January 17, 2019

Review: A Carlin Home Companion PLUS Being an Extra on a Coen Bros. Film, Jail Time and more!

“Keep your eyes on the Christ!” came the voice from on high atop the mound in Bethlehem and all 143 of us Israelites, Roman Guards and 1950’s film studio executives and crew trained our collective eyes on blonde Jesus affixed to the middle cross. One guard knelt to his knees and transgressed to the infinite, asking G-D the immortal questions, for which the answers are unknowing, cosmic and great stuff of stoner conversation. Peter Jason, the actor playing the director shouts, “CUT!” and George Clooney is reprimanded for forgetting one word in his speech. “Faith”.   As my long unexpected trip back down to LA comes to an apparent end, I look back and man, have I had adventures, big and small, great and horrible. When we last left off with my comedic saga, I came down here to attend the premier screening of “Archie Black: The Worst,” the low-budget documentary by comedian and filmmaker Dave Sirus. If you remember, I played the title character. The world’s worst comedian and human being. I was only gonna stay in LA for a few weeks, but on the way down from San Francisco, John Miller, the all-powerful master of pay-to-play FCCFreeRadio decided to fire me. Even though, I never worked for him. He was paid by me. It was enough for me to think I don’t need pretend amateur scenarios; I’m worth more than that. I’m better than that. The first thing I did was to get a job. The dreaded day-job. Good thing I’m very well experienced and expert in the ever changing field of telemarketing.

Telefund is this call center in business for decades raising funds for “liberal causes” such as The Democratic Party and the A.S.P.C.A., which was odd, because I always thought, that though dogs were Democrats, cats were Republicans. It was a low-paying $9/hour plus small commission job; I worked in a cubical and with all my experience as a telemarketer, I thought it would be a piece of piss; an easy job. And, indeed it was. At first. The problem is that they make the job impossible to do. The job consisted of calling up previous donors and getting more money out of them, even if they were in the middle of dinner. I had one old man who said to me, “Well I just buried my wife, but I’ll give you thirty dollars.”  I thought to myself, “I hope she's dead.” In spite of the social oddities, I was really good at this job, however it’s very murky how to make any real money out of it. You get bonuses on getting credit card sales, as opposed to getting “pledges,” which required the trust of the person to send a check back in the provided envelope. But Telefund wanted something more. They wanted you not to waste a contact. They judged you not on how much you’ve raised, even if it was $1,000 in three hours. They judge you on your “pledge per call” rate, meaning if you called one person and got them to donate $100 to a campaign, if you make another 9 calls but didn’t get a pledge, you’d have a one in ten pledge per call rate. And that wasn’t good. And, so bad callers tended to do “buried no’s,” meaning they don’t want to disposition the call as a “no”. They burry it instead by mislabeling it as a “call back” and then it goes back into the system and when I’d call a buried no, that would go against my pledge rate.

My first week there, I was told I did so well, I was a “superstar” by this would-be filmmaker dude. Would-be-filmmaker-dude told me I was due a bonus and high-fived me. After being out of work for so long, I was delighted and proud. My last day job was working for the David Compos election campaign in San Francisco last year. I was fired from that job after the first week because I questioned the syntax in the pitch. In their response crib notes, if someone isn’t interested in supporting the candidate, we were supposed to say, “Did you know that David Composs is solely supported by The Harvey Milk Club?” I pointed out to the person who hired me (and my boss) Lizzie, that by saying “solely” we were saying that nobody else supports the campaign. That it should be “exclusively”, not solely. I was just trying to clarify so I could do my job better. Lizzie fired me; her words were “Steven, we’re just not on the same page.” You bet your stupid ass, we’re not!  Anyway, David lost, so it’s a good thing. So, the day after I was told by Telefund I was so good my first week that I was getting a bonus, I was then evaluated by some humorless stiff where I was not only reprimanded for even inquiring about my bonus, I was told “that was a mistake”; that there would be no bonus. Over the course of four months, they made me sign performance and attendance warnings, one of the most humiliating aspects of any job I’ve ever had to endure. And some of the managers were just assholes. I mean, it was enough to get chewed out by someone in the mid-west for interrupting their dinner, but to be treated rudely and like a moron by your so-called superiors at the workplace was a big no-no for me. I trudged it out there for four months, saying “yes sir” and “yes mam”, and then took a leave of absence to go back up to San Francisco to perform stand-up comedy at a big benefit for homeless vets. But, before I left LA again, I began an office romance. I mean, if I was being fucked at work, I might as well take my work home with me too.

