Kelly Carlin and Rain Pryor, the daughters of comedy legends George Carlin and Richard Pryor, have both followed in their fathers' footsteps in pursuit of comedy. Talk about having big shoes to fill.
But just because their fathers defined stand-up comedy for generations, it doesn't mean the laughs they receive are residual. In an interview with NY Times comedy reporter Jason Zinoman, the women came together to discuss how they met, how their fathers impacted their careers and the starkly different parenting methods to which they were each subject.
"I’m not trying to be him. I’m not great at stand-up. I’m good. It’s going to take a while if I decide I want to be great. For me it’s a job, so I don’t have to teach," Rain said. "Some people come because they miss him."
Rain currently has a one-woman show, "Fried Chicken & Latkes," in New York about her childhood, as does Carlin, who performs a solo show called "A Carlin Home Companion" about growing up with her dad. Carlin admitted that it's easier for her to persue her own craft now that her father has passed away.
"Seeing his standards and integrity was a lot of pressure to live up to. I put that on myself. When he died, stepping into my work has been easier. I don’t feel like I have to live up to him," Carlin said.
Both ladies agreed that although having their fathers' names has helped them book shows, the audience reaction to their material is wholly genuine.
"Laughter is spontaneous," Carlin said, to which Pryor added: "I don’t trust laughs from other comedians. I trust laughs from audiences."
Click over the the Times to read the full Q&A, including some interesting insight into how different George and Richard were as parents.
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