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Album Details
Class Clown

By: George Carlin


In ancient times, there was a country whose harvest came in and it was poisonous. Those who ate of it became insane. "There is but one thing to do." said the King. "We must eat the grain to survive, but there must be those among us who will remember that we are insane." -anon. (quoted from the album's liner notes)Stavro Arrgolus 
Class Clown is the third comedy album released by George Carlin. It was recorded May 27, 1972 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California, and released in September.

At the time, he was relatively well-known for tame satirical routines about the entertainment industry. His previous album, "FM & AM" released the same year, showed that he was already drifting towards counter-culture icon, but Class Clown proved a landmark. Besides musings about his youth, the album featured strongly directed remarks against the Vietnam War and his attachment to taboo topics. The best known routine on the album is easily the concise "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television", which became the focus of government harassment in the year that followed, and, perhaps not coincidentally, Carlin's most famous calling card. Carlin would continue to explore the use of profanity for the rest of his career.

In the liner notes, Carlin dedicates the album to Lenny Bruce, "for taking all the risks." He also lists all the nuns and priests that worked at Corpus Christi School which he had attended as a child, and whom are spoken of at length through the album. In a 2004 appearance on Inside the Actors Studio (episode 1013), Carlin explained that, "I wanted people to know that the disrespect that I had for the dogmatic aspect, and for the inconsistency, and in a lot of cases the cruelty of Catholic doctrine, was tempered with an affection and a gratitude that I had for this wonderful setting that I considered like a garden ... where they let me grow ... be a creative person and think for myself there, so I kind of wanted to kind of illustrate that, and go, thanks and no thanks." Class Clown was reissued by Atlantic Records in 2000. It was also included as part of the 1992 Classic Gold collection, and The Little David Years (1971-1977) box set in 1999. On June 22, 2008, Carlin died of heart failure in Santa Monica, the same city where he recorded the album. From Wikipedia...slightly edited.

Although this album is known far and wide for its profanity, in point of fact, the majority of the bits on this album have no profanity at all. A few are rather suggestive, but not 'profane'. This is a tame album in comparison to what Carlin would release in later decades.
Stavro Arrgolus 


YearTypeLabelCatalog # 
1972LPLittle DavidLD 1004(Captain Wayne)
1990CSAtlantic1004(Captain Wayne)
2000CDAtlantic / Wea92923(Spacecat)


  • Stupidity Alert!: Even though Carlin voluntarily put a warning label (albeit a smartass one), pictured above in a red and white box on the album cover, the PMRC, in it's infinitely megalomaniacal 'bored Washington housewife' insanity during the mid '80s, made damn sure their warning label was on the album also, for this album was a poster child for 'dirtiness', or so they believed. Idiots. (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • The red & white self-imposed warning label reads, "Warning: This record contains 'Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television'. Hearing it could infect your mind, curve your spine and lose the war for the Allies." (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • Lyrics complete for this album. (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • Messages about the album: "Class Clown"

    Stavro Arrgolus   Offline  -  Editor, MP3  -  04-04-11 07:27 PM  -  9 years ago
    No matter how much Carlin's act changed over the years, one aspect of it never did - his disgust with big business & government. Every one of his albums reflects this attitude. From his hippie days on this album right up to his final album, "It's Bad For Ya".

    Although Class Clown was best known for its 'dirty words', it was really Carlin's most anti-authoritarian work. It attacks business, government and religion and saves the 'dirty stuff' for the very end - he doesn't bother to wait that long to use so-called 'bad language' on his later albums.
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