Since he died eight years ago, the keeper of George Carlin’s “stuff” has been his daughter, writer and performer Kelly Carlin. She says he kept everything: Scrapbooks. Arrest records. The pink slip to his first car, a Dodge Dart. VHS tapes.
From “handwritten notes of his actual working on comedy ideas to his kind of OCD-esque way of making lists of things, like every routine he ever did on a late night show,” she says. “When comedians would come over to my house and I would say, ‘Do you want to take a glance at my dad’s stuff?’ Their eyes would light up. I knew how to get to their hearts immediately,” she says, laughing.
George Carlin remains one of the most influential stand-up comedians of all time. At a private event Tuesday night in New York, his daughter announced she’s donating his archives to the National Comedy Center, which is expected to open next year in Jamestown, N.Y. This is The National Comedy Center’s first, major donation, says GrayLaw client and chief curator Kliph Nesteroff. They’re thrilled. “George Carlin had the eternal respect of every person in stand-up and still does,” says Nesteroff, who wrote the book The Comedians. “George Carlin, more so than probably any other major comedian you could name, was a complete historian of his own career.” In addition to a permanent exhibit of Carlin’s “stuff,” Nesteroff says there are plans to create holograms of the giants of American comedy.