The trip back up to San Francisco was magical. I was reminded on a daily basis how much greater of a city San Francisco is than LA. First off, you don’t need a car. And, for me, a man who’s been without a vehicle for nearly five years, it’s a no-brainer. Secondly, the people up there are normal and friendly. It’s not the LA thing of status trumping talent or manners. And, there’s just something magical about that town. When I was living there full-time I started writing a novel. Based on three sources (“The Napoleon of Notting Hill” – by G.K. Chesterton, published in 1904; “Passport to Pimlico”, the 1950 Ealing comedy about a French duke who declared the poorer Pimlico borough of London French soil so he could shag an English chick; and historic Frestonia, a small section just where my London flat was, which for a brief time, literally seceded from England) , “The Last Train to San Francisco” is a futuristic political satire, whereby the decidedly gay Castro District in San Francisco secedes from America, forming the country of Castronia, where there is no constitution and the only law you have to follow is “to not be an asshole”. Here’s a few paragraphs of it for your delight…..

The Last Train to San Francisco

CHAPTER ONE: A Very Strange Little Man

It was a relatively normal day at the Castro; a half dozen naked men had displayed their wares like hot dog vendors on a typical sunny day at Candlestick Park. What wasn’t so typical was that today was the last day you could simply walk from the other side of Market Street to get to the aforementioned district, buck naked or otherwise. As of today, the barriers would go up, and finally, after sixteen years of planning arguably the biggest political battle the City of San Francisco has ever known (and beyond certainty, the biggest change in the cityscape since the 1906 Quake), the last train to San Francisco had left the Castro Street Station, its head-sign reading simply: “USA”. Finally, a new country would be born. This was the future. This was not planned. This was the alternate of nylon hose wearing hairy-legged men. This was freedom.

Gary Masonic was just a young boy when the seeds of this grand scheme were planted with the acutely random laying of some seemingly innocent seedlings of progress. His great great great great grandfather was one of the original Masons of West Virginia, who literally laid the first of the Magical Seven Bricks under the corner of Powell & Mason, which – according to local legend — led to historical rumors of a secret mythical “under-city”: Whole societies, living and thriving beneath the hills of Presidio, the sprawling green of Golden Gate Park and the western facing foggy section of Nob Hill; whereby a legion of forgotten elderly Alcatraz lifers, serving out double and triple life sentences, supposedly contained, hid and nourished a true in fact underground Fountain of Youth, maintained solely for, and financed by, the upper (and above ground) San Francisco elite. No subterranean village was ever found; not for the least of reasons: Nobody ever took the rumors seriously enough to start digging.

A little more than two hundred years previous of Gary Masonic’s portentous childhood, Aloysius Bendix Masonic went on from bricklaying to being the Ecumenical High Priest of the Knightly Order of the Knowing Eye, a heretofore secret organization, which, although founded with all good intent (specifically, feeding the poor and helping the disenfranchised), ended up extraneously connected to a series of unsolved and indeed unpublicized horrific murders in the Haight. But, what brought “Ben” down (and thereby tarnishing his reputation and the family name forever) was not purposeful spilt blood. It was a real estate scam. Which, according to his great, great, great, great grandson, Gary Masonic, was a set-up, a smear job, facilitated, fomented and foraged by one of the earliest Chinese American labor unions (The Mandarin Tide: Local 71) who, at the time, were more concerned with spontaneous deportation, than they were about municipal harmony.

