The George Carlin Experiment

Reality Blog – by Clint Richardson 

You could say I grew up watching George Carlin.

He was always my favorite rhetoric-ist. The most logical. The most reasonable. He was in effect my only access to what I now know as the Trivium.

In my first 25 years of life, George Carlin’s material truly made me laugh at what could only be defined as Carlin’s hyper-realistic perspective stand-up routine. It was the most harsh and abusive form of truth intervention for the entire human species – and yet it was masked brilliantly as comedy.  

At around age 25, I attended an event in Las Vegas that was the beginning of my own transformation and incremental arrival into the over-exposure of hyper-reality Carlin spewed. This event was George Carlin, live at the Bally’s Casino resort. How wondrously excited I was to see up close and personal one of my few Idols in life. And the show went on…

But something was different.

Something just didn’t feel right.

George wasn’t the problem, for he was delivering his material just as rehearsed-ly as he always had, mentally re-ciphering eerily associative memory poems with endless lists of material and anecdotal stories with an almost autistic flair.

No, the problem laid elsewhere… It was the crowd. And it was myself.

I realize now as I listen to archives of the HBO and large older productions of Carlin’s televised stand-up routines that the audiences were given a bit of help. Laugh tracks were used to either replace or augment the seemingly jovial nature of the large audiences. Years of working in Hollywood sound departments helped my ears confirm the false stereo and room placement effect of certain “callers” within the otherwise echo-effected hall – their outbursts were out of place and sometimes non-situational. In other words, fake laughing was added to create the typical sitcom fake audience.

As I listened intently to and watched the live body language of the same old Carlin I was used to up on that stage, it seemed to me that somehow the material had changed… yet inevitably it had stayed exactly the same, with the same timeless delivery.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that in your mind you allowed it to be what you expected, even when you knew it was not? This was how my own cognitive dissonance played havoc on my conscious that night. For I realized something very disturbing as this man spoke with contempt.

George Carlin is not being funny. He is not telling jokes. In fact, George Carlin isn’t actually funny.

His disturbing truth is such a blow to anyone-whom-might-be-listening’s ego that the accepted response is a nervous laughter to match that of the crowd. I would bet that Carlin’s last thought before he received his standing-ovation and final laughs and cheers for the night was that each and every audience member out there cheering, at one time during this routine tonight thought to him or herself: “Yeah… the asshole he’s joking about right now is me…”. I’d even imagine he could feel and almost taste the difference in tonal quality between those who laughed genuinely and those who laughed to cover up their horror and dissonance relating to Carlin’s hyper-accurate satire.

For truly, no man has ever laid out the reality of the American way of life than did this man. No common blood man in his right mind can possibly think that anything Carlin stated about the actions and control by elite forces of the common man could be even close to funny. For George was revealing nothing but the rawest of reality, tearing it wide open, and relinquishing it upon the audience like a plague of truth. And I would imagine that George, if impossibly presented with this statement today, would simply and logically conclude that: ‘this very reasonably must mean that none of them are in their right mind. My statements, that are not jokes but instead a guide to the revelation of hell on earth, are greeted with belly-laughing and idiotic group-think cheers by 90% of the population?’

And so I laughed miserable and false laughs all night, wanting to fit into the crowd, and sometimes without really smiling, while in my heart I was taking in everything this brilliant commentator projected as his world view. In short, as far as comedy routines go, this one was horrific. I could sense the same reaction throughout the arena; while much of the audience went through the familiar simulation of comedy. But his words rang true, and I couldn’t help but notice the same disappointed sentiment traveling randomly throughout the audience.

Now, many years later, I know what I was feeling was not disappointment in a show that was not necessarily very funny, but instead I was empathizing with George’s live emotional state. He never laughs at his own “jokes”. He seldom tells any jokes, other than to cleverly end one of his painfully real appeals to reason and logic with an anecdotal happenstance.

No, the problem wasn’t George’s material, it was that his material was working on my soul… and it wasn’t funny.

And so I ask you to take the time to do a little experiment on yourself, like I did.

