Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin

Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin

James Sullivan

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 0306819694

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Journalist and cultural critic James Sullivan tells the story of Alternative America from the 1950s to the present in this definitive biography of the Catholic boy for whom nothing was sacred: George Carlin. Seven Dirty Words is a hilarious and insightful read, documenting the life and art of the legendary comic, provocateur, and social critic who fearlessly questioned the American way of life through the words we use.

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sure of it”: Tony Orlando and Patsi Bale Cox, Halfway to Paradise (St. Martin’s Griffin 2003), 153. 171 “You can’t be the hot new guy”: Interview, Archive of American Television. 172-173 “It would seem to be an American Negro invention”: Ashley Montagu, The Anatomy of Swearing (Macmillan, 1967), 313. 173-174 “a classic case of burning the house”: Heins, Not in Front of the Children, 101. 174 “because it is neither a sexual nor excretory organ”: Heins, Not in Front of the Children, 102. 175

Berman, [Don] Rickles.” During the 1960 presidential campaign, the magazine sponsored a mock candidacy by the manic stream-of-consciousness comic “Professor” Irwin Corey. “We did a promotion with him at what was called Bughouse Square, a park on the Near North Side of Chicago,” says Hefner. Corey joined the soapboxers in Washington Square, well known as a haven for free speech, to announce his candidacy. After John Kennedy was elected, Hefner received a call from the new president’s father,

stage of the Café Au Go Go in Greenwich Village, where Lenny Bruce had been arrested for saying the word cocksucker. Or it was born at age thirteen, when he discovered the skewed analytical benefits of smoking marijuana, or when Brother Conrad helped the budding voice artist purchase a primitive Webcor tape recorder, or even earlier than that, when his mother instilled in her second son a lifelong reverence for the dictionary. In truth, his actual birth was a mistake. George Denis Patrick Carlin

class cut-up doing time in Father Jablonski’s detention hall. The host also wanted to know whether Carlin’s change had made him a better person, a better comic. “I don’t know about ‘better,’” he replied. “It’s made me more efficient.” His old repertoire of silly characters had effectively crowded out the real George Carlin from his own act, he said. “I was hiding behind these things. Television rewarded that. . . . I was not in my act anymore.” This time, it was Lennon who chuckled

doesn’t have another meaning. . . . Even in a Walt Disney movie you can say, ‘We’re gonna snatch that pussy and put him in a box.’” Stand-up comedy now belonged to the rock ’n’ roll era, and Carlin was suddenly the leader of the band. Still a few years before Steve Martin would become wildly popular for walking onstage with a fake arrow through his head and the cast of Saturday Night Live would debut in bee suits, the comedians of the early 1970s were working with their most basic

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