Rating: 4/10

First published: 1997

Author: George Carlin

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A collection of stand-up material from one of the greatest.


  • [About walkmans] I think a person has to be fairly uncomfortable with his own thoughts to have the need to block them out while simply walking around.
  • [About branded fashion] No one in this country owns his personal appearance anymore. America has become a nation of obedient consumers actively participating in their own degradation.
  • You know why hurricanes have names instead of numbers? To keep the killing personal. No one cares about a bunch of people killed by numbers. “200 dead as Number 3 slams ashore.” It is not nearly as interesting a headline as “Charlie kills 200.” Death is much more satisfying and entertaining if you personalised it.
  • The piercing movement is off to a good start. And I like the idea behind it: self-esteem through self-mutilation. I’ve always said, when in doubt, punch a hole in yourself.
  • The word “forte” is not pronunced “for-tey”, it’s pronounced “fort”.
  • I’m tired of “prodigal” being used to mean “wandering, given to running away, or leaving and returning.” The parable, in the Book of Luke, tells of a son who squanders his father’s money. Prodigal means recklessly wasteful or extravagant.
  • The phrase “sour grapes” does not refer to jealousy or envy. Nor is it related to being a sore loser. It deals with the rationalisation of failure to obtain a desired end. In the original fable of Aesop, the fox and the grapes, when the fox realises it cannot leap high enough to reach the grapes, he rationalises that even if he had gotten them, they’d probably have been sour anyway. Rationalisation.
  • Strictly speaking, celibate does not mean not having sex. It means not being married. No wedding. The practice of refraining from sex is called chastity or sexual abstinence. Priests don’t take a vow of celibacy; they take a vow of chastity.
  • A cop-out is not an excuse, not even a weak one. It’s an admission of guilt. When someone cops a police, he admits guilt on some charge. In exchange, he arranges for better treatment. He has copped-out.
  • An eye for an eye is not a call for revenge. It’s an argument for fairness.
  • Unique needs no modifier.
  • Healthy does not mean healthful. Healthy is a condition; healthful is a property. Vegetables aren’t healthy; they’re dead. No food is healthy, unless you have a eggplant that’s doing push-ups. Push-ups are healthful.