Quint over at Ain't It Cool News posted a very heartfelt memory he had of Carlin...he was 14 years old and Carlin called him on the phone...
Quint at Ain't It Cool News wrote:
When I was a child my mom hid only one VHS from me. It was a tape that had two movies recorded off of HBO: Cronenberg's The Fly and Aliens. I don't know why that tape. I had pretty free reign to watch whatever I wanted. Case in point, I used to get in trouble at school reciting George Carlin bits to my friends. For some odd reason it was George Carlin and Bill Cosby that I'd do.http://www.aintitcool.com/node/37182
And I'm no extrovert, no big public speaker. That was pretty big shit for me to do, put myself out there. I just loved Carlin's material and I loved making people laugh using the material, be it neighborhood kids, relatives or at school (where it was the big no-no).
When I was 12 I moved to Texas. My first year in high school I took Journalism 101 because I wanted to write for the newspaper later in high school. It was around this time that George Carlin came through town, playing at the wonderful Paramount Theater. My stepdad and I got tickets to his show and I asked my Journalism teacher, Mrs. Lubke, if I could cover the concert for the newspaper (she also oversaw that). Keep in mind, this wasn't more than 2 months into my first semester and they agreed.
So I went to the show and it was awesome. The energy he had was just as impressive as it was on his records and HBO specials I was addicted to.
Afterwards, at the urging of my stepdad, I stuck around to see if I could get a couple words with Carlin for the article. After about half an hour, a guy in a purple shirt came out on stage and talked to the two or three people who stuck around. It wasn't Carlin, it was his manager Jerry Hamza.
I pleaded my case. I was a freshman in high school, I was writing up the concert for the school newspaper... could I have an interview?
No, said Mr. Hamza. George was tired, but... BUT... he might be able to talk to me over the phone a week later. He gave me his business card and I told him "It's just a high school newspaper, so no pressure or anything." "That's why I think he'll do it," he told me.
So I set it up and a couple weeks later I'm sitting in my kitchen waiting for the phone to ring. He was supposed to call at 2pm sharp and like you see in the movies, the second hand hit 12 and the big hand moved over marking 2pm and the phone rang.
I dug up this tape a year or two ago, so it's no exaggeration when I say it began like this:
George Carlin: Hi, George Carlin. How are ya'.
8 seconds later...
This was my first interview ever. Not my first celebrity interview, mind you. My first interview ever. I was 14 years old.
We hadn't even began interviewing our classmates in J101 yet.
I took this really seriously. I had a week head time once the interview was locked and I hit the library. I found books on comedy, books on Carlin, researched the obscenity trials, found out some banal trivia... the works. So I threw everything I had at him. I mentioned reading that he got fired from his first job... don't remember exactly where it was... maybe a TV news station. Wherever it was, he got fired for stealing the company van and disappearing for 2 days.
I asked him, "So, where did you go?" He laughed (I remember this part very fondly). It wasn't a mean laugh, it was a very warm laugh and he said he probably just went to Long Island and got high with his buddies, but he chuckled the whole way.
Aside from being very green, I was extremely nervous and I told him so right at the beginning of the interview. He said, "Forget about it. Let me tell you something. One thing I've learned is if you go through life and don't give a fuck you'll find yourself a happier person."
I had a little under 15 minutes on the phone with him before all was said and done. Of course my high school paper couldn't print half the interview, thanks to Mr. Carlin's always dependable filthy mouth, but it was a huge turning point in my life.
If he had been a huge douche to me, I probably never would have pursued more interviews and part of what Harry saw in me when I started hanging around was that I was out there hunting down interviews.
One thing I'll always remember about the man is how the interview ended. I finished my questions and I said that was it... and I'm sorry if it really sucked, but it was my first interview. Very warmly he told me I did fine and that next time he came through Austin I should let myself be known to his people because he wanted to shake my hand.
I saw him perform again a couple years ago... I found Mr. Hamza and told him what Mr. Carlin said. Unfortunately, I caught him between the afternoon show and the evening show at the tail end of his tour and Jerry said it'd have to wait until next time.
There won't be a next time now, but I feel extremely privileged to have spoken to one of my idols and to have it be such a warm experience. I can't say this about many people, but George Carlin directly had a hand in steering me to where I am now. He gave me the confidence to talk to celebrities, no matter how much I idolized them and that if I worked hard enough and was persistent enough I could talk to anybody I wanted.
George Carlin will always be a giant in the world of comedy and he's a giant to me personally. This has been a tough week for me. It feels like my icons and heroes are peeling away one by one. I hope to god this is it for a while. I don't know if I can take another punch-to-the-gut loss without becoming a blubbering mess.
Harry suggested I dig up that old tape and give it a listen... transcribe it for you guys... Outside of being extremely embarrassing for me personally, I just might do that in tribute to the man who meant so much to me.
My thoughts tonight will be with Mr. Carlin, his family, friends and fans.
<---also includes some comedy bits of Carlin
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