"Kelly Carlin has brought her own voice to tell the tale of one of the great comedy heroes of all time, George Carlin. She takes you on a ride through time, emotion, through challenges and evolution. She's a master storyteller, and you will fall in love with her as much as you did with her dad. Kelly carries his torch with her own brand of genius, and the evening is well lit by that indeed. You're a sap if you don't make every effort to see this show." - Rick Overton
"The journey to womanhood by a girl who happens to be George Carlin's daughter makes for a transcendent show that operates on all levels.
It's revealing, moving, highly insightful and funny. Master George might have said: 'Maybe she's a little too damn honest. But, all I know is, it's a wonder to see." - Garry Shandling
"Kelly Carlin's show is an unexpected experience of self realization that is moving, intelligent, funny and great theatre that can stand alone as just that. The fact that it revolves around her father, a beloved icon of comedy, is the icing on the cake." - Laraine Newman
"Kelly Carlin's highly entertaining one-woman-show is pure joy for fans of George Carlin's and comedy in general. Deftly intertwining her life with that of her father's, she creates a truly insider look at the man she calls dad, and we call the father of modern comedy. To see the joy, the challenges and the love that she has experienced makes us feel up close and personal to the man himself. Kelly is a wonderful story teller, its no surprise to see the apple has fallen so close to the tree. To see this show is to fall in love with George and his comedy all over again and with Kelly for the first time. A must see." - Ross Fineman, Exec. Producer - Lights Out
Deftly weaving her amusing yet poignant family stories with classic video footage of her father’s career and family memorabilia, Kelly Carlin, the only child of iconoclastic comedian George Carlin, takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions and pulls back the curtain on their life together off stage.
Chronicling over forty years of her life with her father, Kelly warmly yet honestly reveals not only what it was like to be swept up by his life and career, but the struggles of their father/daughter relationship and ultimately what it took for Kelly to find her own place in the world.
Join us for this unexpected, loving and revealing look at the man who constantly redefined himself in order to redefined 20th century comedy.
Tonight Kelly Carlin performed her one-person show (with video appearances by the late but ever-timely George Carlin), A Carlin Home Companionat The Santa Monica Playhouse. The house filled up nicely, the technical aspects of the show ran flawlessly under the masterful hand of Bob McCall. Ms. Carlin took the stage with charming in-the-moment awareness of the room’s vibe and then very quickly adjusted the vibe of the room to match her own rhythms and energy.
I have seen this show at various stages of its development and while it has always been interesting and entertaining and delightful, I could not have imagined that it would turn into such a transcendent piece of theater....
MONTREAL — Garrison Keillor may not have deigned to perform a monologue of “The Seven Dirty Words” in a surprise guest appearance, but A Carlin Home Companion – forgive me, NPR – didn’t require any public broadcasting credentials to classify as a best of the fest selection. The one-woman play and creative brainchild of Kelly Carlin, only living heir to the George Carlin comedy empire, the show commanded such rapt attention of its audience that one might have thought the big man himself had dropped in for a posthumous performance. Like her father before her, Kelly is a deft and capable storyteller – a natural entertainer who, as the product of a rather unnatural childhood, held all in attendance captive and spellbound as she recounted tales of alcoholism, cocaine abuse and life as a showbiz kid.
Equal parts heartbreaking and humorous, Carlin interjected family photos and video clips of her father’s most iconic stand-up sets between a brilliantly woven monologue about the complex tapestry associated with growing up as a Carlin. A licensed therapist and artist in her own right, Kelly never attempted to piggy-back off her father’s success; nor did she make any kind of concerted effort to co-opt his iconic comic stylings. What shone through, without effort, were the striking similarity in manner and perspective. Occasionally, without really intending to, Kelly would strike a look or affect a voice so similar to the footage shown behind her, it would be difficult not to see the more famous half of Carlin and Burns starring back out from her glistening eyes. Watching Kelly speak at length about her experiences while taking in classic comedy clips of the elder Carlin, one couldn’t help but smile knowingly at the chip carrying on in the wake of the block’s passing.
And speaking of the passing, well, there were more than a handful of sniffles in the house by the time Kelly got around to wrapping her story up. Her voice cracking with emotion, Carlin implored her listeners to revel in the light her father had left upon the world, and to share and spread it whenever at all possible. Carlin wasn’t much for the concept of heaven, of course, but if the after life exists, Kelly for one likes to believe her father is at a perfect sort of peace. I’m right there with her, but I’d still like to hope that angel George is busy doling out some serious knowledge to the rest of the heavenly host, as they watch us continue to fuck up our world beyond repair. Oh George. You are missed, but you have left a legacy to be proud of, in spawn as well as spirit.
Emma Kat Richardson
Emma Kat Richardson is a Detroit native who received her BA in professional writing and women and gender studies from Elizabethtown College in 2008. Her journalism and feature writing has been published in Alternative Press, Bitch, Punchline Magazine, Bookslut, and Real Detroit Weekly.
Experience Joy: The quality comedy at SXSW 2012 is worth making extra time for
BY DAN SOLOMAN
...That's how things went for me – I managed to squeeze in Kelly Carlin's one-woman show, A Carlin Home Companion, on Saturday afternoon. The setup wasn't ideal – the show is a tale fraught with drug abuse, betrayals, and loss (along with a good number of laughs), and a ballroom in the Austin Convention Center, where badge-holders listened with one ear while they checked email on their phones, isn't exactly prime. Not that the conditions mattered much to Carlin, who clearly picked up some of the performance chops that come with the family name.
Her monologue tells her full life story, but she's a sensitive and attentive enough storyteller that she knows that if she titles a show A Carlin Home Companion, then it's George Carlin that an audience is going to want to hear about. There's something remarkable about a performer who's so willing to cast herself as a side character in her own experiences if it serves the narrative, and her show is about growing up the daughter of a hero of the counterculture. While Kelly Carlin obviously shares her father's love of wordplay and imagery (on Milwaukee's SummerFest, where her father was arrested in 1972: "It was an ocean of beer surrounding an island of sausage,"), she may exceed him when it comes to grace and generosity as a storyteller.
George Carlin has not left the building. At least, his spirit still remains. But now it's in the earthly form of his only child, Kelly, whose one-woman show, A Carlin Home Companion, would do a teller of tales like Garrison Keillor — and Poppa — proud. Well, maybe the Prairie Home humorist wouldn't be so over-the-moon about the candid confessions of alcoholism, cocaine abuse and dysfunctional dysphoria. But Poppa certainly would get a kick out of Kelly's comitragic spin on life with father — who didn't always know best. Keen observers might spot traces of the elder Carlin in Kelly's delivery — articulate, incisive, dramatic and cutting-edge — yet she doesn't pretend to be the Hippie Dippy Weatherman or even a wry social commentator. Using projected family photos as a backdrop, she narrates her family history: what it was like to be a 9-year-old watching her father be arrested for violating obscenity laws; or living in the Palisades surrounded by conservatives while Dad hurled insults across the driveway. Some might think it would've been cool to be the kid of a counterculture hero. It certainly provided for interesting — and now entertaining — times.