GeorgeCarlin.net

George Didn't Say That! (Part 2: The Bogus Quote List)

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"Just about any unsourced list of witty observations about our politics and social mores gets credited to humorist George Carlin these days, even when it doesn't really sound like anything he would write."

- Snopes.com

Here is an incomplete list of writings that get falsely attributed to George Carlin, with refutations. Please read my introduction to this topic, if you haven't yet. And if you see somebody on-line who keeps misattributing these quotes to George Carlin when he didn't really say them, please direct that person to this page!

Quotations marked as NOT SAID BY CARLIN are ones which we know either Carlin explicitly denied doing, and/or the actual author can be found. A few others I've marked as MOST LIKELY NOT CARLIN'S (or similar) with explanations.

CONTENTS

Click a link on the right,
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FALSE QUOTATION

SOURCE / EXPLANATION

"The Paradox of Our Time"
(a.k.a. "The Paradox of Our Age")

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete. "

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

The actual author is pastor Bob Moorehead. It's taken from his book "Words Aptly Spoken" (1995). He quit his church in 1998 after being accused of sexually fondling male members of the congregation. See the link below for the Overlake Christian Church. Like most mass-forwarded internet essays, there are different edited versions out there. The one on the left (whose font I had to shrink to reasonably fit it) is just one example.

As mentioned on the misquotes introduction page, George stated on his official website that he did not write it, referring to it as "embarrassing" and "a sappy load of shit". Elaborating, Carlin said:

"The main problem I have with it is that as true as some of the expressed sentiments may be, who really gives a shit? Certainly not me. I figured out years ago that the human species is totally fucked and has been for a long time. I also know that the sick, media-consumer culture in America continues to make this so-called problem worse. But the trick, folks, is not to give a fuck. Like me. I really don't care. I stopped worrying about all this temporal bullshit a long time ago. It's meaningless. (See the preface of "Braindroppings.")
Another problem I have with "Paradox" is that the ideas are all expressed in a sort of pseudo-spiritual, New-Age-y, "Gee-whiz-can't-we-do-better-than-this" tone of voice. It's not only bad prose and poetry, it's weak philosophy. I hope I never sound like that."

Here's a jpg version I made of Carlin's reaction. Feel free to save & share it:

"Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body"

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

The real author of this quote (if you just replace "your" with "my") seems to be Roger J. Corless, from his book "The Vision of Buddhism: the Space Under the Tree". The saying may be older than that. In any case, it's certainly not from George Carlin. The quotation doesn't show up at all on any of Carlin's albums, HBO specials, or books. I haven't been able to determine the original author.

It's a mystery why somebody attributed this quote to George Carlin in the first place, and while so many people assume continue to assume that he did. It doesn't sound like something that he'd say. Granted he had rants about mindless mass consumerism, but he wasn't inherently anti-materialistic, and he rarely used similes. If anything, he had praised the value of stuff in his different variations of his "A Place For My Stuff" routine. For example, in "Carlin on Campus": "That's the meaning of life: trying to find a place to keep your stuff!"

Since this bogus quote is so popular, I made an image to address the point:

"Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity"

(Or "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity", or "Bombing for peace is like screwing for virginity", etc.)

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

It's hard to say who really coined this phrase, which has been used on protest signs before. Some research going back to 2002 credits the quote to Emma S. Riches, but it's still a little iffy. Regardless, it's safe to conclude it wasn't Carlin. The quotation doesn't show up on any of Carlin's albums, HBO specials, or books. Also, as usual, it seems that people didn't start falsely crediting Carlin with the quote until rather recently.

Since this bogus quote is so popular, I made an image to address the point:

"I Am a Bad American"

(This was a long, mass-forwarded email rant that takes slightly different forms here and there. See the Snopes link on the right for a full sample.)

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

GeorgeCarlin.com stated explicitly that he didn't write this. Twice. The actual author is "Bootyist", a user at FreeRepublic.com, where it had been originally posted.

Why does McDonald's spend $8 billion a year on advertisements? Because unless you're brainwashed, there's no way you're eating that shit.

(and similar quotations from at least one unofficial "George Carlin" Twitter account)

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

This is one of many, many quotations I've seen on a "GeorgeCarlin" Twitter account that seemingly never came from George Carlin himself. Apparently some people like to make a Twitter account, Facebook profile, or blogs that has "George Carlin" in the name somehow, and post completely random things. And what's stupider than that, is some people follow these accounts, and assume that they're official and full of actual quotations. It's ridiculous.

As mentioned over in the FAQ, there is one official George Carlin Twitter account, but it's @TheGeorgeCarlin. Note the "The"! If you want George Carlin quotations on Twitter, that's the only one you should trust. Most of the quotations from @TheGeorgeCarlin come straight from his books, and you can verify them.

Now back to this McDonald's quotation: I certainly don't remember hearing it on any of his albums or HBO specials. A search through his 3 books doesn't bring up the results, and to be honest it doesn't quite sound like something he'd say (at least not worded that way). He did have a few other one-liners about McDonald's that show up in "Napalm & Silly Putty", but not this one.