ABM instilled in Gary an acute sense of patriotism and, even more importantly, loyalty to an ideal. Any ideal. You see, this was the future. December, 2095, eighty years hence from this electronic printing, at least, and still counting. London hadn’t really changed all that much. The Olympics came and went. New York not only went on to complete the Freedom Tower and adjacent Freedom Tower Family Fun Park, but expanded Rikers Island Prison by building an underground safety bunker, which stretched from Lower Manhattan, under the Hudson River and well into Jersey, for the sole purpose of providing an escape route, not for potential terrorist attacks, but future Wall Street criminals. A municipal perk for the free and elite (not for the convicts), who would board pre-scheduled stand-by amphibious battle transports, all of which had Direct TV, secure Wi-Fi and a free wet bar. Once loaded, these “Buck Barges” (as they became known) would stream out past the three mile International offshore border, where the elite of the scum would group-revoke their American citizenship, thereby avoiding likely prosecution on American soiled soil.

San Francisco’s aging was refined in ways that only a true cultural anthropologist could even notice. Life just simply went on. Nothing changed all that much. Business men and business women still tottled all day on bets this way and that way, all of it was gambling and everyone knew it. Like all ways of life, it was completely invisible to the participants. In essence, the future was very much like the past, only more so.

I love writing and these last few weeks have been a blessing for me. I always wanted to be a teacher and magically, I seem to be doing just that. One of my clients, Aaron Snyder, is a comedian with Cerebral Palsy and a severe speech-impediment.  I'm helping him write an autobiographical self-help book. Another client is a young man in the mid-west who wants to be a stand-up comedian. And, I just finished the first pass edit for an independent film producer who is having me re-write and edit a screenplay about Nazi’s, which a major studio apparently already has interest in.  And, Roseanne asked me for some Cosby jokes.  I’m not making a load of dough, but I’m able to get by, as long as I don’t have to pay rent.

Homeless and on national television.  It could only happen to me. 

Last summer, as I camped out in a vacant apartment in Venice, California, I check my Facebook and everyone is congratulating me for “being on Conan” last night. I mean, what the fuck. I was on Conan? Turns out, there’s a little industrial film Conan and I did together as actors 28 years ago and Conan ran it on his show. It was a buyout back then, but when I tried to contact Conan’s production office and manager to see if they could pay me something for being on national television, they blew me off. Homeless and on national television. It could only happen to me. But, by comparison, that little humiliation would pale in comparison by what was yet to come. Last November I was arrested for spousal abuse. A charge rising out of a stupid accident which occurred during an argument with my girlfriend. She didn’t want me arrested, just wanted me out of her apartment and I had no place to go and no money or car to get there. It was weird. I’ve never been arrested before in my life, other than that one time on my 21st birthday, when a fender-bender occurred two blocks from home, coming back from a party where I imbibed in my trademark drink at the time, Tequila Sunrises and a new thing my boss at the time offered me as a “relaxant,” a Quaalude. 37 years later and Steven Alan Green was handcuffed and frog-marched from the apartment to the Hollywood jail across the street. There were two cops. The nice male cop who knew there was nothing to it intentionally and agreed to allow me to gather my things and he’d escort me off the property. Then there was the female cop who just didn’t like me from the get go. The next thing I knew, they slapped on the cuffs and, with my leggings and no pants, I was taken in to jail. Fucking jail. Well, heaven forbid the fashion possibilities.

The first thing they did when we arrived at the station was to seat me on a bench, facing a wall, the cuffs attached to a convenient metal rail behind me. I sat facing the wall for at least an hour and a half, and that’s the first thing you notice about jail. No clocks and you’re never told how long you have to be in any room. It’s its own little universe, with its own little culture and multiple sets of natural law. When they finally came to retrieve me and process me, I got the first taste of what my stay was going to be like. The cop taking my prints and picture was nice and comforting, like the doctor shoving a plastic tube up your ass for your first colonoscopy. And then he said something to me, which not only would I never forget, but that I would also hear again more than twice more. “We have to keep you here at least two days….. That’s O.J.’s fault.”  What the fuck. You mean to tell me, what? They never quite explained what they meant, but I immediately knew it had to do with the pervasive fear the police have that if they release a killer too soon, as soon as released, he might kill the person who had him arrested in the first place. Particularly African American superstar athletes who starred in the film classic Naked Gun. I cursed the day I rooted for the Buffalo Bills. I was then told to get in a room. A little room, with a window to the communication desk and a couple of odd-looking old fashioned pay phones. No money was needed. It was just pick up the phone and dial.  I assumed within the local area codes. Let me get my little black book of numbers out of my pocket….Oh, shit. They took everything when I first checked in to the Hollywood Jail. And, besides, there is no black book to begin with. Like everybody these days, all my numbers are in my phone, not my head. My phone, which was one of everything that was taken out of my pockets and securely safed away to be retrieved upon my impending release. Thank goodness, I was quick thinking enough to copy down on my arrest report copy two numbers. They loaned me a short school-bus pencil, a potentially non-lethal weapon of mass-destruction. The first person I called was my ex-wife and forever friend, Tamsin. I was arrested on felony charges and the bail was 50 grand. Much more money than I was earning at Telefund. I also talked with one of my ex-girlfriends, Liz, and she connected me with her friend Bruce Schweiger, a public defender. He reassured me the steps involved and that I would be okay. After an hour or two in the phone room (not that much different from the Telefund cubicles) I was taken to the jail cell.

