George Carlin

My plea last week for you people to send questions to Dilettante worked. Slightly. Two people asked a question, and I answered one this week. Writing today’s column took less than an hour, which is about five times shorter than it usually is. So here I am again, begging. Please send me a question. Anything goes. Nothing is taboo, too stupid or too weird. Bring it.

I spent a few nights this week looking through hundreds of slides my grandfather shot. There was a carousel of pictures from a few of their trips – NYC, Washington state, London. I ran across something that I think really says a lot about who Granddad was. ‘Twas a picture of George Carlin taken during the first episode of Saturday Night Live. I’ve always known that my grandparents were there – they happened to be in New York in October of ’75 and somehow scored tickets to what was then an unknown show – but I had no idea there was a picture from that night, specifically a picture of Carlin’s monologue. I’m guessing he had the camera in his lap – I’m familiar with that tactic because I sneak pix that way too. It was obviously not a “regularly” composed picture. There’s only one, but it really reminded me of him. Not only was he the kind of guy who would somehow score tickets to the first ever episode of something that would become a cultural touchstone (and then fade into irrelevance), but he would get away with snapping a quick picture during the proceedings. I would guess there are very few pictures from that night, and I’m glad to be in possession of one.

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