Friday, March 09, 2012

George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words

                                        Title: George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words
                                                     Size: 12" x 24"
                                            Medium: Acrylics on Canvas

If you're a comedian and have never watched any of George Carlin's stand up, I feel like that's akin to a fantasy illustrator never bothering to look at any of Frank Frazetta's paintings. Carlin was a master comedian and word smith, and his body of work still hasn't been touched to this day (14 HBO specials, son!).

The routine he was most remembered for was his list of seven dirty words, and here they are, on canvas (and in order) for tonight's "Is This Thing On? 2" at Gallery 1988. You can watch Carlin break down his list and how he came to the seven words here in his stand up routine or you can watch him explain it to Chris Rock in this interview.

George Carlin also saved me from what I thought would be a boring speech class I had to take in high school. Being social and talking in from of big crowds was not on my list of fun things to do in high school. When I found out we had to do a speech or monologue in front of the whole speech class, I was beyond petrified, but also had no idea what to pick. I loved listening to my share of comedy albums growing up, and those guys talked in front of crowds. Would that be acceptable to do for this assignment? I asked my teacher if I could do a monologue from  one of Carlin's stand up routines. Thank god she said yes. All of a sudden, homework was fun for a change. I ended up memorizing the opening bit from Carlin's special, "Playing With Your Head", mixed in some other bits from that show (don't be mad George) and only kept one bad word in at the end for a good closer. Luckily, I didn't mess up, and because they were George Carlin's beautifully strung together words, it was a hit, and I passed the class. So, thank you George Carlin, for making homework fun, helping me pass speech class, making our English language interesting, and for making us laugh.

Anyway, if you have a minute, go to this link and fill out the very small form for naming a street after him in his hometown. After that, find another place for all your stuff, and then go pray to Joe Pesci.

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