Written by Larry Getlen
I was in my mother’s belly as she sat in the waiting room of the abortionist’s office. Dr. Sunshine was his code name. I was fifty feet from the drainpipe, and she saw a painting on the wall that reminded her of her mother, who had recently died. She took that as a sign to have the baby. That’s what I call luck.
My father drank and was a bully. For the first five years of my brother’s life, my father beat him with a leather-heeled slipper. Had I been subjected to that kind of treatment, all bets are off. His absence saved my life.
My mother had great executive-secretarial jobs in the advertising business and raised two boys during the Second World War. She used to say, “I make a man’s salary.” That’s heroism.
I’m sure Hitler was great with his family.
I used to collect the most colorful curses I heard and write them down. I actually carried in my wallet things like “kraut cunt” and “burly loudmouth cocksucker” and “longhair fucking music prick,” which was a thing Mikey Flynn yelled at a Juilliard student that he was kicking in the head.
I don’t like authority and regulation, and I do my best to disrespect it, but I do that for myself. It’s self-expression only.
Sex without love has its place, and it’s pretty cool, but when you have it hand in hand with deep commitment and respect and caring, it’s nine thousand times better.
If it’s morally wrong to kill anyone, then it’s morally wrong to kill anyone. Period.
It’s amazing to me that literacy isn’t considered a right.
I was arrested for possession and cultivation of marijuana in the early ’70s, and it was thrown out. The judge asked me how I felt about it, and I said, “I understand the law, and I want you to know I’ll pay the fine, but I cannot guarantee I will not break this law again.” He really chewed me out for that.
Censorship that comes from the outside assumes about people an inability to make reasoned choices.
The first thing they teach kids is that there’s a God — an invisible man in the sky who is watching what they do and who is displeased with some of it. There’s no mystery why they start that with kids, because if you can get someone to believe that, you can add on anything you want.
I would die for the safety of the people I love.
I wish that we could measure how much the potential of the mind to expand has been stunted by television.
Because of my abuse of drugs, I neglected my business affairs and had large arrears with the IRS, and that took me eighteen to twenty years to dig out of. I did it honorably, and I don’t begrudge them. I don’t hate paying taxes, and I’m not angry at anyone, because I was complicit in it. But I’ll tell you what it did for me: It made me a way better comedian. Because I had to stay out on the road and I couldn’t pursue that movie career, which would have gone nowhere, and I became a really good comic and a really good writer.
I stopped voting when I stopped taking drugs. I believe both of those acts are closely related to delusional behavior.
There’s no morality in business. It doesn’t have a conscience. It has only the cash register. They’ll sell you crappy things that you don’t need, that don’t work, that they won’t stand behind. It’s a glorified legal form of criminal behavior.
If everybody knew the truth about everybody else’s thoughts, there would be way more murders.
There’s nothing wrong with high taxes on high income.
Lenny Bruce opened all the doors, and people like Richard Pryor and I were able to walk through them.
Given the right reasons and the right two people, marriage is a wonderful way of experiencing your life.
I think that the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King showed that all of the wishing and hoping and holding hands and humming and signing petitions and licking envelopes is a bit futile.
Blacks are deliberately kept down. Poor communities are deliberately underfunded.
I don’t think people should get credit for being honest and brave. I think there’s a lot of genetic shit going on there.
Someday they’ll find a gene for putting on your overcoat.
There’s a pulse in New York, even on the quietest street, on the quietest day. It’s full of potential.
If there’s ever a golden age of mankind, it will not include men over two hundred pounds beating children who are less than one hundred pounds, and it will not include the deliberate killing of people in a formal setting.
I did something in a previous life that must have been spectacularly good, because I’m getting paid in this life just magnificently, more than one would dare imagine or hope for.