COMPARING STEVEN WITH GEORGE
By Lou Goldstein
We need to know, first of all…..who are we comparing?
Is it Steven Spielberg with George Gershwin? Steven Baldwin with George Clooney?
Steve Forbes with George W. Bush? Steve Carell with George Lopez?
Actually, it’s two of my most favorite comedians of all time … Steven Wright and George Carlin.
They may not be your most favorite and that’s OK…. but they are mine and it's still funny stuff.
George Carlin was born in the Bronx on 5/12/37. Steven Wright was born in Massachusetts on 12/6/55.
Steven is of Scottish and Italian descent while George is of Irish descent.
When Steven celebrated his 4th birthday George was beginning his comedy career as part of a comedy team with Jack Burns.
Steven cites George as one of the people that influenced him to become a comedian.
They are both considered to be comedic geniuses who write their own material in an off beat unconventional manner.
George is rated by Comedy Central as the #2 comedian of all time. He is sandwiched between Richard Pryor who is rated #1 and Lenny Bruce at #3.
Steven is rated #23 and is ahead of such greats as Bob Hope, Jay Leno, Milton Berle and Jim Carrey.
Carlin was noted for his black humor as well as his thoughts on politics, social commentary, religion and other subjects most comedians didn’t touch.
Wright is known for his slow deadpan manner of delivery and his material which consisted of ironic, and sometimes nonsensical jokes and one-liners.
Both Steven and George have created their own unique bunch of Hummerdingers.
I am listing some of the“gems” they each have given us.
STEVEN WRIGHT HUMMERDINGERS:
Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.
Don't you hate when your hand falls asleep and you know it will be up all night.
I bought some instant water one time but I didn't know what to add to it.
I had to stop driving my car for a while... the tires got dizzy.
I have an answering machine in my car. It says, I'm home now. But leave a message and I'll call when I'm out.
I installed a skylight in my apartment... the people who live above me are furious!
I like to reminisce with people I don't know.
I saw a bank that said "24 Hour Banking," but I don't have that much time.
I stayed in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wake-up letter.
I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place.
If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?
If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?
If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?
It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it.
My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted.
So, do you live around here often?
When I was a little kid we had a sand box. It was a quicksand box. I was an only child... eventually.
Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
GEORGE CARLIN HUMMERDINGERS:
Whenever you see more than two men sitting in a parked car after dark you can be sure drugs are involved.
So far this is the oldest I’ve been.
Instead of warning pregnant women not to drink. I think female alcoholics ought to be told not to have sex.
You know what’s fun? Go to a German restaurant and insist on using chopsticks.
People on a diet should have a salad dressing called 250 Islands.
When you think about it, 12:15 pm is actually 11:75 am.
Why do they bother saying “raw sewage”? Do some people actually cook that stuff?
Most people don’t know what they are doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.
In the United States, anybody can be president. That’s the problem.
Do placebos cause side effects? If so, are the side effects real?
If you practice throwing the discus alone, you have to go get it yourself.
Whom does a male ladybug dance with?
To me, fast food is when a cheetah eats an antelope.
I think I am, therefore I am. I think.
Is a vegetarian permitted to eat animal crackers?
The future will soon be a thing of the past.
Not only do I not know what is going on, I wouldn’t know what to do about it If I did.
Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.
If the Cincinnati Reds were really the first major league baseball team, who did they play?
These were just a few examples.
I thought it would be interesting to create a conversation between the two of them using their own “quotes” as the basis for this conversation. I believe it would go something like this.(their quotes are in italics).
STEVEN: Good morning George…could you explain to me, “How young can you die of old age?”
GEORGE: I really don’t know but, “I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.”
STEVEN: Me too, but I have to tell you, “I intend to live forever. So far, so good”
GEORGE: That’s a great outlook on life. I personally “Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.”
STEVEN: Me neither, but I have problem. Yesterday “I poured spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.”
GEORGE: Which dog was that?
STEVEN: The one called Spot.
GEORGE: Oh now I get it. I have a question for you.”What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?”
STEVEN: I don’t know about that but I do know that “Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.”
GEORGE: I know the feeling Steven. By the way, I just thought of a great business. “I think that someone could make a lot of money if they set up a little stand at the Grand Canyon and sold Yo-Yo’s with 500 foot strings.”
STEVEN: That’s a great idea. I am thinking of selling something I have.
GEORGE: What is that?
STEVEN: “I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world... perhaps you've seen it.”
GEORGE: Good luck with that. By the way, I don’t know about you but I am getting sick of tired of our government and the way they use politically correct terminology to confuse us about what they are actually doing.
STEVEN:What do you mean?
GEORGE: For example…”The CIA doesn’t kill anybody, they “neutralize” people. Or they “depopulate” an area.The government doesn’t lie, it engages in “disinformation”. The Pentagon actually measures nuclear radiation on something called “sunshine units”. Israeli murderers are called “commandos” and Arab commandos are called “terrorists.” The contra killers were known as “freedom fighters.” Well if crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?”
STEVEN: You bring up some good points. I don’t know… but let me ask you a couple questions. “Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter?” AND… “Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?”
GEORGE: Steven, those are stupid questions. I’m trying to be serious here. Our politically correct language is spreading everywhere. The words death or dead don’t even seem to exist anymore.
“But it’s all right because thanks to our fear of death, no one has to die. They can all just “pass away” Or, “expire” like amagazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital, it will be called a “terminal episode.” The insurance company will refer to it as “negative patient care outcome.” And if it is the result of malpractice, they’ll say it was a “therapeutic misadventure”.To be honest , some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, perhaps “vomit” is too strong a word. It makes me want to engage in an “involuntary, personal protein spill.”
STEVEN: Wow, George you are really getting all worked up. I have my own problems. “I bought some batteries, but they weren't included.” AND..” I had some eyeglasses. I was walking down the street when suddenly the prescription ran out.” AND… “I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I'm gone.” AND, if that’s not enough, “I live on a one-way street that's also a dead end. I'm not sure how I got there”.
GEORGE: OK I’m beginning to get the picture. You are a weird dude. I bet you have some strange things happen to you.
STEVEN: Now we are getting somewhere. I always have strange things happen to me. Just the other day “I went to a general store but they wouldn't let me buy anything specific.” AND… yesterday, “ I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, 'Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours.' He said, 'Yes, but not in a row.” AND…last week, “I watched the Indy 500, and I was thinking that if they left earlier they wouldn't have to go so fast.”
AND… the day before that, “I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.” AND… if that’s not enough, “When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, "Did you sleep good?" I said "No, I made a few mistakes." Do you ever think about weird things like that?
GEORGE: I don’t know about weird things but I do get confused sometimes. Especially about the world of science. I just read that, “Medical researchers have discovered a new disease that has no symptoms. It is impossible to detect, and there is no known cure. Fortunately, no cases have been reported thus far.” I also just found out that,“Geologists claim that although the world is running out of oil, there is still a two-hundred-year supply of brake fluid.”
STEVEN: Well George, it’s been great talking to you but I have to go now. I’ll leave you with two final thoughts, “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” AND… “If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone, somewhere is making a penny.” Take care.
GEORGE: You too Steven.
See you next time,