusual for die-hard fans of a particular band or other entertainer to create their own "tribute" website. Some of them had redundant information you could have found elsewhere, but other times a fan-created site can end up being way more informative and up-to-date than "official" sites (Joe Siegler's excellent Black Sabbath site immediately comes to mind, compared to the "official" Black Sabbath site created by Sony records). In short, I'm a big Carlin fan who saw what was out there -- including Wikipedia -- and felt that I could do a better job. Most of what you see on this website, including the album track titles and times, details about the liner notes, etc. was all looked up and entered by me by hand, not even available on Wikipedia when I checked.
Why do you use arcane words like "album" and "video", especially on the discography page?
Contrary to popular belief, the word "album" isn't a synonym for "vinyl record". For that matter, "video" doesn't necessarily mean "VHS tape". In reality, the word "album" is a general term that refers to any sort of titled full-length audio recording, regardless of the physical format, otherwise known as its "medium". For example, Abby Road from The Beatles is an album. It's an album regardless of whether you have that album as a vinyl record, or have the album as a CD, or have the album as a cassette tape, or as an 8-track, or bought it from iTunes as a digital download. It's all the same album: Abby Road. The same goes for albums made in the past year that have never even been pressed on vinyl. And I say "full-length" because strictly speaking, things like singles, EPs, and 78 records might not be considered "albums" by most people. But an LP ("long play") is. And no, "LP" doesn't always mean "vinyl" either.
So, since George Carlin recorded and released many different titles on all of these different formats, rather than calling them "CDs" in some cases and "records" in another, I'm just calling them "albums". Likewise, he recorded many hour-long HBO specials that were later released on VHS and/or DVD, so these are going to be referred to as the "videos", "home video" or the "HBO specials". (His HBO specials were, as far as I know, the only full-length stand-up performances he ever released on home video.)
Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on.
Why does the discography list everything in chronological order, instead grouped by "albums", "videos" and "books" ?
I feel that this allows you to get a better look at the history of Carlin's works and how his style evolved over the years. Also, quite often Carlin would release the same work with the same title in multiple formats. For example, some HBO specials were released on both DVD and CD, and most of his books were available in print form and as abridged audio books. If I grouped things by medium, then I'd have to list "Playin' With Your Head" under both DVDs and CDs, or list "Napalm & Silly Putty" under both books and CDs, and so on.
Why don't you have [some CD, book, etc.] listed in the discography?
This site pretty much sticks with just the works that were composed by Carlin himself. So I've decided not to include things such as the movies he's starred in, unauthorized bootlegs, unauthorized compilations, and unofficial biographies that aren't recognized by the Carlin estate. Fortunately there aren't too many of these sorts of things, since unlike many other entertainers, Carlin had legal ownership of his own recordings. (When you see bands who have twenty different "Greatest Hits" compilations, don't blame the band -- it wasn't their idea.)
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2) Questions about George
Can you tell me when George was born, when he joined the army, how many kids he had, when he died, etc.?
If you're looking for general biographical information, I suggest reading the Wikipedia page on Carlin. Since Wikipedia does a good enough job with this sort of general biographical stuff, I decided there's no point in trying to duplicate it here. If you want to learn even more details about Carlin's life, buy and read the biography Last Words. Also, check out the links page for some links to interviews.
I found some quotation on the internet that was attributed to George Carlin. Did he really say it?
Please see the page on bogus Carlin quotations.
Carlin made so much stuff: all those HBO specials, albums, books...which ones are good?
My short answer is "ALL of them are good!", but obviously I'm biased. However, I know some people who only like his earlier material, and others who only like his later material. His style changed and evolved a lot over the years. I suggest reading through the discography, taking note of how I've broken things down into different eras.
Also, I wrote a guide on Amazon.com called "How to Get the Most George Carln Stuff For Your Dollar", explaining how to get the most amount of his stuff in as few purchases as possible, and also how to complete your collection if you only have some of his stuff. The shorter answer: getting the "All My Stuff" DVD box set (or if you're in the UK, the "Very Best of George Carlin" DVD sets), the "Little David Years" CD box set, and the book compiltion "An Orgy of George" is a way to get the far majority of his work in only 3 purchases.
Did George Carlin always release his HBO specials as albums? And was every album from an HBO special?