As for the source of the actual quote, from what I can gather the quote comes from an eariler list of vegetarian "humor" quotes. But ever since some jackoff put it on a "GeorgeCarlin" Twitter, other blogs and articles have been quoting the misattribution. Go figure.

There may or may not be atheists in foxholes, but I'm certain there are none in the Ku Klux Klan.

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

I'm not sure who first came up with this, but it sure as hell doesn't seem to have been Carlin. The quotation doesn't show up in any of his books, albums, or HBO specials. You can find some sites mentioning the quote in 2011, but only later in 2012 did it seem to get attributed to Carlin.

"George Carlin's Views on Aging"

Sample:

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.
[...]
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.'
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
... " etc. [...] AND ALWAYS REMEMBER :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

Granted, Carlin did have a routine about ages and aging that he did on the Tony Orlando & Dawn variety show (where he talked about how only children give their ages in terms of "...and a half"), a variation of which he did for his On the Road album. He also talked about old age on his very last album and HBO special, It's Bad For Ya. But this particular essay is so incredibly different from any of these routines, that it's safe to conclude Carlin didn't write it.

I have no idea why anybody would really think the second half of this came from Carlin. It's clearly not his style. The first section is mostly straight from a routine by comedian Larry Miller, which you can see in the YouTube link below. The numbered list seems to be tacked on from some other source.

"Reverse Life Cycle" (Life should go backwards)

"The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, and you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating... you finish off as an orgasm."

NOT SAID BY CARLIN

This was not written by Carlin. He said so on his official site back in 2001. Nor is this joke by Andy Rooney. It's by comedian Sean Morey. Yes, really.

"I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death."

LIKELY NOT CARLIN'S

This quote even managed to get picked for Wikiquote.com's quote-of-the-day for December 3, 2003. Though back then, I don't think quotes were sourced that well. It certainly doesn't appear with a source on Wikiquote.com today. Granted, the quotation at least sounds like something he'd say. However, I can't find it on any of his albums or HBO specials, nor in any of his books.

Searching around more, I found a reference going all the way back to 1997 (see link below), but it was just a newsletter for a secular organization showing a list of what they claimed to be compiled Carlin quotes, with no source for the quote in question. I don't think his official website launched until later, which would make it doubtful that the quote was on his site at any time. In any case, I found another reference crediting George from July 1997, so presumably the newsletter people just went along with whatever they found on the internet.

I found a use of the quote (or something very close to it) in a letter published in the book "Ghana: Conversation And Development", as part of a correspondence. But that wasn't published until years later, so it's likely that the writer was just plagiarizing the quote from somebody else.

This was one of many bogus quotes also up on IMDB, which is where some lobbying group on Facebook took it from, stupidly accepting it as real. IMDB is notorious for not having their quotes sourced. On top of that, a lot of their pages get copied on to other websites. I've since used my IMDB account to go through their list and add the source for genuine quotes, while marking the bogus ones for deletion.

"If acting was hard for me, I wouldn't do it; it is something that I like to do"

LIKELY NOT CARLIN'S

This is another one of those quotations on the internet that I've seen a lot, but I can't find the quote in any of his albums, books, or HBO specials. It sounds like something that may have come from an interview, but I haven't been able to find an exact source. As usual, the source is never, ever given along with the quote.

Another reason why I'm a little skeptical of the authenticity of this quote is that although Carlin has done plenty of acting over the years, he often criticized the nature of acting in general. He has stated many times that his original plan was to be a comedic actor, like Danny Kaye, but found out rather fast that he didn't like the restrictiveness of movie shooting. During the Q&A session of the Unmasked with George Carlin interview for XM radio, he says, "I wasn't really born to be an actor. If I had trained all my life, it would have been a different story. If I had learned technique and training, yes, but I didn't have the tools."

"Don't just teach your children to read ... teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything."

CLOSE, BUT NOT CARLIN'S EXACT WORDS

Although Carlin said something very close to this, these weren't his exact words. And that's what's so tragically ironic about this popular quotation: people figured that since they liked it so much, they'd go ahead and share it with all of their friends, without ever bothering to see if the words were authentic! Go figure.

The actual quote is from Carlin's final HBO special and album, It's Bad For Ya, from the track "No One Questions Things" (track #23 on the CD, and chapter #23 on the DVD). Here's what he actually said:

"[It's] not important to get children to read. Children who wanna read are gonna read. Kids who want to learn to read going to learn to read. [It's] much more important to teach children to QUESTION what they read. Children should be taught to question everything. To question everything they read, everything they hear. Children should be taught to question authority. Parents never teach their children to question authority because parents are authority figures themselves, and they don't want to undermine their own bullshit inside the household. So they stroke the kid and the kid strokes them, and they all stroke each other, all grow up all fucked up, and they come to shows like this."

Granted, I could be wrong, and maybe he did really say the exact words on the left on some other occasion. But I haven't seen where that could be. It's much more likely that somebody just paraphrased the HBO show from memory, and people copied the incorrect quotation.

Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. That is against their interests. They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept it.

NOT CARLIN'S EXACT WORDS. BASTARDIZED AND PUT OUT OF CONTEXT.

