This legendary comic captured why germaphobes are misguided in a single sentence


George Carlin


George Carlin screams at the audience for being afraid of germs.

We can't recommend defecating onto your hands two to three times per week to boost your immune system, but at least George Carlin didn't get polio.

In his 1999 stand-up comedy special "You People Are All Diseased," the wily old comic, then 71, released obscenity-laced frustrations that scientists have actually come to validate time and again. 

As Carlin so eloquently states in his special, "If you kill all the germs around you and live a completely sterile life, then when germs do come along you're not going to be prepared."

Scientists have arrived at a similar conclusion.

Dubbed the "hygiene hypothesis," the theory argues we should stop demonizing germs, since being exposing to germs allows a person to build a more robust immune system.


It's for that reason public health experts have recommended families wash dishes by hands, expose kids to low doses of allergens, and let them roll around in the dirt every once in a while. 

Or, you can take Carlin's approach:

When I was a little boy in New York City in the 1940s, we swam in the Hudson River, and it was filled with raw sewage. OK? We swam in raw sewage - you know, to cool off. And at that time, the big fear was polio. Thousands of kids died from polio every year. But you know something? In my neighborhood, no one ever got polio. No one. Ever. You know why? 'Cause we swam in raw sewage.

Of course, Carlin's methods aren't for everyone (or anyone).

But if all that sounds too dirty for the household you're trying to keep clean, you might consider outsourcing the responsibility to your child's school


Watch Carlin's routine below. But be warned: it's filthy.


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