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The Talon House

Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television


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"I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I uh, I think is important. I love..as I say, they're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have really.

"We have thoughts, but thoughts are fluid. You know, [humming]. And, then we assign a word to a thought, [clicks tongue]. And we're stuck with that word for that thought. So be careful with words. I like to think, yeah, the same words that hurt can heal. It's a matter of how you pick them.

"There are some people that aren't into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That's what they told us they were, remember? 'That's a bad word.' 'Awwww.' There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.

"And words, you know the seven don't you? s**t, Piss, f**k, c***, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.

s**t, Piss, f**k, c***, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. 'Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.' It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

"Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people's feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the list...like cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are...those are heavy-weight words. There's a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K's. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. CocksuckerMotherfuckerCocksucker. It's like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.

"And we mentioned s**t earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and c***, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and c***. The reason Piss and c*** are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said 'Those are the two I am not going to say. I don't mind f**k and s**t, but P and C are out. P and C are out.' Which led to such stupid sentences as 'OK, you fuckers, I am going to tinkle now.'

"And of course the word f**k. The word f**k, I don't really...well, this is some more accidental humor, but I don't really want to get into that now. Because I think it takes too long. But I do mean that. I mean, I think the word f**k is an important word. It's the beginning of life, and, yet it's a word we use to hurt one other, quite often. And uh, people much wiser than I have said, I'd rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one other. And I of course agree. I wish I know who said it first, and I agree with that. But I would like to take it a step further. I would like to substitute the word f**k, for the word kill in all those movie cliches we grew up with. 'Okay Sheriff, we're gonna f**k ya now. But we're gonna f**k ya slow.' So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' rap on that word. I hope so.

"Uh, there are two-way words, but those are the seven you can never say on television. Under any circumstances you just can not say them ever, ever ever, not even clinically. You can not weave them in the panel with Doc and Ed and Johnny, I mean it's just impossible, forget those seven, they're out.

"But, there are some two-way words. There are double-meaning words. Remember the ones your giggled at in sixth grade? 'And the c*** crowed three times.''Hey, the c*** the c*** crowed three times. It's in the bible.' There are some Two-way words, like it's okay for Curt Gowdy [mis-spelled in original transcription. -ed.] to say 'Roberto Clemente has two balls on him.' But he can't say, 'I think he hurt his balls on that play Tony, don't you? He's holding them. He must have hurt them by God.' And the other two-way word that goes with that one is prick. It's okay if it happens to your finger. Yes, you can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick. No, no."

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  • 1 month later...

George Carlin gets in one last laugh on death

LOS ANGELES — Just months before he died, George Carlin was looking into the face of death — and making it the butt of his jokes.

"You know what I've been doing? Going through my address book and crossing out the dead people. It gives you a feeling of power, of superiority, to have outlasted another old friend," Carlin says on what turned out to be his final comedy album. The recording, "It's Bad For Ya," comes out Tuesday on Eardrum Records.

Carlin died June 22 of a heart attack at 71.

In an interview four months before his death, he told The Associated Press he was particularly pleased with the material he was working up for the album and an HBO show that aired last March.

"Definitely some people who are close to me who have seen this show, and have seen a lot of the others, feel this is my best stuff yet," he said.

Among them was his daughter, Kelly Carlin McCall, who said she was delighted to see the album mark a return to what she called her father's "playful goofiness." In recent years, she noted, his routines had seemed to get darker and angrier.

Not so this time, with Carlin waxing on — with four-letter words in abundance — about the advantages of getting older.

"It's a great time of life, you get to take advantage of people and you're not responsible for anything," he says on the album. He adds that he discovered a popular pastime could be had gathering family members around and pretending to have Alzheimer's.

"You say, 'Who are you people and where's my horse?"

Although there will be no more new routines, Carlin is still around, thanks to his daughter and brother, Patrick, who spent a weekend earlier this month scattering his ashes at his favorite haunts around the country. They stopped in front of the nightclubs he played in New York City's Greenwich Village and at a summer camp in New Hampshire where, as a child, he received a necklace for winning the drama competition. He was wearing it the day he died.

Accompanied by old friends from the neighborhood, they also stopped at a park on the edge of Harlem where Carlin grew up.

"The wind blew him around a little bit when Kelly threw his ashes," Patrick Carlin recalled.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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