Reviews of George Carlin

Stand-Up Comedian George Carlin

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Born: May 12, 1937

Death: June 22, 2008

Blue Meter: Dirty

Member Ratings

  • Delivery: 43210
  • Material: 43210
  • Overall: 43210

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Delivery: 43210 | Material: 43210 | Overall:43210


generic Dead Frog avatar ReflectiveTrauma says:
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generic Dead Frog avatar giantsfreak830 says:
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George Carlin: Class Clown

If one man truly personifies the genre of stand-up comedy, it’s George Carlin. A master of the English language, a rebel of social norms, and a man who was honest through and through. Towards the beginning of his career he entertained audiences with simple word play and common social commentary. As he got older, he kept up with the witty repartee and critiques, but his set grew more and more towards harsh ridiculing government and religion, which is where he probably has gained the most fame. This CD is a good juxtaposition of these two areas of interest. It also has one of the most famous tracks of comedy history. I present my judgment of George Carlin: Class Clown.

For one of the sharpest men in comedy history, this CD starts off with jokes that cross between Larry the Cable and a bad Jerry Seinfeld bit. He talks about class clowns in grade school (hey! That’s the name of the CD!) which is a topic full of material, but the track turns into Carlin making fart sounds and other bodily music. Granted, he has some great lines of commentary in the mix. It’s certainly not all just fart and poop jokes, but it’s very far from any sort of ground-breaking comedy and much closer to silly shock-value humor.

The CD then starts slowing gaining momentum. For the next couple of tracks, Carlin takes aim at Catholicism, particularly, Catholic middle school customs. What he has to say about this subject is brilliant. He basically covers all religious aspects of a Catholic grade school. Anybody who went to one will no doubt be able to relate to almost every single thing he talks about, particularly his jokes about priests and confession.

**Please note that Carlin avoids making jokes about priests seducing little boys. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to comedy. No, it’s not because I think it’s inappropriate or offensive, it’s just so damn old. I hate basically all Michael Jackson jokes for the same reason. When a joke is just too easy to make, it doesn’t need to be said. Sorry, little side rant. This is just the first time it seems to be relevant in my blogging. Back to the topic at hand!

After many jokes, it’s easy for the audience to see why Carlin is such an atheist. Though he’s not harsh in his criticisms, he does seem to have good reason behind how he feels. Don’t worry, Christians, he won’t make you question your faith. These jokes just point out the aspects of life that some people (myself included) experience, but tells them in a way that makes everybody laugh. All of you know how hard it is to tell a you-had-to-be-there story. That’s basically what Carlin did, and he did it spectacularly.

Fun fun fun, laugh laugh laugh, now Carlin has set up the audience for the grand daddy of all jokes: Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television. These seven words make up a list that Carlin comprised of words that, well, can never be said on television. It was not an official list, though at the time nobody could argue that any of them were ever said on the air. These words, for those of you who don’t know, are shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cock sucker, mother fucker, and tits.

One by one, Carlin takes each word/term and makes fun of them. He says whether he downright disagrees with their presence on the list (“tits doesn’t even belong on the list!”), why some of them are taboo (“piss” and “cunt”), and why some of them make some sense (“cocksucker” and “motherfucker”). Note, I said “SOME sense”. Every bit of it is hilarious.

But this is probably not the funniest track in stand-up history. Why then, you may wonder, do I hold it in such high ranks? Stand-up comedy is supposed to have some sort of message. It doesn’t have to be some sort of ground-breaking revelation, but they should have something to say. Why was Gallagher a somewhat respected comedian while Carrot Top is considered a hack? They both use props for jokes, so they’re the same, right? Wrong. Gallagher’s act was not just playing with props, there was underlying commentary on American consumer culture. Carrot Top’s act is putting two things together and try to make it semi-relevant to current events. One’s on the list of 100 greatest comedians, and one’s stuck doing shows in Vegas.

The point is, stand-up is more than laughs, it’s also purpose. This joke’s purpose was to bash censorship on American airwaves. Did it do it? A resounding YES. “So what?”, you might ask. “It’s just a joke”, you might say. See, now this is where it’s extra special. This one bit, a bit about 7 words, made it to the Supreme Court of the United States. A JOKE indirectly established the extent to which the federal government could regulate speech on broadcast television and radio in the United States. This joke is funny, this joke has a message, and this joke changed the fucking law on censorship. Did it do what Carlin wanted? No, Carlin would want all censorship removed. But that’s besides the point. The point is, he was heard.

A perfect end to a CD.

Alright, I’ve basked in this joke long enough. You get it, I love it. This CD is classic, despite it’s poor start. Carlin made a CD that to this day has significance in the world. And beyond the significance, it’s funny! An absolute must-have for any fan of comedy.

Worst Tracks: Class Clown, Wasted Time-Sharing A Swallow
Best Tracks: The Confessional, Seven Words You Cannot Say On Television (DUH!)

Overall rating 10/10 (amazing that a few superb jokes can overcome a bad 16-minute long one to end with a perfect score)

generic Dead Frog avatar avi1111 says:
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I really miss George.  He was so prolific and generous with his creation of new material.

generic Dead Frog avatar bwwalker says:
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Not only the funniest comedian there ever was or probably ever will be but one of the most intelligent people also.  His speed and timing and the ability to draw from his material from memory is just freakish.  I know most of the time on these “Best Comedians” lists george always comes in second to Richard Pryor.  Richard Pryor was definately number 2, no question, but nobody could touch george. Not by a long shot.

generic Dead Frog avatar ryanlock2u says:
Delivery: 54321
Material: 54321

George Carlin was the junction of all comedic avenues: dark humor, language/semantics, topical, observational, political/social, and -as he aged- a hint of self-deprecation. He covered topics from small (e.g. waking up after sunset) to big (e.g. war, religion, politics, humanity). He was truly innovative and made people think in between laughs. He was one in a million, and I’d bet he’s watching us right now… smiling down at us…

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