This is a failed attempt to quote Carlin's routine called "Dumb Americans", from his album and HBO special Life is Worth Losing. Here's the actual excerpt, with the notable lines in boldface:

"There's a reason that education sucks. And it's the same reason that it will never ever, ever be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now. The real owners. The big, wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, and city halls. They got the judges in their back pocket. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else.
But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed. well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interest. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits."

Even if we try to match up this quotation with the bogus one, using an ellipsis here and there to fill in the blocks of skipped words, then at best we'd get the following. Note the differences in boldface.

"The owners of this country ... don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking ... That's against their interest ... They want obedient workers ... people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs"

Some people may see this and say, "Well then the quotation is off by a few words. So what?" The problem is that changing the subject from "the owners of this country" to "governments" effectively changes the whole context of the quotation. Carlin was NOT talking about governments. As he even explicitly says here, "Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice." No, Carlin was referring to people in positions of power (not necessarily through government) who make decisions that can potentially affect your life. It's a concept that he's brought up in a few of his other HBO specials and books. The people who share the quotation on the left obviously do so because, rightly or wrongly, they have a distrust of their government and the politicians who make up that government. But again, it's not "governments", let alone the US government, that Carlin was referring to, so the misquote is misleading.

"Religion is like a pair of shoes ... find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes."

SIMILAR, NOT CARLIN'S EXACT WORDS

This was some person's failed attempt at quoting Carlin's routine where he compared religion to a shoe lift, not a pair of shoes back in the mid 1970s. There are two notable appearances of this routine: from Carlin's appearance on the debut episode of Saturday Night Live, and from his album An Evening with Wally Londo, Featuring Bill Slazo. The actual quotes from both are below.

"Religion - religion, at best - at BEST - is like a lift in your shoe. If you need it for a while, and it makes you walk straight and feel better - fine. But you don't need it forever, or you can become permanently disabled. Religion is like a lift in the shoe, and I say just don't ask me to wear your shoes. And let's not go down and nail lifts onto the natives' feet."
[Saturday Night Live. NBC. 11 Oct 1975. Television.]

"Religion is like a lift in your shoe. It's important, sometimes. And it helps you walk straight, for a while, however long you need it. That's the secret. 'How long do I need it?' It's like anything else you think you need for any length of time, 'How long do I need it'? As long as you're pullin' your own coat* ...nice! As long you know who's in control or why you're not, OK. [...] Like I say: religion is a lift in your shoe, man. If you need it, cool. Just don't let me wear your shoes if I don't want 'em. And we don't have to go down and nail lifts on to the natives' feet!"
["Religious Lift". An Evening With Wally Londo, Featuring Bill Slazo. Eardrum/Atlantic, 1975]

* - I've seen some source transcribe this as "Coke" instead of "coat", but I'm going with "coat". The expression "to pull [somebody's] coat" about something, means to personally teach something or give a person some other information that they weren't aware of. If you don't believe me, look it up. In this case, "pulling your own coat" to me implies learning lessons and what not from your own actions, as opposed to always getting all of your answers from somebody else.

"Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time."

CLOSE, BUT NOT CARLIN'S EXACT WORDS

The actual quotation is "The Food and Drug Administration has announced that saliva causes stomach cancer. However, only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time." That's from the track "Headlines" from his album On the Road. He also used the same joke in his 1978 HBO special, as "The Surgeon General announced today that saliva causes stomach cancer. However, only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time." As usual, Carlin's exact words are funnier than the messed-up version being passed around the internet.

"Tell people there is an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they will touch it to be sure."

LIKELY NOT CARLIN'S

There's no evidence that Carlin ever said this. This quote doesn't show up in any of his albums, books, or HBO specials. I heard one guy claim that it's from one of the episodes of "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher that Carlin guest-starred on, but I haven't been able to confirm this. I even ran into one person who insisted the line is from his album "You Are All Diseased" (1999), but it simply isn't (he does use the expression "invisible man, living in the sky" on that album, but that's as close as it gets).

Searching on the web, I can only seem to find the quote being attributed to Carlin since about 2012, well after Carlin passed away. I've found some variations before that (2002, 2003, 2006) where the quote author was left as being unknown/anonymous, and always addressed stars instead of deities, e.g.: "Tell them there are 2 billion stars in the galaxy and they will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet and they'll have to touch it to be sure." So these two things are big signs of the quote being bogus. More specifically, it makes me wonder if there's a Carl Sagan quote that this is all derived from. Still, I haven't been able to find a source of this particular quote, and I suppose there's still the remote chance that Carlin said it on some earlier episode of "Politically Incorrect", so I'm filing this one under "Likely Not Carlin's" until evidence says otherwise.

  • Cached page from 2003 showing the quote with "stars"
  • "The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post "Thou shalt not steal", "Thou shalt not commit adultery", and "Thou shalt not lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment."

    Older versions have this as the third part of a 3-part routine called "Cows, the Constitution and the Ten Commandments".

