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Carlin shows likely to be rescheduled

December 29, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Stand-up comedian and actor George Carlin has during his lengthy career poked fun at hundreds of taboo topics including religion, sports and drug use.

This week, Carlin's decision to enter a rehabilitation facility for his self-admitted addiction to wine and a popular painkiller was no joke.

Marlene Butler, a promoter who has booked Carlin's appearances for about 15 years, said she does not know what will become of the comedian's schedule in light of his announcement Monday that he is entering a drug rehabilitation facility. Butler said that although she had not yet spoken with representatives of The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown, Carlin's scheduled Jan. 28 shows there almost certainly will be postponed.

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Butler said she was shocked at the news.

"I found out when everybody else found out," Butler said. "In a couple of days, we should have a better handle on what we're doing."

Butler said that assuming next month's show is off, Carlin's Hagerstown appearance will be "definitely rescheduled," not canceled.

The Maryland Theatre already has sold more than 1,000 tickets for Carlin's Jan. 28 shows, said Pat Wolford, the theater's executive director. Wolford said Carlin was a hit with local audiences during his previous appearances in Hagerstown.

"Both shows (in January) would have sold out. He has sold out every time he's been here, and I expected him to do so again," she said.

Wolford, who was out of town Tuesday, said she likely would not speak with Carlin's representatives until next week. Wolford said that if the show is postponed to an alternate date, ticket holders will have the option of keeping their seats or receiving full refunds.

Wolford said she does not believe the turn of events would hurt ticket sales for any future Carlin appearances.

"I think it's a responsible thing to do, if you're George Carlin or a guy on the street, if you have a problem, to do something about it," she said. "It's an admirable thing to do, and I think people respect him a lot for doing it."

Carlin announced Monday, in a statement released by his publicist, that he had become dependent on wine and Vicodin and was entering an undisclosed facility. Carlin said he made the decision without being urged to so.

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