Let’s say you’ve got a nice size living room and put a half dozen creaky metal bunk beds in there, a metal toilet out in the open and the entire cell leading out to the hallway, a big row of metal bars, backed up by Plexiglas. I found a bed, curled up and just kept reminding myself to keep calm and then started to look at the bright side; perhaps this was the time I was looking for to finally quit smoking.  In spite of a crazy person in the cell who wouldn’t stop screaming until a half-dozen beefy cops fished him out of my suite and took him somewhere around the corner, where by magic he was never heard from again. It was hard to stay asleep, there was no shower and there was always noise and you just never knew how long before you’d be taken to the next cell or processing center. The food. Ahh.  The food. Rancid baloney sandwiches and for breakfast, a Jail McMuffin. OJ, no coffee. (Oh, yeah. OJ again) The next morning they released everyone but me (the “OJ Rule”) and set up a television on the other side of the Plexiglas, which was fixated on the dumbest local channel in television history, KABC Channel 7. I had to sit through terrible soap operas and dumb-ass game shows and bizarre presented fancy local news.  I had to even endure an ad for The Shawshank Redemption and for a moment in time, was looking for a poster of Kim Kardashian. I felt like Hannibal Lechter were he a vegetarian. The following day (two days in now), a bunch of us were escorted to another smaller room, where we awaited to go on that long journey to downtown. One of the ways a jail neophyte like me keeps busy is by continually asking advice of my fellow jail mates. “What happens next?” What was happening next was about to give me the chills in terms of ever even giving the whiff of even being perceived a spousal abuser.

Ever see one of those big police busses in the movies? Ya’ know, the jail on wheels. Well, that’s where I was taken next. Not exactly the Uber transpo I was looking for. At about six in the morning, I was shackled for the first time in my life. To other “prisoners”; like in a chain-gang. I just followed orders and tried to syncopate my footsteps with my co-shackle-ee. Once inside, we slid past the inner-construct of cages and barriers, all the way back to where there were seats.  The windows were mostly covered up and it was only possible to tell where you were being taken by somehow recognizing the streets by the tops of the trees.  I started a conversation with the guy sitting behind me. The one I was cuffed with didn’t speak English. And, this is how one greets his fellow prisoner: “What you in for?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking those words in real life, but there I was. This young man told me delightfully it had something to do with dealing unregistered cars. I thought he was a car thief, but he clarified it was “more of a business misunderstanding”.  He’d been arrested many times. Told me not to worry. That the process was that once we checked into “county”, we’d go before the beak and, as far he could determine, since I had no priors, and if the girlfriend didn’t testify, then they’d just let me go. I wanted to believe him. We went on a noisy ride in the travelling metal jail cell all the way to downtown LA. To “county”. County Jail. LA’s veritable prison. Gang-bangers. Murderers. The professionals.

Ominously, in the bright bath of mid-morning sunlight, we pulled into County. Sat there on the bus for an indeterminable time. Once they came to retrieve us, I got nervous. I was still wearing my tights from when I was arrested and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be more popular than I ever wanted to be. They checked our ID’s again and let us to a small holding room. A stinky little room jam-packed with dozens of other prisoners. One of them decided we’d be his captive audience and shouted and danced and high-fived and rapped and just acted completely stupid. I chatted with a nice guy who was in there for what I can’t remember. The constant topic of conversation (as perpetrated by me) was, “What happens next?” It just felt like I was rapidly sliding down a slippery slimy slide into hell and never knew where I was going to land. Kind of like my life since Jerry Lewis entered my picture. (sorry; had to get Jerry in there) We spent perhaps an hour and a half in the County holding cell before they corralled and ferried us back on the bus and now it was time to see the judge.