Here is a video of Carlin’s finest political satire and truth telling with laugh tracks added for effect. Click it and see if you laugh at his truth-telling. Perhaps the question “are you awake” fits nicely here, for those awakened to the truth of Carlin’s words would never justify laughing at not only their own sick society-based disposition but the very sickness of society and the government that kills to protect that sickness.

Maybe it’s just me, but I found this to be more sobering than any State of the Union speech ever delivered:

No smiles…

No laughs…

Just an agonizing presence and sobriety on stage mixed with hopeless comedic simulation with visions of a fat paycheck at the end. Here, truly was a man without hope, abandoning his faith in humanity long ago.

Now you might go watch the pain and contempt we call the comedy of Bill Hicks and see how it feels. I stopped laughing at him too.

This is the George Carlin sanity test – an experiment for the analysis of your own state of mind. I hope you passed, and I wish I could personally tell George I get it man… I finally get it. And you are not a funny man. Just a misunderstood brilliant prophet of the times.


–Clint Richardson (
–Saturday, January 11th, 2014

12 thoughts on “The George Carlin Experiment

  1. excellent montage of his brilliant routines. And thank you again..cause I realized he was born on the same day my Persian cat was..Rasputin 15 lbs of the most beautiful hairy pussey..and he goes in the bathtub..this cat could care less about kitty litter..if ya ask me old carlins soul is in that cat..

      1. My apologies for going off topic here, but I have to ask Digger some questions.

        Digger, when you were talking about sprouting seeds on glass window frames, do you sprout them in a sunny location, or indoors away from the sun? How do you protect them from “flying pests”?

        Thanks Digger and again my apologies to everyone else.
        . . .

        1. Actually Cathleen it really doesn`t matter. In fact me and a freind of mine used to sell alfalfa sprouts to the local fast food joints as a replacement to lettuce on their sandwiches. Anyway we grew our sprouts on those sliding glass door panes I was talking about and they were in a basement with only one small window. We would grow them for about 5 – 7 days in semi lioght conditions and then we would turn on a 1000 watt metalic halide for only ten munutes and they would green up as if they weer growing in full sunlight 🙂 no foolin . Ha I started some alfalfa seeds for sproutin two days ago – they are over a year old and were under bad storing conditions and now two days later they are finally starting to germinate 🙂 They are old though understand. Say Cathleen we could go tot he PUB if you like. 🙂 or we can continue here. Like I said If I can be of any help just ask and I will be of all the assisstance that I can to the best of my knowledge for us all. I would be proud to assisst ya. 😎 P.S. In fact the sprouts that I started two days ago were started in a glass pie plate and because of my cat I am doing them in a toaster oven so the cat doesn`t mess with them, my cat loves to destroy anything I do like this. LOL Cathleen make sure you keep them sprouts moist/wet ok 😉 P.S. Cathleen , I never had a problem with pests like flying insects or mice and such. Relax Cathleen, you worry too much about this, you will do just fine, I am sure of it. Do not be afraid of asking me if you got questions or anything OK !!!!!!!! 🙂

          1. Thanks Digger. You have really helped me out alot by answering my questions here. I appreciate it so much. Sounds like you’ll have a healthy crop soon. 🙂
            . . .

  2. A funny realist that not enough audiences listened to his story line…….DON’T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT! Continue to fight for Liberty, Freedom, Justice & Truth

  3. Although George was spot on about a lot of things, how do you guys feel about his viewpoints on Religion? I know that can be a sensitive topic, but that’s the only thing that disturbs me. Anyone else cringe somewhat when he gets that point?

    1. NC, ya do not have to be a bible thumper or politically correct or say the right things to be a good god fearing good christian, Hell ya do not even have to say your hail marys and all of that bs crap – at least as to how I see it. God does not discriminate or has ways as to how ya see/worship does he ?? I hope I don`t go to hell if I don`t have money to put in the plate as it is pased around if ya know what I`m sayin, `cause if he does then I don`t want to be a part of it. 😎 P.S. actually I think that god and JC would be outright discusted with group religeon because religeon is personal between man and god and is nobodies business IMOHO .

  4. I can honestly say….. when I first seen this skit, back then, I was very pissed. The truth is so ugly but it needs to be told. Thanks to G.C. I see now that you should be considered the original truther.

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