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    It's true that Carlin had a long rant about the Ten Commandments on his 2001 album and HBO special, Complaints & Grievances, which he later published in written form in his book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?. However, this line doesn't appear anywhere in that routine. In fact, this line doesn't show up in any of Carlin's books, albums, or HBO specials. It was being passed around the internet a lot in 2005 as part of a short piece called "Cows, the Constitution, and the Ten Commandments", usually with no attribution to Carlin. I found a copy as early as 2004 credited to "Freedom4ever". Here's the routine in full:

    1- COWS: Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington. They also tracked her calves to their stalls . but they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

    2- CONSTITUTION: They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years and we're not using it anymore.

    3- TEN COMMANDMENTS: The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse ...you cannot post "Thou shalt not steal", "Thou shalt not commit adultery", and "Thou shalt not bear false witness" in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment!!

    It's hard to say who the original author is, but it still seems like a typical case of some anonymous joke list getting shared around the internet and later getting misattributed to George Carlin. This especially happens whenever the piece involves either observational humor, US government criticism, or religious criticism -- and this one has all three! Then again, some websites even misattribute the piece to Larry the Cable Guy, so go figure. I've also seen at least one book, "Everybody for Everybody" by Samuel A. Nigro, credit the third part of the quote to Mike Miesch, whoever that is. Regardless, there's really no evidence that Carlin ever said it, and it bears the usual signs of being a fake: it's nowhere to be found in Carlin's works, and the Carlin attribution didn't happen until well after it made its rounds on the internet.

    "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    This is a line that Drew Carey said in The Drew Carey Show (season 4, episode 2: "In Ramada Da Vida"). The actual line is "Oh you hate your job? Oh my God, why didn't you say so? You know there's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY. They meet at the bar!" And no, it wasn't stolen from Carlin either; there's absolutely no evidence that Carlin ever said, let alone first. It doesn't show up in any of his works.

    Why on earth some idiots on the internet insist on attributing the quote to George Carlin, we'll never know. But I'm sure they frequent the bar.

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers."

    (or "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups")

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    George Carlin had plenty of material on the topic of human stupidity. However, this quote doesn't show up on any of his albums, books, or HBO specials. On top of that, it does appear in other writings that existed before he really started writing about the topic.

    It's hard to say who really coined the phrase. I've seen some other sources attribute it to Mark Twain, but I can't find a source of where and when he might have said it. I found a book published in 1991, "Maury County remembers World War II , Volume 2" which has "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in a group". Searching a little more, I found the quote "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity" in Robert A. Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love", published in 1973 by G.P. Putnam's Sons publishing.

    If there's a lesson to be learned from all of this, it's that one shouldn't underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups (particularly on the internet) to share false quotations about stupid people. Another tragic irony.

    "Ask people why they have deer heads on their walls, and they tell you it's because they're such beautiful animals. I think my wife is beautiful, but I only have photographs of her on the wall."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    Granted, Carlin didn't care for hunting and made a few remarks about it ("You think hunting is a sport? Ask the deer." - Playin' with Your Head) but the line about the wife is a good hint that it's not his. Carlin never talked about his wife or made references to her in his act, the only exception I can think of being "Fussy Eater" ("Honey, is this good?", etc.), but even that's stretching it.

    The reality is that this is a rewording of a joke from Ellen DeGeneres. She used to tell it in her stand-up act: "I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They say, 'Because it's such a beautiful animal.' There you go. I think my mother's attractive, but I have photographs of her."

    On a side note, there was an episode of Ellen titled "A Deer Head For Joe", where Ellen's new boss mounts a deer head on the wall of the office, which disturbs Ellen. However, the quote doesn't appear there. (I was expecting it would, since other stand-up comedians who went on to make their own sitcoms -- Tim Allen, Rosanne Barr, and of course George Carlin -- ended up sticking in some of their origal stand-up material into the dialog of the episodes they'd do.

    "Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it."
    (or "Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. End of story.")

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    It's hard to say who came up with this line first. I've seen more than one book with this title, or some variation of it. Given how popular John Gray's "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" book was in the '90s, it's not really too surprising that multiple people would come up with this satirical line. I've found no less than five different books from different authors who use the line (or some variation of it) as a book title. I also found a 1996 liquor ad that uses the line.

    In any case, the line doesn't show up on any of Carlin's albums, HBO specials, or books. Also, you can find plenty of earlier instances of the line existing before the Carlin misattributions started.

    "George Carlin's Solution to Save Gasoline"

    a.k.a. "George Carlin's solution to Gasoline shortages and illegal immigration"


    Sample:
    "President Bush wants us to cut the amount of gas we use.
    The best way to stop Using so much gas is to deport 11 million illegal immigrants!
    That would be 11 million less people using our gas. The price of gas would come down.
    Bring our troops home from Iraq to guard the border. When they catch an illegal immigrant crossing the border, hand him a canteen, rifle and some ammo and ship him to Iraq. Tell him if he wants to come to America then he must serve a tour in the military. Give him a soldier's pay while he's there and tax him on it. After his tour, he will be allowed to become a citizen since he defended this country. He will also be registered to be taxed and be a legal patriot.
    This option will probably deter illegal immigration and provide a solution for the troops in Iraq and the aliens trying to make a better life for themselves. If they refuse to serve, ship them to Iraq anyway, without the canteen, rifle or ammo. Problem solved."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    This piece doesn't show up on any of his albums, HBO specials, or books. Also, it was initially circulating around the web for at least a year and a half without it being attributed to George Carlin. Plus it doesn't sound like something he'd really write, for a few reasons.

