Last Words

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This ebook features added multimedia content: an interview with George Carlin’s daughter Kelly about life with her dad, and a tribute video with interviews with Susie Essman, Michael Ian Black, Richard Belzer, George Wendt, and Jeffrey Ross, who talk about Carlin’s incredible ability to make people laugh.

One of the undisputed heavyweight champions of American comedy, with nineteen appearances on the Johnny Carson show, thirteen HBO specials, five Grammys, and a critical Supreme Court battle over censorship under his belt, George Carlin saw it all throughout his extraordinary fifty-year career, and made fun of most of it. Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acerbic humor with never-before-told stories from his own life, including encounters with a Who’s Who of 1970s celebrity—from Lenny Bruce to Hugh Hefner—and the origins of some of his most famous standup routines. Carlin’s early conflicts, his long struggle with substance abuse, his turbulent relationships with his family, and his triumphs over catastrophic setbacks all fueled the unique comedic worldview he brought to the stage. From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, Last Words is told with the same razor-sharp wit and unblinking honesty that made Carlin one of the best-loved comedians in American history
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About the author

Born in New York City in 1937, George Dennis Patrick Carlin was one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time. He appeared on “The Tonight Show” more than 130 times, starred in an unprecedented thirteen HBO Specials, hosted the first “Saturday Night Live” and penned three New York Times bestselling books. Of the twenty-three solo albums recorded by Mr. Carlin, eleven were Grammy nominated and he took home the coveted statue five times including a 2001 Grammy win for Best Spoken Comedy Album for his reading of his best seller Brain Droppings. In 2002, Carlin was awarded the “Freedom of Speech Award” by the First Amendment Center in cooperation with the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and he was the named eleventh recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in June of 2008. George Carlin passed away at age seventy-one on June 22, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.

Tony Hendra was recently described by The Independent of London as “one of the most brilliant comic talents of the post-war period” He began his comedic career with Graham Chapman of Monty Python, appeared six times on the Ed Sullivan Show, was one of the original editors of National Lampoon, edited the classic parody Not The New York Times, starred in This Is Spinal Tap, and co-created and co-produced the long-running British satirical series Spitting Image for which he was nominated for a British Academy Award. He has written or edited dozens of books, most of them satirical, with the exception of two New York Times bestsellers: Brotherhood (2001) and Father Joe (2004). He is a senior member of the Board of the nation-wide story-telling community, The Moth.

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4.6
56 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 10, 2009
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781439182932
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Features
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Humor / General
Performing Arts / Comedy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A hilarious new collection of razor-sharp observations from the New York Times bestselling author of Brain Droppings.

Few comics make the transition from stage to page as smoothly or successfully as George Carlin. Brain Droppings spent a total of 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and this new one is certain to tickle even more ribs (and rattle a few more cages) with its characteristically ironic take on life's annoying universal truths.

In Napalm & Silly Putty, Carlin doesn't steer clear of the tough issues, preferring instead to look life boldly in the eye to pose the questions few dare to ask:

How can it be a spy satellite if they announce on TV that it's a spy satellite? Why do they bother saying "raw sewage"? Do some people cook that stuff? In the expression "topsy-turvy," what exactly is meant by "turvy"?And he makes some startling observations, including:

Most people with low self-esteem have earned it. Guys don't seem to be called "Lefty" anymore. Most people don't know what they're doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.Carlin also waxes wickedly philosophical on all sorts of subjects, including:

KIDS--They're not all cute. In fact, if you look at them closely, some of them are rather unpleasant looking. And a lot of them don't smell too good either. DEATH ROW--If you're condemned to die they have to give you one last meal of your own request. What is that all about? A group of people plan to kill you, so they want you to eat something you like?Add to the mix "The Ten Most Embarrassing Songs of All Time," "The 20th Century Hostility Scoreboard," and "People I Can Do Without," and you have an irresistibly insouciant assortment of musings, questions, assertions, and assumptions guaranteed to please the millions of fans waiting for the next Carlin collection--and the millions more waiting to discover this comic genius.
The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly.

In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.”

Emmy and Grammy Award–winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times—the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
A key comic writer of the past three decades has created his most heartfelt and hard-hitting book. Father Joe is Tony Hendra’s inspiring true story of finding faith, friendship, and family through the decades-long influence of a surpassingly wise Benedictine monk named Father Joseph Warrillow.

Like everything human, it started with sex. In 1955, fourteen-year-old Tony found himself entangled with a married Catholic woman. In Cold War England, where Catholicism was the subject of news stories and Graham Greene bestsellers, Tony was whisked off by the woman’s husband to see a priest and be saved.

Yet what he found was a far cry from the priests he’d known at Catholic school, where boys were beaten with belts or set upon by dogs. Instead, he met Father Joe, a gentle, stammering, ungainly Benedictine who never used the words “wrong” or “guilt,” who believed that God was in everyone and that “the only sin was selfishness.” During the next forty years, as his life and career drastically ebbed and flowed, Tony discovered that his visits to Father Joe remained the one constant in his life—the relationship that, in the most serious sense, saved it.

From the fifties and his adolescent desire to join an abbey himself; to the sixties, when attending Cambridge and seeing the satire of Beyond the Fringe convinced him to change the world with laughter, not prayer; to the seventies and successful stints as an original editor of National Lampoon and a writer of Lemmings, the off-Broadway smash that introduced John Belushi and Chevy Chase; to professional disaster after co-creating the legendary English series Spitting Image; from drinking to drugs, from a failed first marriage to a successful second and the miracle of parenthood—the years only deepened Tony’s need for the wisdom of his other and more real father, creating a bond that could not be broken, even by death.

A startling departure for this acclaimed satirist, Father Joe is a sincere account of how Tony Hendra learned to love. It’s the story of a whole generation looking for a way back from mockery and irony, looking for its own Father Joe, and a testament to one of the most charismatic mentors in modern literature.
On the heels of George Carlin's #1 New York Times bestseller Napalm & Silly Putty comes When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?--infused with Carlin's trademark irreverent humor and biting cultural observations.

Here we go again . . . George Carlin's hilarious When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? offers his cutting-edge opinions and observational humor on everything from evasive euphemistic language to politicians to the media to dead people. Nothing and no one is safe!

Despite the current climate of political correctness, Carlin is not afraid to take on controversial topics:

Carlin on the media: The media comprises equal parts business, politics, advertising, public relations, and show business. Nice combination. Enough bull for Texas to open a chain of branch offices. Carlin on the battle of the sexes: Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. Carlin on hygiene: When did they pass a law that says the people who make my sandwich have to be wearing gloves? I'm not comfortable with this. I don't want glove residue all over my food; it's not sanitary. Who knows where these gloves have been? Carlin on evasive language: Just to demonstrate how far using euphemisms in language has gone, some psychologists are now actually referring to ugly people as those with "severe appearance deficits." Hey, Doctor. How's that for "denial"? Carlin on politics: No self-respecting politician would ever admit to working in the government. They prefer to think of themselves "serving the nation." To help visualize the service they provide the country, you may wish to picture the things that take place on a stud farm.The thinking person's comic who uses words as weapons, Carlin puts voice to issues that capture the modern imagination. For instance, why are there Ten Commandments? Are UFOs real? What will the future really be like? This brand-new collection tackles all that and more.

In When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? Carlin's razor-sharp observations demolish everyday values and leave you laughing out loud--delivering exactly what his countless fans have been waiting for.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • Esquire • Newsday • Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Praise for Born a Crime

 “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade

 “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today

“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
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