“Please beware that incarceration can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts; please let us know if you need attention.”

We got to the County Courthouse, ID’s checked again, but this time the place was serious. More cops than I care to shake a shtick at. They put me in a big holding room, where we (maybe 50 of us) all waited to be fished out one by one and brought before the district attorney. Again, there were no clocks. But it was in this jail-house waiting lounge that I got to know a few more of my fellow cell-mates. The first thing I saw as we checked in was a sign which said, “Please beware that incarceration can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts; please let us know if you need attention.” When I first read it, I laughed to myself. After all, I was already well-known on the outside as the suicidal comedian. Plus, instead of being scared of being in jail, I felt sort of taken care of.  For the first time in a long time, I knew exactly where I was sleeping and that there would be some form of food. I was mainly deeply scared of getting lost in the system. Of them confusing me with another Steven Alan Green; ya’ know, the one who murdered his family in Kentucky and was on the loose. Most of the other inmates I talked to were in there for drug or minor offences. When they asked me the proverbial, “What you in for?”, and I told them “spousal abuse”, they smiled and reassured me I’d get to go home, especially if the girlfriend didn’t show up to testify against me what a bad guy she really thinks I am. One guy told me that the way it works is that they can’t hold you for 72 hours without charges being filed. And they can’t file charges until the DA sees you. So, as the imaginary clocked ticked throughout the 18-hour plus day, it became clear to us all that a bunch of us just wouldn’t be seen that day and then another fear hit me. What if because of this, they had to hold me one more night and what if they held me in County? This is where I got especially nervous. I met one young kid who I told was funny and should try his hand at stand-up comedy. Most of the people I met in jail were just people. Not thugs. Not gang-bangers. Just people. And, while the holding cell was majority minority, there was this one crazy white guy who shouted and goaded everyone else into a fight, pounding on the door to the little holding cell within the holding room. Finally at around 6pm, they came in and told us in no uncertain terms, that about a dozen of us would be released, but if any of us gave them any trouble whatsoever, we’d all have to spend the night. They escorted us to another room, a small room by one of the security stations. And there we waited as they called us out one by one. Each prisoner came out one by one, but only as he shouted his own name followed by “Walkin’!”. I told the talking dog joke to a bunch of guys; they all laughed. A physical fight broke out between a skinny non-English speaking quiet guy and an older crazy man who felt he was spit on. We all regressed to the other side of the room. When my name was finally called, I stood up, shouted “Steven Alan Green walkin’!” and made my way to the officer waiting for me. I answered some security questions and then was pointed to walk towards the exit, where I was once again chain-cuffed to a dozen other prisoners. We stood there waiting for our next instructions and then I saw it. A dozen wheelchair bound prisoners, all in a row, just like a Mel Brooks musical number. They walked us to the door, uncuffed me and let us go like someone’s ashes over the cliff deep into the sea. A dozen of us ran down the street, hooping and hollering, heading to another building blocks and blocks away where they kept our stuff.

I went to jail last year and I didn’t like it. What did I learn? Good question. I don’t know. Be smarter I suppose. Don’t put myself in such vulnerable positions whereby I could end up in jail. And, always walk away from a situation, especially with a girlfriend, when by raising my voice in a very angry way (even if I feel justified) can put me in the slammer. Ultimately, it’s not right for me to scare or intimidate any woman, even unintentionally, especially the on and off girlfriend who allowed me to stay at her place. I used to have a joke about anger management. I was out of work and it made me angry. I sought anger management. Well, my anger now has management and I’m still out of work!  In all seriousness, I do love her and I’m sorry I yelled. And, you know, the door accident was just that, an accident. You do know that. I know you do. We discussed it. I will always cherish the love and fun times we shared together. I wish you nothing but good luck and strength in all your courageous fights for the things and people you value most in your life. You’ve been nothing but a blessing to mine. 