    As usual, Snopes.com nails it. Go here to read their explanation:

    "Obituary: Common Sense", or
    "The Death of Common Sense"

    Sample:
    "Today we mourn the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. Common Sense lived a long life but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life isn't always fair..." (etc.)

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    The actual author of this piece is Lori Borgman. She first published it 1998. Not surprisingly, some lines got changed along the way.

    Platform as a Write-In Candidate in the 2008 Election

    Sample: "I HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE. HERE IS MY PLATFORM:
    ( 1.) Press 1 for English is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.
    ( 2.) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country's attitude. NO imports, no exports. We will use the 'Walmart' policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.'
    ( 3.) ..."
    , etc.

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    More often this one gets misattributed to Bill Cosby, but on occasion it gets attributed to George Carlin. Neither one of them wrote the piece.

    "Signs for Stupid People", or
    "Here's Your Sign", or
    "THE STUPID SIGN"

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    This is a trademark routine from comedian Bill Engvall. Yet some people on-line still attribute it to George Carlin. Why? I have no idea. It's clear however that the person should be wearing one of these signs. Oh the irony.

    New Rules for 2006

    Or any other year. These are a list of proposed rules, each of which start with the words "New Rule:".

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    As many people already know, the "New Rules" is a routine from comedian Bill Maher, not George Carlin. Carlin had certainly been a guest on the show a number of times, but he didn't write these lists. One particular list being forwarded around is a compilation of various "new rules" he gave on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher in 2005.

    List of Hurricane Rules

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    Not by George Carlin. He said so on his official site. See also the investigation that Snopes.com turned up.

    Various one-liners, part 1

    1. Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
    2. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.
    3. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
    4. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
    5. The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
    6. I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
    7. Could it be that all those trick-or-treaters wearing sheets aren't going as ghosts but as mattresses?
    8. If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
    9. If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him...is he still wrong?
    10. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    George Carlin did not write these. The lines don't show up on any of his releases, and his own official website stated that they're not his. These are really just email lists that have been being forwarded around since the 1990s. I remember getting them myself many times in college. Only much later did they get falsely attributed to Carlin. Some of these are just bumper stickers, like #2 and #3. And #4 is just an embarrassing creationist argument, used by people who don't understand how evolution works. Though I do remember it being one of the very last gags used by Mad Magazine artist Dave Berg for his feature, "The Lighter Side Of...".

    Various one-liners, part 2

    11. Is there another word for synonym?
    12. Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do practice?"
    13. Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"
    14. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
    15. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
    16. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
    17. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
    18. If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
    19. Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
    20. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    George Carlin did not write these actual lines. A few of them sound similar to jokes that showed up in some of his books. For example, #16 sounds similar to an observation on his album version of "Carlin on Campus", on why we don't have an animal called the "walk". #20 is joke that Carlin made years later in his book "Napalm & Silly Putty", though worded differently. But that's about it. As his official website stated, the list simply isn't his work. These are really just email lists that have been being forwarded around since the 1990s and only much later did they get falsely attributed to Carlin.

    A few jokes likewise bear some similarity to those from other comedians. Mitch Hedberg said (to paraphrase) the fly almost ended up being called the "land", since that's what it does the other half of the time. #11 is similar to a Steven Wright line, asking "What's another word for Thesaurus?" But no, this isn't a list of jokes from Hedberg or Wright either.

    Various one-liners, part 3

    21. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
    22. Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?
    23. How do blind people know when they are done wiping?
    24. How do they get the deer to cross at that yellow road sign?
    25. Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
    26. What was the best thing before sliced bread?
    27. One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.
    28. Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?
    29. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
    30. How is it possible to have a civil war?

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN (though some are close)

    As with the previous list, George Carlin did not write these actual lines, even though a few of them sound similar to jokes that he's done. For example, regarding #26, Carlin did have a rant about the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread" on his 1996 album "Back in Town". He likewise pointed out the oxymoron "civil war" in his 1992 album "Jammin' In New York"). But as his official website stated, the list simply isn't his work. These are really just email lists that have been being forwarded around since the 1990s and only much later did they get falsely attributed to Carlin.

    #23 is a rewording of a joke from comedian Robert Schimmel (an awesome stand-up comedian, whom I got to meet a year before he died from car crash injuries in 2010). I first heard him do it in the 1988 HBO Rodney Dangerfield special "Nothin' Goes Right".

    Various one-liners, part 4


    31. If God dropped acid, would he see people?
    32. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too?
    33. If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?
    34. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
    35. Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have a "S" in it?
    36. Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "asteroids"?
    37. Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
    38. Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
    39. Where are we going? And what's with this hand basket?
    40. If the "black box" flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn't the whole damn airplane made out of that stuff?
    41. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
    42. If you spin an oriental man in a circle three times, does he become disoriented?

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    George Carlin did not write these. Off hand, #36 sounds like a joke that Robert Schimmel has done. #38 is usually attributed to Steven Wright (as are many internet one-liner jokes), though off hand I can't remember whether or not he really said it.

