George Carlin Loved Carrot Top's Act, According To Carrot Top
Carrot Top is one of those comics who draws an inexplicable amount of vitriol from those who don’t care for his specific brand of humor, but the prop comic born with the name Scott Thompson can count one of the greatest comedic minds of all time among his fans – according to Carrot Top, at least.
Last month, comedy’s redheaded stepchild appeared on Steve-O’s Wild Ride! to talk shop with the Jackass star and tell stories about a near-40-year career in prop comedy that has made Carrot Top one of the wealthiest comedians on the planet. During the conversation, Carrot Top recalled his early days in Las Vegas, where the Florida comedian’s show would eventually become one of the hottest tickets on the strip. Just as Carrot Top started his lucrative career in Sin City, he ran into a certain veteran comedian who had some admiration and advice to share with the Vegas up-and-comer.
That’s right, George Carlin was a Carrot Top fan. If you listen closely, you can hear some of Carrot Top’s haters’ heads explode.
In the early 2000s, Carrot Top transitioned from being a film and television actor and punching bag to a pure stage performer with a series of sets in Las Vegas. Per the comic, those early shows were catastrophic. “I bombed. I pretty much bombed horribly. Like I wanted to get out of the business, and I did that for a year,” he explained to Steve-O.
However, Carrot Top kept working on his act and continued to tailor it for a new audience. Eventually, MGM invited him to come on as a regular performer at one of their theaters, but the non-residency wouldn’t last forever — Carrot Top was bounced from the stage when magician David Copperfield chose the venue as the setting of his next show. “I used to play MGM until David Copperfield made me disappear,” Carrot Top joked on Steve-O’s Wild Ride!.
During one of those early MGM shows, Carrot Top had a chance encounter with Carlin while the two briefly shared the same stage. An old, embittered Carlin had been playing some of his more misanthropic sets at the MGM Grand shortly before getting fired for delivering an expletive-ridden tirade in 2004. Though Carlin famously despised Vegas, the comedy legend took the time to talk to one of the strip’s emerging stars and deliver some important advice.
When Carrot Top explained to Carlin that he was playing two shows in a weekend because, “I figured, if I f— up the first show, I’ll get a second shot at it,” Carlin unleashed some of his signature furious wisdom upon the reviled redhead, telling him, “Never give the audience the upper hand, never cut yourself short. You do your s—, and you f—ing do it the way you do it. If they don’t like it, f— em!”
As the story goes, Carlin invited Carrot Top back to his dressing room and told Carrot Top all of the jokes from his act that Carlin liked — a gag about string telephones with caller ID and call waiting stuck out the most to him. Though their meeting was brief, Carrot Top still remembers Carlin’s words whenever he reads one of the millions of internet comments calling him a hack. Or as he puts it, “Some guy in his attic in Nebraska is saying I f—ing suck, but then I got George Carlin saying ‘You’re a funny f—er.’ That’s how I stay sane.”
Until the attic-dweller in Nebraska comes up with a story about Richard Pryor liking his angry tweets, Carrot Top will keep the upper hand.