RIP: George Carlin
Everyone may have Post-Convention blahs (or more accurately, Tired of Reading Internet Rumor blahs), but it would be bad to not take a moment and reflect of the loss of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, George Carlin.
Carlin, who died Sunday at age 71 from heart failure, saw his career go through a number of phases: from clean-cut comedian to counter-culture thinker to kid’s show sidekick, arguably belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Comedians. Your mileage may vary, but let’s say the other three were Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby and Bob Newhart (with Eddie Murphy being oh-so-close to making the list).
You may not remember, but Carlin was the first guest host of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. He also had a great gimmick for the longest time of only appearing in one movie a decade, which stopped in the 90s, thanks largely to Kevin Smith, who used him to wondeful effect in DOGMA and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK.
I first discovered Carlin in the early 1980s, in what people call his “observational humor” phase, where he did classic bits like “Baseball and Football” and “Ice Box Man.” One of the benefits of getting cable in the late 80s and early 90s was getting to see the Yearly Carlin HBO special. And then, he got really great when he became the “angry, ranting comedian” years before Lewis Black did it on the Daily Show. I was so effected by Carlin’s “shell shock” routine during the Gulf War that I typed out the whole bit and posted it on my college dorm room door.
Thankfully, after five or six years ago, I got to see Carlin perform live. Since I rarely go to concerts and such, I often have regrets about never seeing Performer X or Band Y perform, after they have broken up or passed away. But I was not going to miss Carlin, my favorite comedian of all-time. And the show was wonderful. I don’t remember any of the bits, but it was just so great seeing him in person.
Goodbye to the Hippy Dippy Weatherman. Goodbye to the Man who made the Seven Dirty Words remembered forever.
Posted by Mark Coale