Kelly Carlin has always been curious about the big questions of life. Watching her father, George Carlin, be an iconoclastic comedy legend certainly didn’t hurt too. Like him she loves to use humor to question the status quo, and she loves to seek out the unique angle into any subject she tackles. But unlike him, she brings a more personal and emotional tone to her work. With her personal story, pathos, emotion and psychological insight she reveals the joy and challenges that comes with trying to live an authentic life.
As a child, Kelly explored her own creativity by writing skits and doing imitations (her Ethel Merman was quite good for an eight year old), but began her professional life in her teens working behind the scenes with her father and mother, Brenda, on various shows for HBO that continued into her twenties.
In 1993, at the ripe age of 30, she graduated from UCLA, Magna Cum Laude, with a B.A. in Communications Studies. While at UCLA, Kelly discovered her voice as a writer, which led her to a career in writing for film and TV with her husband Robert McCall. After her mother’s death in 1997, Kelly found her true calling – autobiographical storytelling– through her first one-woman show, “Driven To Distraction.” In 2001, Kelly wanted to explore the intersection of human storytelling and one’s inner psychological life. She pursued her masters in Jungian Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate institute where she studied mythology, Jungian psychology and the nexus of art and the sacred.
Kelly explores the big questions and the intricacies of being human in her many iterations. She is a public speaker, hosts both “The Kelly Carlin Show” on SiriusXM, and “Waking from the American Dream” on SModcast Network, tours her newest one-woman show, “A Carlin Home Companion,” and is now an author. Her memoir “A Carlin Home Companion,” was published by St. Martin’s Press to great reviews and success.
In this episode, we talk about her ever-changing relationship to her father and his legacy, her path to rebirth through the myth of Demeter and Persephone and how because of her last name, wannabe comedians like me are driven to try out their shoddy "material" on her to solicit a laugh from the family of comic royalty.