Months after jail, I got cast in a little USC film where I played a judge. SAG 2-16-15

Kelly Carlin's A Carlin Home Companion, Growing Up With George @ The Falcon Theatre in Burbank

In Kelly Carlin’s “A Carlin Home Companion, Growing Up With George”, we are introduced to a big thinker and human pixie, Kelly, who tells the tale of what it must have been like to straddle the side-boards of cultural fame by familial proxy, being inexorably drafted as an integral part of the behind the crazy scenes of 1970’s nitty-gritty showbiz, as well as one of the other two important corners of an (mouthful alert) American intellectual and comedic institutional dynastic triangle.  George Carlin was Kelly’s dad, and still is; and even though he’s since gone on to that big comedy arena in the sky since June 22, 2008, by proof of this compressed 90-minute intensely creative life-journey, George somehow still is very much here with us today and still making us laugh, thanks only to this very interesting, surprisingly entertaining heartfelt fabuloso one-person show.  

We experience the tale of growing up in a time and place that few even get to read about: The tumultuous Sixties and subsequent never-ending party Seventies. We experience insider trading and the secret and sometimes dirty tricks of the entertainment industry, with all the unexpected hairpin turns of a life most examined. We intimately peer over the study-room shoulder, through the pot smoke and fame fog to focus on the scribbled notes of revolutionary comedy concepts, as the comedic showman shaman of the 20th & 21st Century morphs from pressed tux employee and into the courageous and complex artist hidden within the worn denim. We hold our noses as our faces are forced to view up close degradation and familial ignominy. And we experience all this and more, all through the eyes of the genetically enhanced progenitor and homeward bound daughter, who participated and observed and indeed survived to reanimate the greatest comedy zombie the world has ever seen. Like there was no better surviving sane witness of the long-gone world-changing era of the Beatles and Stones like Marianne Faithful, Kelly Carlin glowingly rises from the east with a big smile to tell us she not just survived but in fact, has finally seemed to have found herself, ironically in and through the course of the very man with whom she shared an intimate and respectful paternal and indeed genetic friendship. One can only draw the conclusion that if it weren’t for honest caregiving tough-love Kelly Carlin, the world might never have had such great comedic enlightenment from the late great George Carlin, at least as long as we did. In spite of her conspicuous modesty, she literally saved George’s life, certainly extended it. I had those albums in high school and studied and listened to AM & FM and Class Clown as much as I listened to the Beatles’ White Album or The Firesign Theatre’s Don’t Touch That Dwarf, Hand me the Pliers. George brought actual meaningful laughter to my family, and boy did we need it. I did. Between bitter divorce, alcoholism, mental illness and suicide, the Green family was one tough room to work alone, let me tell ya’, there were laughs, simply because George’s comedy extended beyond generational borders.

“A little sperm, a little egg and a little Scotch, and [Kelly] was born.”

Unlike many showbiz legends, George was a great father as Kelly anecdotes 1969 when her father woke her up to watch the moon landing and later on when she helped make “Daddy’s spice cake”. Dad educated the younger in classrooms beaming from the television; the teachers being Ted Baxter, Bob Newhart, the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges and Danny Kaye. George had a three step plan. First conquer the stand-up world, then radio, then acting. Ironic that George’s radio career were his albums played on uncensored FM. The third pillar was Brenda, George’s wife and Kelly’s mom. 21 and divorced, George spotted her at a bar in Dayton, only to later on traditionally ask her father Mr. Hosbrook for his daughter’s hand in marriage, whilst at the most romantic place he could think of. The urinal. George and Brenda were a team, the latter acting as press-agent and assistant. “A little sperm, a little egg and a little Scotch, and [Kelly] was born.” From serious family challenges such as Brenda’s mom dying of cancer just months before little Kelly arrived, to charcoal sketches in the form of anecdotal narrative, where George would develop his comedy art in the Greenwich Village circles of other collegiate unknowns: Bob Dylan and Lenny Bruce. Kelly takes us on a fascinating step by stop transformation of young George Carlin from showbiz wanna be looking for work, to his penultimate stop in the magical world of expandable consciousness.

