Today on the Comedy Cast we have an interview with Ashley Sander a stand-up comedian and podcaster from Florida and we speak to Luke Griffiths from English band False Heads ahead of their two Irish shows. We speak about Louis CK’s return to comedy and George Carlin is our Legend of Comedy.
Hello and welcome back once again to The Comedy Cast and if this is your first time joining us then you’re very welcome along. We hope you liked our bonus episode on Monday and let us know here or on social media if that’s a format you’d like us to keep on doing.
Today on the Comedy Cast we’re joined by American stand-up comedian Ashley Sanders, English band False Heads and myself and Seamus we speak about the controversy about Louis CK returning to stand-up comedy and George Carlin is our Legend of Comedy.
We kick off the podcast with our interview with Ashley Sanders. Ashley is a stand-up comedian from Florida and has been on the scene there for a few years now. She also runs a fantastic podcast called Who’s This, a podcast where she conducts longform interview with people from all walks of life involved in all kinds of different stratospheres.
Next up on the podcast we speak about Louis CK’s return to stand-up comedy. We go deep on the story behind the story here and speak about the issue of consent and forced consent. Sure Louis has apologised, but still, there’s still something that feels very wrong about the whole thing. We won’t get into it here but we speak at length about it and we’d like to know your thought to, so don’t be shy about emailing in or getting in touch on social media.
Luke Griffiths of False Heads joins us there for our music interview. False Heads are an English three piece who have been making waves since the release of their first EP, Gutter Press last year. They’re a fantastic band who are pretty difficult to pigeon hole, taking influences from punk to mod, from doom to guitar pop. They’re one of the most exciting bands to come out of England in quite a while and they’re destined for big things. Getting them on the show at this point in their career is something special.
Luke and Spud speak about False Heads’ influences, their songwriting process and how they dealt with the added pressure of being labelled “the future of Rock and Roll”.
Legend of Comedy, George Carlin
George Dennis Patrick Carlin was born on May 12th 1937. Our Irish listeners will of course know that his father was Count Donegal and his mother was the daughter of Irish emigrants to America. Their marriage wasn’t a happy one though and they separated only two months after wee George was born, his father’s alcoholism being the problem.
Raised Catholic by his mother, George Carlin was in and out of school over the years, as in he was kicked out of a couple along the way for his behaviour and in his own words was raised on the mean streets of White Harlem. Morningside Heights, didn’t have the same ring to it but White Harlem gives a more appropriate picture of a tough neighborhood of Irish, Italian, Polish immigrants, poor white Europeans basically.
The only thing that did seem to go right for him in childhood though was that year on year at summer camps he would always come home with drama awards.
Upon finishing school he joined the Air Force and worked as a radar tech. But again his lack of respect for authority was plain to see, he was court marshaled on three occasions and was given a general discharge in 1957. He did though also work as a DJ during his time and this seems to be what gave him the impudence to try stand-up comedy.
Two years later George Carlin met Jack Burns while working in Texas as a DJ, they formed a comedy group and within a year they had gone from gigging at a local beat coffeehouse…(why don’t Americans call them cafes?) they had gotten a gig on California radio station and moved to Hollywood.
During this time Carlin became a regular on The Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson, he was so loved by the audience and the management alike that he would regularly substitute for Caron when he was away.
Carlin was arrested on the same night that Lenny Bruce was for obscenity. When asked for Id by the cops, Carlin said he didn’t believe in Government-issued IDs so the cops threw him into the back of a wagon along with Bruce.
George Carlin grew his hair and changed his suits for jeans and t-shirts, some of the established shows stopped booking him but Carlin was earning close to a ¼ million dollars per year, he had his fan base now and he went on the offensive. He went full hippy and full on anti-establishment during the hippy years in America and he became the comic voice of his generation.
On July 21 1972, Carlin was arrested for his Seven Words you Can Never Say on Television in Milwalkee. The case was finally dismissed at trial where the judge said that while the words were indecent Carlin had the freedom to use them so long as they didn’t cause a disturbance. In 73, a member of the public lodged a complaint after he heard his son repeating some of Carlin’s words that were broadcast, the FCC upheld the complaint and on appeal to the US Supreme Court they also upheld the complaint and that the FCC had the right to prohibit such broadcasts from public radio.
These controversies, like all controversial for comedians, besides sexual ones of course, only helped Carlin reach an even wider audience.
At the height of this fame Carlin stopped performing on the road and instead took to recording HBO comedy specials. He could command a huge fee and why bother touring when you could make millions from on show from time to time?
He did return to the stage in the 80s and in the 90s he began acting, first in Outrageous fortune alongside Bette Middler and Shelley Long and then in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure which gave him popularity with a whole new generation….like me.
In 1993 he worked on the George Carlin Show with Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon and Carlin said it was one of the best times of his life, he played a taxi driver but he wanted to return to stand-up. In 2004 he hit the headlines for being fired from his Las Vegas residency when he pretty much told an audience to get fucked and said he wanted to hit the road and perform to real audience and not Vegas ones.
During this time he entered a drug rehab programme for addiction to alcohol and Vicodan and had suffered three heart attacks along the way. In 2008 he died of heart failure at the age of 71.
Quote: Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
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