    Various one-liners, part 5

    2. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
    3. Why do we say something is out of whack? What's a whack?
    5. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
    6. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
    7. When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts", and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?
    8. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
    9. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.
    10. When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?
    11. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?
    12. Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
    13. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
    14. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?
    15. "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    George Carlin did not write these. It was explicitly said so on his official website. (You'll notice a few missing numbers from this list; I just removed some of the jokes that were already on some of the other lists above.)

    Various one-liners, part 6

    16. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
    17. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
    18. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
    19. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
    20. Why do people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older? Are they cramming for their final exam?
    21. Our mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?
    22. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
    23. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
    24. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
    25. No one ever says, "It's only a game", when their team is winning.
    26. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?
    27. Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.
    28. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    George Carlin did not write these. It was explicitly said so on his official website. #27 bears some similarity to a Steven Wright joke.

    Various one-liners, part 7

    • Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling 'Evian' backwards.
    • Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
    • OK.... so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the "Bucs," what does that make the Tennessee Titans?
    • If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?
    • No one ever says, 'It's only a game' when their team is winning.
    • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
    • (etc.)

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    These quotes weren't included as examples on georgecarlin.com of stuff he didn't write, but they sure show the same typical signs of being fake: 1) they were part of mass-forwarded joke lists on the internet, often mixed in with some of the other one-liners in the lists above (these lists include "Questions that Just Need to Be Asked", "Thoughts to Ponder" for the game-losing line, and "Some Time-Honored Truths..." for the fishing one), 2) they don't show up in any of Carlin's actual works, and 3) they made their rounds on the internet for years with no attribution, only later being credited to George Carlin. In fact, I don't see evidence of idiots attaching Carlin's name to these until 2003.

    Regarding the "Evian" quote, The Mammoth Book of Humor published in 2000 by Geoff Tibballs has it with no attribution (quote #884), but simply categorized under "Food". In 1995, Curt Johnson published a book called Thanksgiving in Vegas December Press, 106 pages), which includes the following line: "It was then that Barry noticed the holster with the plastic bottle of water in it over her shoulder. Apparently, citizens of California had to carry their own private supply. Which probably came straight from the tap before the bottler slapped on a label. Try spelling Evian backwards". Though he's certainly not the only one to notice the spelling; I remember seeing a t-shirt around that same year in a mall that had the same exact "Evian" logo, only it spelled "naive".

    "If you take the bible literally and Mary is the mother of Jesus and Jesus is the lamb of God, does that mean Mary had a little lamb?"

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    Cute line, but it seems that George Carlin never said it. It doesn't show up on any of his albums, HBO specials, or books. As for who came up with it, I don't know. Doing some quick searches on the web, I found out that the quote is at least as old as 2003, with no attribution to Carlin until much later. It could very well have been the Yahoo Answers user who thought of it; some really witty religion-bashing stuff gets posted there every minute. I should know, because I used to be a regular there.

    "It's disgusting, man. Disgusting that people still make the argument that we can never cut defense but we can cut education. Who the fuck is going to invade the US? Really? Really? Use your fucking heads! The only country that could invade America is America! We can afford to cut defense; we can't afford to cut education. We cut education, in 50 years, we'll be so stack with idiots with shitty jobs that we won't have enough money to pay for defense!"

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    I have NO idea where on Earth this quote came from. A search on different search engines for the quote or even parts of the quote left me with nothing. Actually the line "we won't have enough money to pay for defense" brings me one hit: a page from The 700 Club website. Go figure.

    More importantly, I don't know why anybody would attribute this to Carlin. Yet I saw it on a George Carln "fan" page on Facebook that's notorious for bogus Carlin quotes. Even worse, they claimed the quote was from Playin' With Your Head. Whoever said that it did, has obviously never listened to either the Playin' With Your Head album or watched the HBO special. First of all, Carlin didn't start saying any sort of enranged social-commentary things like this until 1988 with What Am I Doing In New Jersey?. Furthermore, I can't imagine Carlin saying "We can't afford to cut education", since he sincerely didn't care about the future of the US. So I'm not even going to be safe here and mark it as "LIKELY NOT CARLIN"; I'm calling bullshit on this one!

    "Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town."

    LIKELY NOT CARLIN

    As usual, I see this one on-line from time to time, but I can't find it on any of his albums or HBO specials, nor in any of his books. I've seen it quoted a lot without any attribution, and it's apparently a popular line among 12-step programs, but I still can't find a reliable source for its authorship. I suppose there's a slim chance that Carlin said this in an interview talking about his own drug abuse history, which is really the only reason why I'm marking this as "LIKELY NOT CARLIN" instead of "NOT CARLIN". But still, I doubt it. He was asked a lot about his history of drug use in his 1982 and 2005 interviews with Playboy magazine, as well as his 1997 interview with High Times magazine, but he never says the line in any of these. Never mind the fact that even if he DID say, I doubt he coined it himself.

    "One in three Americans suffer from mental illness. Think of two of your friends. If they're OK, then it must be you."