The larger story here is that heretofore there had never been a soul so intent on telling the world the truth, no matter how ugly, harsh or incomprehensible; Not to take anything away from George, but it’s easy to conclude that Kelly could have any surname and she would still be worthy of our dollars and time.

One could argue that all life is a game of tag. And, if that were proven, then it could easily be argued that Kelly Carlin is a modern day daughter of the comedy revolution. She’s Betsy Fucking Ross (whose maiden name was “Fucking” apparently…) And, now, after being dropped off by the mother ship on its way back to Planet Possibility, she appears on stage and ready to, not just tell, but to in fact demonstrate what it truly means to be an American intellectual hero, as well as the daughter of another. Not to take anything away from George, but it’s easy to conclude that Kelly could have any surname and she would still be worthy of our dollars and time.

George Carlin was all about defying convention, questioning authority (especially the government) and always understanding what Wittgenstein knew. That language dictates thought. Not the other way around, as most people assume.  Knowing what words actually mean gives us the most empowerment. That was George, not just his act. George not only knew words, he kept his.  Kelly is a self-admitted convention seeker. Enrolling in private school after wealthy hippy university, Kelly was always seeking the best of self-imposed orthodoxy. When, at the end of CHC, she finally lets go of all that frivolous nonsense and realizes that what is most enlightening is forgiving her parents, that’s when we see her connect her long, but fun journey with the revelation that perhaps her dad was not only right, but that she herself had been living the very fraudulent conventional life George himself ran away from and indeed mocked and exposed on stage. Life wasn’t indemnified with a new Jeep and she knew that.  Life was about love and always had been.

Kelly Carlin can’t help being the daughter of showbiz hippies, but at the end of day they were more hippy than showbiz. 

Not just leading up introductions to clips of her dad’s career (which were great, fascinating and of course funny), but it would’ve been clever and to my particular taste, had she clipped a phrase or word from the multitudes of George’s recorded voice. Maybe just George saying, “Bullshit!” and putting that one word on an MP3, to be played over the theater system now and then. Just to have some sort of real time interplay between George and his daughter, not just cutting to clips. After all, her entire point seems to be that George is still with us, so why not hear him a little more lifelike during the show?

It woulda been extra nice to see Kelly address the elephant in the room. How does the world survive (not just her) without George? The answer is obvious. The answer is in Jon Stewart, Louis Black, Louie CK and Amy Shumer, but also Rachel Maddow.   

“>Watch George Carlin's “Modern Man”

It would’ve been great for my money anyway, if AFTER Kelly gives her sincere and loving final words, if SHE then launched into her own version of this. “I’m Kelly Carlin. I’m not prepackaged, I’m unwrapped, I’m …………”  If she had, I bet there would’ve been not just a full-house standing ovation, but a curtain-call.

A Carlin Home Companion is a fast-paced funny emotional tour de force from one of America’s top entertainment intellectuals about America’s greatest intellectual class clown, his inner-world, as lived and experienced by the daughter who was there. It’s funny, enriching, enlightening and genuinely fun. The next best thing to seeing George Carlin in person, a top-notch one-person journey through life, herself and through America’s finest and bravest comedian. A show about the most important thing in life: Self-awareness.

Defined by kaleidoscopic personal revelation against the context of a rapidly changing dangerous world, George morphed into Spiderman because he saw the world as a sticky deadly web, and his inner morality didn’t leave him much choice. That’s what made George a hero. He chose to listen to his morality. And, now, thanks to Kelly Carlin’s A Carlin Home Companion, we can too.   A Carlin Home Companion runs through March first. The Falcon Theatre is inviting and completely ear and eye friendly from every seat, with plenty of parking. Direction by Paul Provenza is sharp and keeps our story moving along just fine. The rear projection sets were nearly revolutionary.

I give Kelly Carlin’s A Carlin Home Companion, Growing Up With George 8 outta 8 Menorah candles.

Enjoy the veal.

Reviewed by Steven Alan Green 2-16-15

For tickets and info to A Carlin Home Companion, go to the Falcon Theatre website.  For the book, go here.

