Like many, I was unaccountably sad to hear of the passing of George Carlin. As a member of Generation X, to my shame I have to say that the first time he entered my consciousness was as Rufus from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. To me, Rufus the mentor was sage, a little wisecracking, but always benevolent.
At first I was bemused when I learned that he was a shocking, counterculture humorist. Gentle Rufus? Say it isn’t so! Of course, since I was a snot-nosed teen, I was all-too thrilled to catch up with his edgy brand of humor that challenged taboos, crossed lines, offended/delighted many and reflected many of my unvoiced feelings about society.
Last September I was lucky enough to have caught him live at the Universal Amphitheatre in Hollywood. Although I can’t remember the particulars (except for a joke about incest and menstruation in the Ozarks I can’t share here), I just recall he was in fine form that evening.
A few jokes from his career:
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it."
"Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?"
"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
Gentlemen … we’re history. What are your favorite memories of Carlin?