"A Carlin Home Companion is a funny, touching, intimate look inside the life of one of the most brilliant comedy minds the world has ever known from the unique perspective of a young woman trying to find her own voice. In it, George Carlin's daughter Kelly emerges from her father's looming shadow as her own unique creative force. A master storyteller." Dan Pasternak, IFC VP Development and Programming
"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
Advanced praise for A Carlin Home Companion: Growing up with George
There are a lot of nights I still wish I could sit next to George and talk; this is the next best thing. Wonderful read. - Jon Stewart
Drop all your expectations when you open this book. It is written in the DNA of a Carlin, honest, biting, savage, funny, sad, dark, and profound. Kelly Carlin takes us on a journey from growing up in the shadow of one America's greatest comic icons into the light that it led her into. Hold on; like George Carlin, this book gives you a hell of a ride. - Lewis Black
With A Carlin Home Companion, Kelly Carlin proves she can stay cool while standing next to the sun. As a Carlin-phile, I began reading hoping to peek behind the curtains of Earth's funniest man. I got more than a peek. Carlin opens the flood lights onto her childhood and the dysfunction in her house and in her mind. Her personal growth and awareness of self is inspiring. Kelly's stories are hilarious and so personal, at times felt like I was reading her diary. For anyone that's has ever not been sure who they are, this book is for you. There is a landing spot. Let Kelly Carlin be your beacon. - Jay Mohr
As a fan, this book is essential. As a comic, this book is profound. - Margaret Cho
The daughter of the great comedian speaks: funny and moving. - Robert Klein
A Carlin Home Companion is one hell of a ride. With her unique perspective, Kelly Carlin shines a light on George Carlin, and gives great insight into a man who was a hero to many, but a father to one. - Bill Maher
George Carlin gave us all so much to be thankful for, not least of which is his daughter Kelly. Her affection and admiration for her father jump off the page. And like her dad, her writing is funny, courageous and wise; this book is a glowing testament to them both. An inspiring and beautiful read. - Paul Reiser
George Carlin spent his life dissecting the American psyche. Now his daughter Kelly continues the family tradition, wielding a scalpel of her own as she lays bare her life as a child, and an adult child, in the Carlin household. A brave and, naturally, hilarious book. - Dana Gould
In the hands of an accomplished writer, with a lifetime supply of research, this story would be a fascinating read. In Kelly's hands, we get SO much more. Ms. Carlin has shared her firsthand knowledge in a masterful, hilarious and heartbreaking memoir of, and dedication to, one of the greatest comedic minds and performers in American history. Filled with wit, charm, and genuine, if not extraordinary prose. Bravo, Kelly! - Kevin Pollak
Kelly Carlin has humanized her father, in a way that doesn't hold back and through her brilliant writing, brings him to life in a whole new way. In this book she shows she has her father's talent for writing, his awesome humanity, and a good dose of his twisted comedic mind. - Lizz Winstead
A heartwarming, hysterical read! Carlin the younger evokes a version of Carlin the senior we never had the pleasure of knowing: George Carlin the Dad! A Carlin Home Companion may be Kelly Carlin's story specifically, but it's also the story of the American family in general. - Kevin Smith
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.
Friedrich Nietzsche tells us, “We have art so that we may not perish by the truth,” and Kelly Carlin’s production, A Carlin Home Companion, echoes this sharp dictum in a performance that isn’t to be missed. The 90-minute one woman show, features skillful storytelling by the only child of the comedic-legend, George Carlin. Gone from the world since 2008, his life is reflected through poignant, bewitching narration by a soul whose mannerisms could never mask her own DNA. What appears effortless is the precision of the spirited calmness of her delivery – fueled by a truth she has wrestled with, and won....
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.