Santa Monica Playhouse, Santa Monica, California
As I & everyone else in that theatre watched & listened to this lone voice on this bare stage; we searched in her smile, her gestures, her mannerisms, cadence & wit - for a resemblance of our national treasure - her father.
Physically, it was not immediately apparent. Neither was the fervor of his comedic anti-establishment persona.
But if George were alive today; he might say proudly "The Sh_ _ doesn't fall far from the Tree"!
No; Kelly never indulged in "The Comparing Game" - He likes blah, blah & I like blah, blah too. Other people are going to do that; whether she does or not.
Kelly Carlin, a talented Author, Performer & Radio Host; presented pride, honor & humor in her One-Woman Show, "A Carlin Home Companion"; where I was lucky enough to share the love of one of the most prolific minds of the 21st Century - America's Comic's Comic & her mother Brenda Carlin.
A woman with a well-examined life; Kelly didn't mince words or feelings; in her poignant account of the ebbs & flows of life where addiction to drugs & alcohol take away pain & give joy - if you're lucky enough to survive it.
Bright & unassuming; she didn't have to gloat of the genius of her father - we just knew!
And she didn't come across as entitled or jaded; she was down-to-earth, soft-spoken & geniune; with a hole in her heart growing up with such a highly praised & often attacked father for his beliefs & disbeliefs.
But mainly for his "Words".
You can find his words all over the Internet for memorable quotes in his many HBO Specials, Best Selling Books & Record Albums - he had an opinion on everything!
But what are the things most people remember when they think of George Carlin?
"The 7 Dirty Words" is one; from his infamous "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" 1972 Routine.
But Kelly didn't name those "Wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap-Words" - so neither will I. Or maybe she did & I missed them as I was checking off my own list!
Anyway, George said, "There are no bad words! Bad thoughts! Bad intentions"!
For G-d's sake; he even shared a Paddy Wagon with Lenny Bruce! To paraphrase Kelly, "He was trying to be cool & Palsy, but Lenny looked at him & said "You Shmuck"!
Or we may think of him in his 1986 *"Stuff" Rant too. That went Viral - before there was "A Viral"! You see; there's something for everyone.
Stuff; is the accumulation of worldly goods we insanely carry around with us & I guess; was for Middle America & the other 2 America's - an acceptable aternative to the "7 Words" Bit.
But throughout his whole career - what he did do so bravely was - Wake us up & make us think!
As an only child living in this Comedy/Tragedy Fishbowl called Show Business; Kelly has seen the highs & the lows; allowing us to peek into their world in this powerful Show - just one leg of her Tour.
In the reassuring voice of a Therapist; of which she once was & accompanied by video footage to delight our memories - Kelly guided us through her family's valient history like only she could do.
The only one who could tap into her Well of pleasure & pain & personalize her father's rise to stardom - From a straight Comic through his transformation into a counter-culture Hero & iconoclastic Social Commentator up until his death at age 71 in 2008.
They say, "Comedy is Tragedy plus Time"!
This is truly Kelly's Time!
You can also hear her on Sirius XM "The Kelly Carlin Show", and see her handiwork on "Showtime" as Producer of "The Green Room" with famed Director Paul Provenza of this Show.