December 28, 2004


Comedian George Carlin Enters Rehab (Reuters, December 28, 2004)

Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero who gained fame with routines about drugs and dirty words, said Monday he was undergoing treatment for excessive use of alcohol and prescription painkillers.

"I'm going into rehab because I use too much wine and Vicodin," Carlin, 67, whose latest book "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?" is a national bestseller, said in a statement. "No one told me I needed this; I recognized the problem and took the step myself."

The announcement came weeks after the veteran stand-up comic caused a stir at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a performance that questioned the intellect of people who visit the resort city.

According to media accounts of the incident, Carlin's bit about "moronic" Vegas tourists touched off a bitter, profane exchange with members of the audience, including one woman who shouted "Stop degrading us."

Carlin has acknowledged having battled cocaine addiction in the 1980s but said he quit on his own by tapering off the drug. He also has suffered three heart attacks.

No one can poke fun at the cows we truly hold sacred, like Vegas.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 28, 2004 10:03 AM

Since Carlin has had substance abuse problems before the current administration came to power, you can't just assume that the November election and his current drug and alcohol problem are related. But combined with the tirade against the audience at the MGM Grand, it would be worth someone asking George if his problems have increased over the past seven weeks since the other George secured his victory.

Posted by: John at December 28, 2004 10:52 AM

It was supposed to be cute when saturday night live made fun of Rush Limbaugh's drug problems, but now we're supposed to adopt an attitude of somber concern for this unfunny chucklehead.

Posted by: M. Murcek at December 28, 2004 11:01 AM

"Stop degrading us"

Just a little to plaintive, eh?

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 28, 2004 4:13 PM

When I was 14, I thought Carlin was really funny. Then, I turned 15, and outgrew him.

If you go to a George Carlin concert, your intelligence should at least be subject to scrutiny.

Posted by: Bart at December 28, 2004 6:18 PM


There's an important lesson for you there.

Posted by: oj at December 28, 2004 6:25 PM

Carlin is funny as long as he doesn't lecture the audience, which he has done to great frequencies since the early '90's.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at December 28, 2004 6:48 PM

I was channel surfing a few days ago when I saw a documentary that followed Laura Bush on the fundraising/campaign trail. Wayne Newton introduced her at a Vegas fundraiser. For some reason that made me happy.

Posted by: JAB at December 28, 2004 7:39 PM


What could that be?

Posted by: Bart at December 28, 2004 7:55 PM


As you grow up you'll realize, with no little embarrassment, the immaturity of most everythin g you've said here.

Posted by: oj at December 28, 2004 8:16 PM

I'll plead guilty to egomania, arrogance, greed, brutality, self-centeredness, sadism, misanthropy, paranoia, alcoholism, obsessive-compulsiveness, a hygiene fetish(2 showers a day at least) and gluttony. However, I am nothing if not responsible, the keystone of maturity.

Posted by: Bart at December 28, 2004 8:47 PM

No, your immaturity is amply demonstrated by your belief that you are those other things when all you really are is foolish.

Posted by: oj at December 28, 2004 8:59 PM

You're the guy who believes in imposing a narrow theocracy reflecting your idiosyncratic views, and the guy who would give everyone else a wide berth so long as they don't negatively impact on him is the immature one. That's some dictionary you have.

Posted by: Bart at December 28, 2004 9:23 PM

> No, your immaturity is amply demonstrated by your belief that you are those other things when all you really are is foolish.

I can't speak for Bart, but I sure feel a little better now.

Posted by: Guy T. at December 28, 2004 9:26 PM

I certainly have a clearer picture of my own deepening maturity and of the growing edges within myself as a result of this thread. Thank you.

Posted by: Dave W. at December 28, 2004 10:56 PM


Don't worry, libertarianism is like thinking Carlin funny--you outgrow it.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2004 12:06 AM

I was never a fan of his, but he did at least once say something I thought was brilliant: that when you're driving, everyone else is either an idiot or a moron. An idiot is someone driving faster than you, and a moron is someone driving slower than you.

Posted by: PapayaSF at December 29, 2004 1:56 AM

No, your immaturity is amply demonstrated by your belief that you are those other things when all you really are is foolish.

You are really at your best when you avoid ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at December 29, 2004 3:29 PM


It's not ad hominem--it's simply an observation of fact.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2004 3:40 PM

For some reason this exchange reminds me of the story of a famous B.C. painter called Emily Carr. She had ropes tied to her chairs from the ceiling and whenever people came to visit her that she disliked she would pull the chairs up to the ceiling when they got up from them. Soon there were no chairs left to sit in and the unwanted guests would leave.

The internet has the benefit of muting personal prejudice based on visual clues, but eventually prejudice rules (as it should) and the mythology of people ever being persuaded or changing, from the day they are born to the day they die, is tossed out the window.

Posted by: Randall Voth at December 30, 2004 8:54 AM