No. George Carlin didn't start doing specials for HBO until 1977, and by that time he already had several albums to his name. It wasn't until the mid 80s that he got into the regular practice of recording a performance for HBO, and then releasing that show as both an album and a home video. In fact, starting around the mid 1980s, Carlin's touring and recording schedule roughly followed this pattern: 1) record a new special for HBO, 2) release it both as a video (VHS/DVD) and an album (CD/cassette/vinyl), 3) tour around the US doing the same set list, 4) gradually drop routines from his set list and replace them with new routines over the course of touring, then 5) after about two years on the road, he'd have an entire new set of material, ready to record for HBO. Then the cycle would just repeat.
Again, this is just a rough pattern. There are exceptions here and there. There are a few cases where, say, the video version has a minute or two of extra material that didn't wind up on the album (audio) version, and some other cases where Carlin performs the same routines for both the album and video but they were recorded on two different nights. I do my best to explain any and all discrepancies on the discography pages.
Is there a George Carlin forum where I can hang out with other fans, to talk and learn about all things Carln?
There used to be one on the official page, GeorgeCarlin.com, where Carlin himself used to drop by on occasion. But it got overrun with spam and malware. The site got revamped over the years and the forum there was eventually scrapped. There's a new "Community Forum" there now, but I think it's terribly done. It looks like it was slapped together in the fall of 2012 and hasn't been changed since. Hardly any people, seemingly no way to contact admins or retrieve lost passwords, odd restrictive categories, and not to mention just bad web design stuff like no mask on the password field.
There's also an official George Carlin Facebook group. This one is pretty active, and I'm on there myself. Unfortunately it gets hijacked from time to time by a jackoff clique. The place has gotten so bad at times, that Kelly Carlin (George's daughter, who runs the group) has seriously considered pulling the line "official" from the title, if not dropping it entirely. If you're the kind of person who speaks up when you see factual errors (especially about Carlin), or don't happen to side 100% with every facet of left-wing politics, then prepare to be scorned and blocked by somebody or another. For example, here's what one of the cowards who blocked me tried to say behind my back (which I only got to see thanks to some of the other readers sending me a screen shot):
In reality, I didn't change names on my account or hide anything at all. My old Facebook account got converted from a personal profile to a fan page, which means I had to create a new account to start posting to Facebook as a person again. I kept the same avatar for the first week and explained the whole story on that forum and elsewhere, so that there wasn't any confusion. Still, cowards like this guy still went ahead and blocked me to make up their own stories. There's even another guy there who uses links to this page, but refers to me as a "nerd" for putting in the work. Go figure.
If you still want to post that forum, be my guest! Just prepare yourself for the bullshit and the drama.
As for other Carlin forums, I've seen them come and go, and I'm not too familiar with any right now. If you have any suggestions though, feel free to drop me a line.
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3) Addressing bogus Carlin quotes
Are there really a lot of writings on the internet that are falsely attributed to George Carlin, even though he never said them or wrote them? And is this really a problem?
YES and YES! In fact I have so much to say about this that I decided to make a whole separate page about it here.
I found a Twitter account named "GeorgeCarlin". Are the Tweets there the actual quoted words of George Carlin?
NO! At least for the most part. There are similarly "George Carlin" pages on Facebook and "George Carlin" blogs which are set up by some people who hust decided to post whatever comes to mind, whether or not it's related to George Carlin. See the page addressing bogus quotations for more details on how to spot a fake.
There is one official George Carlin Twitter account. It's run by Carlin's daughter, Kelly Carlin. That account is @TheGeorgeCarlin. Note the "The"! I think it was created in 2012 or 2013. I'd say the quotations you read there are safe to trust. Most of the shared quotations there come straight from his books, so you can verify them for yourself by checking the books.
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4) About the Site's Author
Who are you? And how did you get into George?
My name is Bill. I've been a fan of George Carlin ever since I was a kid growing up in the 1980s. The very first time I saw anything of Carlin's was his "Idiots and Maniacs" bit from Carlin on Campus, thanks to it being aired on Nickelodeon's Turkey TV. Sometime after that, a friend of mine would quote routines from Carlin at Carnegie that had me in stitches. I looked for whatever Carlin I could find on HBO and on VHS at the video rental store, then eventually started buying the video and album releases. Keep in mind that this was all before the internet was a household thing, so a lot of it came down to seeing what I could stumble across in stores.
