On stage at The Maryland Theatre ... George Carlin

January 27, 1999

George CarlinBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

George Carlin doesn't really tell jokes. He tells you what he's thinking, and he seems to be thinking - about almost everything - all the time.

He'll be "Doin' It Again" - that was the title of one of his HBO concert shows - Saturday, Jan. 30, at 7 and 9 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

The 61-year-old comic-philosopher was born in New York City and has been in show business for more than 40 years.

[cont. from lifestyle]

He began his professional career in radio at the age of 19 in Shreveport, La., while serving in the U.S. Air Force doing electronic maintenance on B-47s. He worked at a Boston radio station, then at KXOL in Fort Worth, Texas, where he teamed up with newsman Jack Burns to begin developing comedy routines. They worked together for three months as morning disc jockeys in Hollywood, Calif., quit radio in June 1960, and worked nightclubs as Burns and Carlin. They were on "The Tonight Show" with Jack Parr in their two years together before splitting to pursue solo careers.


Carlin worked nightclubs, and in 1963 he branched out into folk clubs and coffee houses, including in his act the more outspoken, irreverent material that was closer to his heart. He spent two years at Greenwich Village's Cafe au Go Go, developing his comic style, including his "Wonderful Wino" and "Hippy Dippy Weatherman" bits that later showed up on lots of television performances that began in 1965.

In 1967, Carlin began to get back to his original goal of acting, but a couple of parts and numerous auditions brought him back to comedy. Between 1967 and 1970, he made 80 television appearances - on mainstream shows including those of Ed Sullivan, Tom Jones, Steve Allen, Jackie Gleason and Carol Burnett - and also worked in major nightclubs.

The times they were a-changin', and Carlin with them. He grew a beard and began to dress more casually. His career took a sharp turn in 1970 when he was fired from the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas for saying one of the seven dirty words. After that one word was joined by the other six in Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" routine on the airwaves in 1972, the United States Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on the broadcast of "offensive" material during times when children might be listening.

It also led Carlin to be true to himself and his comic view.

He got a recording contract in 1972, and his first album, "FM & AM," went gold and won a Grammy award. Ten of his albums have been nominated for Grammys.

Carlin has had success and wide exposure in another broadcast medium - cable television. His Home Box Office specials have won the cable industry's highest honors and his 1992 live performance, "Jammin' in New York," earned Carlin his second straight CableACE award and an Emmy nomination. The show's CD won the 1993 Grammy for best spoken-word comedy album.

The year 1992 brought two additional Emmy nominations - this time for Carlin's portrayal of Mister Conductor on the children's television show "Shining Time Station."

Carlin's first book, "Sometimes A Little Brain Damage Can Help," was published in 1984 and has sold more than 70,000 copies.

"Brain Droppings," his second book, was published on his 60th birthday and spent 18 weeks on the New York Times best seller list, selling more than 300,000 hardcover copies.

It contains Carlin's many musings.

On words: The peanuts without the shells are called "shelled." Chicken without bones is called "boned." Think about it.

On sleep: He calls it a really bizarre activity - you lose consciousness for a while, wake and resume your life. It's like science fiction and nobody thinks twice about it - except Carlin.

There are only a few tickets left for Saturday's shows.

You might want to think about that.

George Carlin, Comedian

  • Saturday, Jan. 30, 7 and 9 p.m.
  • The Maryland Theatre

    21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

  • Tickets cost $24.50 and $28, plus $1.50 service charge.
  • For information, call the theater at 301-790-2000.
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