One Last Laugh with the Great George Carlin

Re: “Growing up with George,” Cover Story, Dec. 17

I read with interest your piece about Carlin in Venice. George and I went back 50 years. Worked on “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Tonight Show” together many times.

I have a neighbor on the canals — a beautiful, funny and shy woman named Sally. I had invited her to my 70th birthday party (17 years ago). Didn’t know if she was too shy to come. She came and brought a date: George Carlin. She’d met him at a comedy writers workshop.

It was their first date. I saw them necking later that night on one of the walking bridges.

They became soulmates. He moved in with her. I saw more of him in the last dozen or so years of his life than I had in the previous 35 or 40 … taking out the garbage, walking Sally’s dog.

The last time we spoke was the morning of the day he died.

He told me a joke:

A businessman retires. His wife says, “You’re driving me crazy sitting around the house. You gotta get a hobby.”

He tells her he will.

Two weeks later she says, “You didn’t get a hobby.”

He says, “I did. I’m a bee-keeper.”

She says, “A beekeeper! Where the hell are the bees?”

He opens a cigar box.
“Here they are.”

She says, “Those bees are dead.”

He says, “F…k ‘em. It’s only a hobby.”

Orson Bean


Re: “Still in the Fight,” Cover Story, Dec. 10

I’m an early ‘90s alumnus of what’s now Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets and returned a couple of years ago for a visit. Except for the paint job, nothing really had changed. The library had the same books on the same shelving as it had when I’d left 20-plus years before. If you don’t fund the school with the books they need (textbooks and library materials), how can you expect test scores to improve? Painting the exterior and adding new lunch benches does not make a school better. Upgrade the school’s technology and its materials. You can’t make something better in the future if you keep it stuck in the past.


Please tell the students who are part of this experiment that the “foundations” for a better school have been laid by LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer … as they fail English and math. They should be proud to go to a school where they wear grey pants and polo shirts, because someday in the distant future it might be getting better — but not for them. Pathetic. Stop selling snake oil. Good schools are based on good teachers, good leaders and support from the entire community. Good schools educate the students who are in the schools today, not five to 10 years from now. C’mon already, Zimmer. This was a bad move. It’s not working. Give some real support to this school and all our local schools. Stop talking and start doing.


Re: “Plugged Storm Drains Cause Flooding in Playa del Rey,” News, Dec. 24

The headline should include the word “again.” It’s been a problem, and it’s sad that the countermeasures were inadequate. I guess the taxpayers have to fork over holiday pay and overtime for what should have been done right in the first place.

Rob Klyver

Re: “Airbnb is Good for Santa Monica,” Opinion, Dec. 17

What is this, a paid advertisement? I am a Santa Monica resident and the city did the right thing [by enacting short-term rental restrictions].