Anybody associated with comedy in any capacity naturally acknowledges the profound breadth, influence, ability and genius of George Carlin. His has been a long and varied career, and with any artist whose work spans multiple decades, eventually people forget what that person's career was like at the start if they knew about it at all.
George Carlin was originally a member of the comedy team Burns and Carlin with the very funny Jack Burns. When the two split up, Burns persued acting and would replace Don Knotts on The Andy Griffith Show as Mayberry's new deputy. Burns eventually found success in the seventies with Avery Schreiber in the comedy team Burns and Schreiber, and was also the primary director of The Muppet Show. He also attacked Andy Kaufman on that famous episode of Fridays. Carlin, of course, followed a solo path that took a fascinating few years to come to fruition.
After splitting with the world of comedy teams Carlin struggled to find his voice as a solo performer. He was an impressionist for several years and a very, very good one. To this day there are no other mimics who have mastered a Mort Sahl or Lenny Bruce that I know of. Both of Carlin's vocal impressions of the two comedians whose footsteps he follows in are bang on. Listen to Carlin's impersonation of Mort Sahl off the only comedy LP of Burns and Carlin (pictured) here. There has recently been a sudden influx of early George Carlin stuff on YouTube and that's what I'm sharing today.
George Carlin as mystery guest on What's My Line (1969)
Jimmy Durante introduces George Carlin on The Hollywood Palace (1966)
George Carlin on The Merv Griffin Show (1965)
George Carlin on the obscure game show The Game Game (1969)
George Carlin on Playboy After Dark (1970)
George Carlin on The Mike Douglas Show (1972)
George Carlin's acting debut: That Girl (1966)
George Carlin with The Doors and The Committee on The Smothers Brothers (1968)
George Carlin and Flip Wilson on Johnny Carson (1971)
Another Carlin appearance on Carson (1972)
And a great new "classic Carlin" YouTube channel here.