I continued to watch, buy, and absorb whatever Carlin I could get a hold of. Besides the videos and albums (eventually upgraded to DVDs and CDs), I have some miscellaneous Carlin items like posters (one of which hangs framed in my bedroom), t-shirts, etc. I got to see him live in performance at least ten times, including the show that was filmed for "Complaints and Grievances". You could say I've been into his work with the same fervor as a fan who's into a particular rock star.
How can I contact you?
If you've got corrections or comments to send me, you can contact me at the email address below:
Yes, you'll have to read and type that in manually. Sorry, but the reason for this is that I've had problems in the past with spam bots, which are scripts people run to screen people's sites to harvest any email addresses they find and then send spam to them. So this helps avoid a lot of that.
Also when you email me, please let me know that it's this site that you're emailing me about. For example, you can put "GeorgeCarlin.net" in the subject line. I do a dozen other on-line projects, and a lot of these email addresses forwarded to the same place, so I can't always assume to know what somebody is talking about (e.g., an email with no subject line that just says "dude ur link on the page is broken").
"Hey Bill, I'm a huge Carlin fan, just like you! So that must mean you and I share the same exact views on religion, politics, drugs, the government, music, drugs, 9/11, GMOs, and Scientology, and the Illuminati, and drugs, and fruit-flavored tea, and Denis Leary, and drugs, and..."
No, not necessarily. So please don't assume.
What are the websites "APlaceForMyStuff.com" and "APlaceForMyStuff.org"?
"A Place For My Stuff" is my own personal blog. It's mostly centered around my battle at home with clutter and hoarding, though I post other stuff too. It's not necessarily a George Carlin site, even though it was named after a George Carlin album and routine about physical possessions. Both "aplaceformystuff.com" and "aplaceformystuff.org" will take you to the same site.
What about "DevilsMischief.com"? And what is "RadioFreeSatan.com"?
The Devil's Mischief is my comedy/novelty internet radio show (these days often referred to as a "podcast"). I've been doing it since 2003. Each week I play an hour of comedy and novelty which I deem to be "not for the masses", eschewing hacks and overly-trendy stuff. I do play Carlin on the show rather frequently, along with many other great comedians whom I feel are well worth listening to, spanning the old and the new. You can find out more at DevilsMischief.com. As for Radio Free Satan, that's the station that airs and distributes the show, among many other shows.
Who is "Satanbear"? Or "Satanbear D'Mischief"?
In real life, Satanbear is the given name for this 10-inch tall teddy bear of mine that sports a devil costume. I use him as the official mascot of my radio show, The Devil's Mischief (hence the last name). So I use him in photo shoots and videos to promote the show. I also created a Facebook page for Satanbear. Originally that Facebook page was just to promote the show, but eventually I started using Facebook for other things, so I just ended up using that account as my main profile. Unfortunately, it's against Facebook's rules to make personal profiles of non-human or fictional people, so I was forced to convert it from a personal profile to a fan "page", which converted the "friends" into "Likes", means I can no longer post comments on other pages, and so on. This was sometime in the first week of June, 2014. So I set up a new personal profile that I can now post stuff from. But the "Satanbear" page is still there for promoting the podcast, and it's still where I store and share a lot of the George Carlin quotation pictures I've made.
Are you a devil worshipper?
Is this site just a front to recruit people into joining some Satanic cult?!?
No. And besides, don't flatter yourself; most people aren't worth recruiting for anything.
"Hi, I'm an annoying religious zealot who wants to tell you the Good News about my relationship with my imaginary friend, Jesus/Allah/etc."
"Where can I illegally download a bunch of George Carlin stuff for free? You see, I'm a free-loader who has never bought a single George Carlin book/CD/DVD, has never paid for HBO, and never went to see him live. And I'm never going to spend money on his stuff, because I feel I'm perfectly entitled to illegally download 40 years of copyrighted material without ever paying for it."
Hey wait a minute, isn't your Podcast the same as illegally downloading stuff?!?
No. My station pays the necessarily licensing fees and follows the airplay rules of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). So feel free to enjoy the Carlin and other comedy I play on my podcast, The Devil's Mischief! It's legal and free for you, the listeners! Though if you really like something you hear, you really should buy it and support the artist and/or artist's estate. That especially goes for Carlin.
I think you're an asshole, Bill!
That's fine. Enjoy the website anyway.
(Though if you just scrolled down to the bottom of this page without really reading anything, who's the real asshole?)
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