I now crawl back into my very intense and ever-changing life. I thank and bless my online friends and following, my in-the-flesh friends and family, my girlfriend and mostly, my ever curious and hopeful vision for my future. Remember, “there’s a film in development about my life with an Oscar winning producer, as it leads up to my life-changing friendship and experience with the one and only Jerry Lewis.” That’ll never escape me. And, maybe, at the end of the long disappointing day, I never want it to. See you in a month or two. Don’t forget to laugh and remember, I am for hire. As a writer and editor. I’m very good, and especially these days, quite affordable. Catch me while you can.


Taylor Negron was a friend. He was also an actor, a painter, a poet, a stand-up comedian, a story-teller. Taylor sadly To hire your not-so-humble writer, email: steven.alangreen@gmail.com. I help people write books, eBooks, screenplays, anything. My writer’s bio and resume available. Contact me and let’s just have a nice conversation on how I can help you with your writing dream project. And, don’t forget…. Keep your eyes on the Christ.  Especially if, like me, you're a Jew.  Here's my online writing profile.

Enjoy the veal already,

Steven Alan Green



A man facing the firing squad is always the center of attention.

Peace of mind comes when you give up your power to God and realize that most people are just fucking nuts.

In my opinion, I think ISIS have morally disqualified themselves from participating in the next Olympics.

How come there isn't a car dealership called Auto Correct?

I'm a little disappointed they didn't show Brian Williams on Weekend Update on the SNL 40th last night.

Muhammad Ali was the first rapper.

Los Angeles public transportation is so bad, they're now giving special discounts to struggling actors who can't get anywhere anyway.

Stop saying “congrats”; the word is “congratulations”. When you shorten it, it only seems like even though you want to express celebration of victory, it's like you don't really have time.

Saw sign in window of S&M massage parlor: “Hurt Wanted”

The difference between hope and dreams is that dreams are fun and hope is work.

A cool hipster African American jazz musician carrying a crucifix just walked in front of me, man.  And it's Friday the 13th, man. – Translation: A black cat just crossed my path.

Went on eHarmony looking for love. They hooked me up with a baritone who tried to pay me off with a tenner.

What do The Grammy's, Brian Williams, and ISIS have in common? At least they're not Bill Cosby.


Am pleased to announce a small but significant personal victory. Five years ago I lost my driver's license due to non-moving violations. My car was subsequently stolen by the City of Los Angeles. I had just lost my London home and was back in LA, stuck in a tall tower, unable to get anywhere, let alone work, which I couldn't find anyway. That's about the time I had my nervous breakdown and as crazy as it sounds now, I wanted to end my life. Well, today I finally got my driver's license back. All I need now is a car . Yay me.  IF YOU HAVE AN EXTRA CAR AND WANT SOMEONE TO WRITE YOUR LIFE STORY OR SCREENPLAY, LET'S DO A TRADE!  sag@thelaughterfoundation.org

It was my ex-wife's big 30th birthday this week.  Let's all raise a glass to the fabuloso Tamsin Hollo!   AND, while you're at it, fellow cronies, please check out Tamsin's wonderful online vintage clothing store! (click the Quirk Vintage Clothing logo below)

And, if you want to see me, Steven Alan Green, live in LA, I'm very proud to say I'll be doing my first “Set List” comedy gig Thursday February 26.  I reviewed Set List in this here blog back in 2012.  I called it “the God Particle of comedy“.  Come to the show.  It'll be great to finally meet ya'!  Here's the show info.

 Meanwhile, it's time for me to warn a tomato. 

See ya' next time, folks.

Don't forget to laugh today. 

Your friend and mine,

Steven Alan Green

2-19-15, LA


The Laughter Foundation.org 



SPECIAL NOTE TO ANY ZILLIONAIRES: The Laughter Foundation is pleased to announce that next month mid-March, we are presenting our case for The Comedy Museum to The San Francisco Park and Recreations Department. They have short-listed us to present a proposal to turn the old Exploratorium Science Museum into The Comedy Museum.  This is a great opportunity, but of course we can't really do it without financial guarantee. Just a shot in the dark here, check out their site and The Laughter Foundation's concept for a world-class museum to study and exhibit the art, history and science of comedy. Contact me directly @ sag@thelaughterfoundation.org.   Thanks, Steven