Comedian Flip Schultz sent FBLA this email:
I’m sitting in my hotel room in Vegas, looking out of my window at the lights and the desert, and I’m thinking of George Carlin. I just found out that he passed away today, and I’ve got to be honest, I’m really sad. I mean, I’m sadder than I figured I would be about this. When anyone dies, it’s a somber occasion, but (for me anyways) when the person is not a great friend or family member, I don’t get too broken up about it.
George was not a great friend, nor a family member, but I still knew him on a slightly personal level and respected the hell out of him as a comedian. Yet, I’m almost crying for him right now because I feel that the world has lost someone great. I almost feel like I’m mourning for the world.
I know, I know, it sounds stupid and over-blown, but that’s what I’m feeling.
I haven’t seen George in over 4 years (not in person anyways) but I have nothing but fond memories of him.
I’ve told this story to friends before, but I’m not sure if I ever blogged about it.
Back when I was being managed by Jerry Hamza (who is also George’s manager) I was given the amazing opportunity to open for George a few times. The very first time was in Florida…Naples, I believe. Anyway, I’m backstage, nervous and pacing, when Jerry comes up to me and said, “You’re on in 2 minutes.” So the sweat is starting to flow and I’m just trying to remember my jokes. All of a sudden….
The doors swing open down the hall and George comes struting in and he’s almost singing the following words, “Cock-suckers, you fucking cock-suckers…” And I just laughed and it totally put me at ease.
He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Hey Flip, I’m really looking forward to see your show, I’m just going to put my shit away”
So I go onstage, do about 10 minutes and I did really well…despite the fact that I knew George was watching me from the wings; which made me very nervous.
So I get offstage and George puts his arm around me and said, “Jeez kid, you’re funny. You’re like an ostrich on PCP!” Which has become my favorite quote to tell people.
Actually, when I asked him if I can use that quote for my bio he said, “Sure…actually what’s funnier? PCP or angel-dust?” I said, “I think PCP” and he said, “Yeah, PCP is funnier.”
I remember him telling me never to throw away an idea for a joke; you’ll never know when you might figure out how to make it funny.
He was a consummate professional, always honing his craft.
Damn, I’m truly broken up about this right now.
This might sound morbid or weird, but I almost feeling lucky that I was on stage performing when he passed. What I mean is that when someone like that dies; someone who was (literally) a comedy-god/legend, I’d like to think that before his spirit went out into the universe maybe it stopped for a second at every comedy club in the world to leave a bit of himself on every stage and with every comic…and he maybe even stayed a little longer at my show to tell me that I’m still an ostrich…or a cock-sucker. 🙂
I’ll tell you one thing, God is going to get a big talking to when he gets there.
He was an atheist (George, not God) and even if there is a God, I’m sure George would still try to find a way to disprove it.
“George, welcome to heaven. I’m God” – “Bullshit!”
The one thing you have to admire (well, there are hundreds of things to admire) but one of them was that he never stopped doing comedy. He never stopped touring, he would still play clubs now and then to work material out. A professional (and a true comedian) til the end.
Like I said before, I’m playing Vegas right now…and he was just here last week! How amazing is that?
He’s someone that, as a comedian, I can’t help but yern to have the career that he has had.
And you can’t help but wonder how many more HBO specials he could’ve done.
I guarantee that he had at least five to six more hours of material in his notebooks that he was working on for future specials.
I remember him telling me that he had over 1500 files on his computer of shit he hadn’t begun to workout yet. As a matter of fact, when I did work with him that time he told me that while he was working on an hour for his upcoming HBO special (at that time, it was “Complaints and Griveances”) he had 15 minutes of material already worked out for the special AFTER that one!
Seriously, an amazing man.
George, I know I speak for the comedy world when I say, that we’ll all miss everything you’ve ever said, and everything you hadn’t said yet…you cock-sucker. 🙂