Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

David Galef

Committee Member

Jonathan Greenberg

Committee Member

Laura Nicosia


American stand-up comedian George Carlin is notable for his long-standing popularity from the early 60s up until his death in 2008. In this paper, I examine George Carlin’s stance on politically correct language. Focusing on his three books Brain Droppings, Napalm and Silly Putty, and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?, I show how his attempts to remove himself from a politically correct system ultimately fail as he adheres to his own ideals of language and morality. Using his texts and various work from Stanley Fish to support these claims, I show how Carlin ridicules the redundancies and hypocrisies that exist when groups claim words as their own. While breaking down these claims on political correctness, Carlin implements his own set of values. I show how there is no direct way to escape politicizing language. However, Carlin’s position as stand-up comic allows for a more fluid approach to politically correct language, as it offers a way to shift leanings and explore various forms of ideology permitting audiences a way to think differently about the world around them.

File Format