    LIKELY NOT CARLIN

    I haven't been able to find this quotation in any of Carlin's books, albums, or HBO specials. Some sources attribute a similar quotation to author Rita Mae Brown: "The statistics on insanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's got to be you." Though even then, nobody's been able to show exactly where or when she said this. I also remember the comedian Gallagher saying something really similar in the 80s, though I forget which special of his it was from (paraphrasing from memory: "...Look at the person to your left. Look at the person to your right. If they both seem OK, then guess what?"). Though it sounds like the old urban legend that Harvard freshman are told by their dean, "Look to your left. Look to your right. One of you three will not end up graduating!", or some variation like that.

    The joke showed up on a mass-forwarded internet joke list from around 2000-2001 called "Life's Reflections". This particular list includes one well-known authentic line ("Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?" -- though Carlin's real quote is worded slightly differently), but a whole lot of ones that clearly aren't Carlin's. Also, not surprisingly, the list got changed by some people along the way, though still with no Carlin attribute to the quotation until years later. So this sounds like a typical case of a random internet joke from a mass-forwarded joke list getting misattributed to Carlin.

    Links:

    "Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck"

    LIKELY NOT CARLIN

    This is another quotation I see on-line from time to time, but I can't find it on any of his albums or HBO specials, nor in any of his books. But there are many other problems with this:

    • The line used to show up in a mass-forwarded internet joke list, allegedly the results of a "yearly neologism contest" from The Washington Post. First of all, the Washington Post never had a "yearly neologism contest". Washington Post columnist Bob Levey did however run a monthly neologism contest from 1983 until he retired in 2004.
    • Even then, the line doesn't sound like something from Levey's column. What Levey normally did was present a situation that people have seen before, and challenge readers to come up with a witty word to describe it. For example, his January 2002 column asked readers what one would call a person who orders a triple-decker hamburger with all the fixings, and a diet soft drink. The winning entry was "dijester". Close seconds included "denieter" and "poptimist". Somehow I doubt Levey asked his readers to give a word to describe the belief that when one dies, one's soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
    • By the way, back in the 80s comedian Rich Hall had Sniglets, "Any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should". But once again, these were words used to describe every-day things (for example "threek: a fork with a bent tine"), so it doesn't sound like his either.
    • Washington Post or no Washington Post, this simply doesn't sound like something Carlin would say. He certainly had a lot of pieces on religion and especially the English language, and how some actual English words sound like they should have different meanings, however making up new words like "Frisbeetarianism" this to describe a belief that doesn't exist was not something he ever really did. The only exception I can think of off-hand is from his Carlin on Campus performance when he refers to vuja-de, the feeling that somehow none of this has ever happened before. Which seems appropriate here, now that I think about it.

    Links:

    "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

    CARLIN QUOTING SOMEBODY ELSE. (But it wasn't Nietzsche.)

    In 2013 I saw a massively shared pic on Facebook which attributed the quotation on the left to Nietzsche. In short, there's no evidence that Nietzsche ever said this; I have yet to see anybody present a source (one idiot insisted that it was Nietzche, and her evidence was telling me to "googel [sic] this"). When I saw the quotation myself, I immediately recognized it as a miswording of a line from Carlin's book Brain Droppings: "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." (Carlin, George. Brain Droppings. New York: Hyperion, 1997. p74).

    So that settles it, right? Well, no. In Carlin's next book, Napalm & Silly Putty, the preface contains page of quotations from other people, and the same quotation from Brain Droppings is attributed here to "Anon." (anonymous). So what's going on here? Well, Carlin always prided himself in writing his own material, so I'm reluctant to call him a thief (never mind the fact that I'm obviously biased!). I think it's more likely that he ran into a problem that writers and musicians occasionally fall for, which is plagiarizing something unknowingly (It can happen; you get something in your head that sounds good and think that you came up with yourself, but you're just repeating something whose source you've forgotten). Regardless, again, he did attribute the line to "anonymous" in 2001, so ultimately Carlin wasn't trying to take credit for it.

    Who was the real author of the quotation? Well, this is one of those quotations that seems to have grown to have a life of its own. QuoteInvestigator.com did some EXCELLENT research on this (see the link below). You can find the same underling joke in some writings going as far back as the early 19th century. For example, in 1813 Anne Louise Germaine de Staël published the work "De l'Allemagne", where this line appears in the English translation: "...where we did not hear the music; the dancing that we saw there would appear insane." Over the years there were many, many variations of this, until things wound up in the worded form that Carlin quoted. Where Carlin himself found the quotation, I don't know.

    Links:

    "When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    Another quotation I see on-line from time to time, but I can't find it on any of his albums or HBO specials, nor in any of his books. There is however a spoken word album by Jello Biafra called "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve", recorded in 1996 and released in 1998.

    "A man came up to me on the street and said I used to be messed up out of my mind on drugs but now I'm messed up out of my mind on Jeeesus Chriiist."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    This quote is one of the few unsourced quotes on a widely-circulated internet list of "George Carlin on Religion". The quote is really a variation of a line from a 1972 Cheech and Chong routine, titled "Streets of New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco Or...". The actual quote is "You know before, I was all messed up on drugs. But since I found the Lord, now I'm all messed up on the Lord." And as usual, it doesn't show up on any of Carlin's released materials, let alone the few released prior to 1972.

