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Legendary comic George Carlin, recently and beautifully memorialized by Louis C.K., started out his life in Morningside Heights. He lived on 121st Street between Amsterdam and Broadway for pretty much the entirety of his childhood, starting in the ’40s, and now his fans are pushing for the city to rename that block after him. Led by comedian Kevin Bartini, the petition now has over 2,500 signatures online. Bartini, who is the “backup warmup comedian” at the Daily Show, described the idea of a new George Carlin Way as a “no-brainer.”
“It’s not just that he grew up there,” Bartini said. “It’s also that so much of his art and persona came as a direct result of living there.”
Bartini got the idea for the petition while chatting with Daily Show executive producer Rory Albanese about how he lives in the same neighborhood where Carlin grew up. He started the petition the old-fashioned way, standing on the street corner and asking people to sign. He then moved it online, where it’s amassed a pretty decent amount of signatures at this point.
Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, a writer and performer (though not of stand-up), said she’s “thrilled” about the petition.
“I know my dad loved his neighborhood deeply and you know, I think it’s important that New Yorkers know where he came from,” she told Runnin’ Scared. Carlin and her family lived in the same building on 121st that her dad grew up in for a couple years when she was a kid in the ’60s. Echoing Kevin Bartini, she noted that if you look at a lot of the other blocks named after people in New York, the proposed George Carlin Way/Street/Block is a “no-brainer.”
Does Manhattan Community Board 9 think so? A rep of CB9 told us that “we just heard about it today, so we don’t have any further details.”
Go to Runnin’ Scared for more Voice news coverage.