Kelly Carlin: Carrying a Humorous Torch

The American Humanist Association is thrilled to host Kelly Carlin as the  keynote speaker for our 74th Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. Carlin, the daughter of legendary comedian George Carlin, will address humanists on Sunday, May 10, 2015, discussing her journey to discover her own identity and purpose.

Growing up, Carlin watched her father take the stages of universities and renowned spaces like Carnegie Hall, igniting her desire for a life in the entertainment industry. Her first acting gig was playing a Girl Scout on the 1985 HBO pilot Apt. 2C, which was a fictional day in the life of her father that took place in his apartment. However, acting would be sidelined by her continuing education, and in her early thirties, Carlin graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a BA in communications studies. It was there that she realized her potential as a writer and began writing for film and television, with credits including the 1998 horror movie, Devil in the Flesh, and a 1994 episode of the George Carlin Show. She’s also produced several comedies and got her masters in psychology.

Carlin’s highly anticipated memoir, A Carlin Home Companion: Growing up with George, details her experiences growing up with, and in the shadow of, her famous father. With praise from Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, and Bill Maher, the book is scheduled for release in September. These days Carlin tours internationally, performing her one-woman show of the same name. She also hosts a Sirius XM radio show and a Sunday podcast, “Waking from the American Dream” on, which features iconic comedians talking about their lives in comedy and world events.

Throughout her journey, Carlin has always appreciated the value of skepticism and freethought.  Her mission is to discover her place in society and in life, always asking questions and challenging the answers. As is family tradition, she has always seen the comedic mind as unique in evaluating the world around us. In a 2010 interview for GritTV she said:

I think the comic’s job is always to question authority and question the status quo. And so whoever’s in that big office, you need to keep a sharp eye on them, even if it’s someone you like. I would think that the majority of government isn’t doing things that are for the people [laughs], so it’s important. Political comics and satirical comics definitely keep questioning and pushing and making us think and I think maybe that’s why I liked my dad so much because he never did contemporary politics—he rarely talked about Bush, but he made us question the whole system itself. …Whoever’s in the White House, it’s your job to question, definitely.”

Join us in Denver to hear more insights and anecdotes from Kelly Carlin!