Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers: On George Carlin

In today’s newspapers, Jerry Seinfeld wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times appreciating the late George Carlin, who had just joked about evading death to Seinfeld mere days ago. The quote most will focus on:

You could certainly say that George downright invented modern American stand-up comedy in many ways. Every comedian does a little George. I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve been standing around with some comedians and someone talks about some idea for a joke and another comedian would say, “Carlin does it.” I’ve heard it my whole career: “Carlin does it,” “Carlin already did it,” “Carlin did it eight years ago.”

And he didn’t just “do” it. He worked over an idea like a diamond cutter with facets and angles and refractions of light. He made you sorry you ever thought you wanted to be a comedian. He was like a train hobo with a chicken bone. When he was done there was nothing left for anybody.

And in today’s New York Post, Joan Rivers wrote a column also in praise of Carlin, who met him in 1961 when they both looked up to Lenny Bruce, and how even Bruce knew that Carlin "was the next one."

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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