    "Boy, I feel safer now that Martha Stewart is behind bars. OJ and Kobe are walking around; Osama Bin Laden is still out there, and they take the one woman in America willing to cook, clean and work in the yard and haul her ass to jail."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    As usual, no sign of this on any of his albums or HBO specials, nor in any of his books (which, given the time this happened, narrows it down to only a few titles). Stewart's conviction happened in March 2004, so the quote can't be earlier than that, even though it was a long trial and what not.

    The earliest credits I see to somebody are in November 2004, to Tim Wilson. Later in 2005, you see it getting attributed to Tim Allen, and then only another year after that do people start crediting it to George Carlin. This screams "FAKE".

    "I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam."

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    This quote was circulating in a joke list being passed around the internet, at least as early as 1997. It's been misattributed to Steven Wright, too. I remember hearing other people make the joke over the years. It's a real old one. As usual, the line is nowhere to be seen on any of Carlin's albums, HBO specials, or books. This seems to be yet another case of somebody finding a quote and blindly attributing it to Carlin solely because it's a religion joke.

    "This title offends all three major religions, and even vegetarians!" (regarding his book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops)

    UNCONFIRMED (though certain variations may be legit)

    Yes, I know "unconfirmed" doesn't automatically mean "bogus". I'm only mentioning this quote here because I see it a lot on-line, and I'm still trying to confirm a source for it. I do have a feeling that he really said it, or rather some variation of it. Ideally, I'm hoping to find the source and move the quotation on to the "real quotes" page. But in the mean time, I decided to put it here as "unconfirmed".

    So here's what I've been able to find so far:

    The quotation doesn't show up in any of his albums, books, or HBO specials, so it's likely that it was something he said on an interview to promote his book. When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? was released in October 2004, so if he said it then it was most likely in late 2004 or early 2005. He did appear on The Daily Show in 2004, but he didn't mention the book at all, and instead was asked about the film Jersey Girl (March 2004).

    Most reviews for the book say "In a TV interview on CNBC with Tim Russert, Carlin said the title offends all three of the major religions, and the vegetarians." Others say "In an interview on NBC, Carlin recounted how 'it offends all three major religions, plus the vegetarians. So there's a bonus in there.'" As I understand it, Tim Russert (who coincidentally died about a week before Carlin) had two shows at the time: Meet the Press on NBC, and Tim Russert on CNBC. Some links (see below) confirm that it was Carlin being interviewed on the latter of these two, airing Saturday November 20th, 2004. Somebody uploaded this to YouTube at some point, but it has since been taken down.

    Carlin also may have said something similar on the Today show. I found an article that states Atheists were represented in an NBC interview with comedian George Carlin, who was promoting his book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? Lauer joked: "Let's say right off the bat, anything offensive here is not my idea, it's all your idea, okay?" Carlin said of the title: "I realized about a week later, and it might have been my brother who pointed it out, that it offends all three major religions, plus the vegetarians. So there’s a bonus in there." I'd like to believe that this is legit, but again, the exact original source of the quotation isn't here (they say "NBC", and I have to wonder if this is getting confused with the CNBC one). Searching around, it seems that it would have been the Monday October 22nd, 2007 episode.

    Once I can hear either of these two interviews for myself, or see a transcript from a first-hand source, I can confirm the quotation. I like to keep my list of "real" quotations limited to ones that I've been able to read or hear myself from a first-hand source (not somebody quoting somebody else's interview with Carlin). Please contact me if you know where I can find either! Again, that's the Today show from October 22nd, 2007, or CNBC's Tim Russert from November 20th, 2004.

    "Christians worship a dead Jew on a stick"

    NOT SAID BY CARLIN

    Referring to Jesus as a "dead Jew on a stick" for shock value is really nothing new. I've heard countless people use the expression over the years. In fact, if you wait around just about any internet forum for long enough, some holy-roller is bound to show up and start proselytizing, which soon erupts into what's known as a 'flame war', and in the exchange of insults you may very well see somebody using this line. A simple search on the web for the string "dead Jew on a stick" brings back countless examples.

    Regardless, there's no evidence that Carlin said this, much less coined the expression. Carlin had other deliberately cartoonish descriptions of Jesus ("the man with the glowing head", "Jesus was a cross-dresser", etc.), but this wasn't one of them. The line doesn't show up in any of Carlin's albums, books, or HBO specials. This looks like yet another case of some clueless person on the internet taking some blasphemous phrase and misattributing it to Carlin solely because it's blasphemous. This misattribution seems to have been pretty recent too; I can't find any examples of Carlin's name being attached to this prior to 2013.

    So who was the first person to coin this phrase? Who knows. I found a printed reference as early as 1989, but I'm sure it's older than that. Though curiously enough that 1989 reference was a white supremacy publication I found on-line ("Racial Loyalty" issue #48, March 1989), attributing the quote to white supremacist Harold Covington, in his pre-Jesus days. Again though, I'm sure the quote is older than that. Even aside from the fact that it doesn't even sound like something Carlin would exactly say, Carlin's full-on religion bashing didn't happen until the 1990s anyway.

    • Klassen, Ben. "Anatomy of a Hypocrite". Racial Loyalty issue #48, March 1989. See copies here and here