13. “Religion is like a pair of shoes … find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”

Similar to something else George Carlin said, but not his words:

“Religion is like a pair of shoes … find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”

This was presumably an attempt to quote Carlin’s routine from the 1970s where he compares religion to a shoe lift. There are two notable appearances of this routine. One was from Carlin’s appearance as the host of the very first episode of Saturday Night Live (October 11, 1975, NBC). The exact quote was:

Religion…religion, at best – at BEST – is like a lift in your shoe. If you need it for a while, and it makes you walk straight and feel better, fine. But you don’t need it forever, or you can become permanently disabled. Religion is like a lift in the shoe, and I say just don’t ask me to wear your shoes. And let’s not go down and nail lifts onto the natives’ feet.

The other notable appearance of this routine is from his album An Evening with Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo (1975). The track is titled “Religious Lift”:

Religion is like a lift in your shoe. It’s important, sometimes. And it helps you walk straight, for a while, however long you need it. That’s the secret. ‘How long do I need it?’ It’s like anything else you think you need for any length of time, ‘How long do I need it’? As long as you’re pullin’ your own coat – nice! As long you know who’s in control or why you’re not, OK. […] Like I say: religion is a lift in your shoe, man. If you need it, cool. Just don’t let me wear your shoes if I don’t want ‘em. And we don’t have to go down and nail lifts on to the natives’ feet!

I’ve seen some source transcribe this as “your own Coke” instead of “your own coat”, but I’m going with “coat”. The expression “to pull somebody’s coat” about something means to personally teach something or give a person some other information that they weren’t aware of. I had to look that one up! In this case, “pulling your own coat” to me implies learning lessons and what not from your own actions, as opposed to always getting all of your answers from somebody else. This makes a lot more sense to me that “pulling your own Coke”!