January 12th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
George Carlin

George Carlin: Well, I had always—I was a disc jockey.  I was in Shreveport Louisana, I had—I was out of the Air Force living with a roommate in an apartment building.  He worked at one radio station, I worked at another.  And he came home one night and said, “Man, I heard about this guy Lenny Bruce, you know.”  And I was a big fan of comedy and I knew that was my next step, “I’ll get out of radio, I’ll be a comic.”  And I liked—let’s see, that would have been nineteen fift—hold on for me a second here.  That would have been 1958 or nine.  So some of that ferment was, was begun, had begun and I was—I guess I knew some, about some of it.  But he said “Lenny Bruce,” and I didn’t know anything about Lenny Bruce.  And he got the album, “Interviews of Our Time,” on Fantasy Records, it was a combination—Henry Jacobs did the album and Lenny was on it, in a few performance pieces.  And then there were these other things like an interview with Sheldom Stein, which is a mock-academic who talks about the connection between the wandering Jew and Bahama Mama, which is the mother myth of the Bahamian ind—you know, just wonderful stuff.  But the whole album wasn’t a Lenny Bruce album, but it kinda was.

And I heard things he did.  And then came the “Sick” album.  “The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce,” I think that was second.  And we got that.  And what it did for me was this; it let me know that [pause] there was a place to go, to reach for, in terms of honesty in a self-expression.

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