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Remembering George Carlin

Commemorating the late comedian on his birthday, Mouwafak Chourbagui waxes lyrical about his genius and introduces us to some of his best moments.

I was introduced to my beloved Girgis by my friend Karim just under a decade ago. We were procrastinating on the internet at his place in Maadi, trying to cure our boredom with countless brainless videos, when suddenly an inspired idea pops into his mind and he tells me “Let’s watch George Carlin. You will like him.” Five minutes in, I realised that I wasn’t watching a comedian but a genius that happened to be funny.   

I lost my virginity to George Carlin. Not in the literal sense, of course, but he was the first person that made me question things, that made me look at situations and problems from a different angle, that released me from the confines of naïve certainty. He opened my mind and for that I will be eternally grateful. That he made me laugh in the process was even more remarkable. Life is funny that way; 14 years of school followed by four years of undergraduate studies yet the mind ends up finally being stimulated and challenged from a YouTube video of a man from another country, from another generation dissecting the bullshit of another society. That his words and perceptive observations made sense in an Egyptian context too speaks to the caliber of his mind and to the prevalence of bullshit. 

Since he is relatively unknown to the Egyptian scene, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate his birthday and commemorate his memory with a compilation of my favorite Carlin clips.  

Since I hate top 10 lists, here is a top 16 list. 

1) Saving the Planet

2) Stuff

3) Euphemisms 

4) Rights

5) Pro-Life = AntiWoman

6) 10 Commandments 

7) Modern Man

8) Advertising Lullaby

9) Death Penalty

10) War

11) Question everything

12) Pride

13) The Male Disease

14) Things that bring us together

15) Religion is Bullshit

16) White People