George Carlin’s Favorite Carrot Top Prop: Revealed
With more than 4,000 desert shows under his belt, Carrot Top has established a healthy fanbase that continually votes him the top comedy act in Las Vegas. But given other comedians’ general lack of respect for prop comics, it’s perhaps surprising that one of Carrot Top’s biggest fans was legendary stand-up George Carlin.
Carrot Top told Jason Alexander and Peter Tilden on an episode of the Really? No, Really podcast about his all-time favorite prop. One reason it stands out? “George Carlin came up to me and said he liked it,” he said. “I mean, George Carlin! I got the blessing.”
“It was basically paper cups and string,” he explained, describing the bit which goes something like this: “You know, they’ve had these for years. We need an updated version for the kids. So I made one that has another cup for call waiting.” Here, Carrot Top demonstrates putting one of the cups aside to pick up a third. “Hey, I got to call you back.”
Carlin later told Carrot Top how much he loved the bit: “That cup joke, fucking call waiting, how the fuck did you come up with that?”
Carrot Top shrugged — how do you come up with anything?
“He said, ‘That is fucking brilliant. That’s great fucking writing.’”
Although the two comics became friends, their first meeting was a little intense. On Carrot Top's first day in Las Vegas, Carlin’s manager invited the prop comic to stand off-stage and watch Carlin’s act. Carlin was a big fan, the manager insisted, and Carrot Top took him up on the offer. Unfortunately, the set went horribly and Carlin was “pissed, like really pissed” as he left the stage. A nervous Carrot Top looked for a curtain to hide behind, but Carlin saw him anyway and asked how much of the show he’d seen. All of it, confessed Carrot Top, and it was great. “Well, that’s a bunch of shit,” replied Carlin.
It was the day before Carrot Top started his Vegas run and Carlin asked how many shows he’d be doing. “I do one every night, but I do two on Saturday,” Carrot Top responded.
“He says, ‘Why do you do two?’ and he's in my face. ‘Why do you do two on Saturday?’”
Carrot Top joked that his manager had car payments to make. “‘No, seriously,’” was Carlin’s reply. “‘Why do you do two on a Saturday, why not just one?’”
Carrot Top tried a new answer: “Well, it’s great because I get a second shot at it if I fuck up. Maybe I’ll do better in the second show.”
“And he literally got as close as he could to my face, literally nose-to-nose,” Carrot Top told Alexander and Tilden. “And he said, ‘Never fucking ever give the audience the upper hand. You do what you do, and you fucking do what you do great. Fuck them. Never ever, ever think that the audience deserves you. Do your performance. They didn't get it? Fuck them.'”
With that, Carlin left for his dressing room. Carrot Top turned helplessly to Carlin’s manager and joked, “Well, that went well.”