Best George Carlin Quotes of All Time

The career of comedian George Carlin (1937–2008) spanned five decades, with his first appearance on "The Tonight Show" being in 1962. He was an outspoken, acerbic social critic, and what came out of his mouth could be shocking or even sometimes vulgar, but often his railings against injustice or stupidity or corruption shone a light on some dark areas as he said things that others would or could not say. He described himself thus: "I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked, and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough, and hard to bluff." He was a true original—a brash, intelligent, eloquent voice that cut to the quick.

George Carlin on Stupid People

Photo of George CARLIN

 

Kevin Statham /Getty Images

"Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that."

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

"If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to have selfish, ignorant leaders."

"In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem."

"Here's all you need to know about men and women. Women are crazy. Men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid."

George Carlin on the Social Classes

"The owners of this country don't want that.  I'm talking about the real owners, now. The real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions....And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street."

"You know how I define the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep 'em showing up at those 'jobs.'"

George Carlin on Government

"When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts." 

“Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.”

"Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." 

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."

George Carlin on God

"The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post 'Thou shalt not steal,' 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' and 'Thou shalt not lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment." 

"There may or may not be atheists in foxholes, but I'm certain there are none in the Ku Klux Klan." 

"The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument."

"There are 200 countries in the world now. Do these people honestly think that God is sitting around picking out his favorites? Why would he do that? Why would God have a favorite country? And why would it be America out of all the countries? Because you have the most money? Because he likes our National Anthem? Maybe it’s because he heard we have 18 delicious flavors of Classic Rice-A-Roni! It’s delusional thinking! And America is not alone with this sort of delusions. Military cemeteries around the world are packed with brainwashed dead soldiers who were convinced God was on their side. America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody’s gonna be disappointed. Somebody’s wasting their fucking time. Could it be everyone?"

George Carlin on Conservatives

"Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no Head Start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're f**ked."

"Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, [conservatives] tell us [the poor]'ve lost all incentive because we've given them too much money."

"Conservatives don't give a shit about you until you reach military age. Then they think you are just fine, just what they've been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life...these people aren't pro-life, they're killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? They'll do anything they can to save a fetus, but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it? They're not pro-life. You know what they are? They're anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman—they don't like them. They don't like women. They believe a woman's primary role is to function as a broodmare for the state. Pro-life, you don't see many of these anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uteruses, do you? No, you don't see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do!"

"Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time."

George Carlin on Thinking

"Don't just teach your children to read...teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything."

"Think off-center."

"If you scratch a cynic, you'll find a disappointed idealist."

"Careful. If you think too much, they'll take you away."

George Carlin on What People Should Do

"I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work." 

“If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.”

 “Laugh often, long, and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.”

George Carlin on the Church

 “I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it.”

"I'm completely in favor of the separation of church and state. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death."

"I'm pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else. The Catholic Church alone could wipe out the national debt if all you did was tax their real estate."

"Catholics and other Christians are against abortions and they're against homosexuality. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these f**king people alone for Christ's sake. Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion."

George Carlin on Violence

"Did you ever notice who it is? Stop to think who it is we kill? It's always people who've told us to live together in harmony and try to love one another. Jesus, Gandhi, Lincoln, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, John Lennon, they all said, "Try to live together peacefully." BAM! Right in the fucking head. Apparently, we're not ready for that.”

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.'"

George Carlin on Pride

“Pride should be reserved for something you achieve or obtain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth. Being Irish isn't a skill...it's a fucking genetic accident. You wouldn't say I'm proud to be 5'11"; I'm proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.”

"Here's a bumper sticker I'd like to see....We are the proud parents of a child who has resisted his teachers' attempts to break his spirit and bend him to the will of his corporate masters."

George Carlin on Self-Help

“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”

"Life is not that complicated. You get up, you go to work, you eat three meals, you take one good s**t, and you go back to bed. What's the fucking mystery?" 

George Carlin on Prostitution

 "Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal?"