George Carlin much preferred the company of his dog over being a celebrity.
On the rare occasions that he went out in Las Vegas, it usually was to walk his Mo, a white Maltese that he took everywhere after the death of his first wife, Brenda.
“When I worked at Bally’s, I’d see him hiding the dog in his coat because animals weren’t allowed in the hotel,” recalled lounge legend Cook E. Jarr, a friend of Carlin’s since they met at the Sands in 1982.
One night, when Jarr was working at a nightclub at the Continental, he invited Carlin to opening night.
“He said, ‘Can I bring along my dog?’ “
Jarr said yes before checking with management. When he brought it up, he was shot down.
Jarr had to go to the top to get special permission.
Carlin, a comedy icon, died Sunday at age 71, a week after a four-night engagement at The Orleans. He has been a part-time Las Vegas resident since 1999, when he bought a condo in Regency Towers at the Las Vegas Country Club.
When Jarr moved to Carnaval Court at Harrah’s, he’d occasionally see Carlin, “peeking around the corner, while walking the dog.”
During one of their meetings, Jarr invited Carlin to bring Mo over so he could have the pleasure of doing his business on grass, instead of sidewalks along Las Vegas Boulevard.
“He showed up with Mo in a Louis Vuitton dog carrier,” Jarr said.
Carlin wasn’t a meet-and-greet kind of guy, Jarr said.
“All the times I saw him backstage, he rarely had anyone in his dressing room. He’d leave the stage and go upstairs and write. His whole life was the HBO specials.”
Carlin did 14 of them, almost five times more than any other comedian, Jerry Seinfeld told CNN’s Larry King on Tuesday.
“He was a perfectionist and he never deviated,” Jarr said of Carlin.
About a year after Carlin’s wife died in the late 1980s, “George called me and left a message saying he had found someone. He told me how much he was in love with this gal named Sally. He was so excited he sounded like a schoolkid. I called him and sang ‘Mustang Sally.’ “
On one of Carlin’s visits, Jarr pulled out a super-sized blowup of Carlin with Jarr and his wife, Stacey.
Jarr made a rare request: Would Carlin sign the photo?
“You want something real sweet?” asked Carlin.
Sure, said Jarr.
Carlin signed it “(Bleep) you guys.”
“He was a screwball. I loved him,” said Jarr. “This really hurts my heart. What a drag.”
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The Las Vegas Walk of Stars on Sept. 27 will make Elvis Presley its 27th star. Sponsored by the Viva Las Vegas Elvis Presley Fan Club, it will be in front of the Riviera, not the Las Vegas Hilton, where Elvis had more than 800 sold-out performances. Robert Alexander, president of the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, explained that an agreement with the county allows for stars to be placed only on sidewalks from the Sahara to Mandalay Bay. At the Riviera, Elvis’s star will be near those of Sammy Davis Jr. and Liberace. …
Anna Nicole Smith‘s lingerie wasn’t all Larry Birkhead purchased last weekend at a celebrity auction. He bought Sammy Davis Jr.’s UNLV letterman jacket for $2,625 at Julien’s Auctions at Planet Hollywood Resort.
Tiger Woods, limping into The Bank nightclub at Bellagio late Sunday. He was a smoking a cigar and enjoying the company of some galpals. Woods, who won the U.S. Open a week ago, underwent knee surgery Tuesday. … Sherri Shepherd of “The View,” joining the Chippendales on stage Monday at the Rio. …
Home run king Barry Bonds, escorted into opening night of The Time reunion tour featuring Morris Day, Jerome Benton, Jimmy Jam, Jelly Bean Johnson, among others at the Flamingo. … First lady Dawn Gibbons, dining Tuesday with socialite Annee Nouna at the Eiffel Tower restaurant at Paris Las Vegas.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Heat wave in Southern California — 116 degrees in the valley. So hot, Lindsay Lohan checked herself into a Jamba Juice.” — David Letterman
Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.