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I'm a high tech lowlife.
April 15, 2007 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm a modern man, I'm a modern man, A man for the millennium, Digital and smoke free. - George Carlin hits one out of the park with the first four and a half minutes of this hour and a half Google Video. Then it's back to his stock in trade.
posted by Happy Dave (89 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
God, he looks like shit. It won't be long until we have a . thread for him too. Although this is pretty fun.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:31 PM on April 15, 2007


Also, this thing reminds me of Step Right Up by Tom Waits.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:33 PM on April 15, 2007


Seems like it's his stock and trade from the start to me.
posted by dobbs at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


No Synaesthetichaze. George has always looked pretty beat up. It's part of his charm. He is going to outlive all of us. Why? Because when he grew up, he and his neighborhood friends SWAM IN RAW SEWAGE!
posted by ZachsMind at 2:37 PM on April 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nothing says "edgy" like an old white man rapping, huh? But seriously -- I was looking forward to this special when it first aired, but couldn't make it past the first 20 minutes. Truly cringeworthy.
posted by dhammond at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2007


That's called being old, synaesthetichaze. Judging from that blinking thing on your hand, you're getting old, too.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


He has a Beta house in escrow on the web 2.0, using AJAX against insurgent attacks. He uses IEDs against SUVs full of housewives using IUDs. He's on a no-fly, no money down, no negotiating with terrorists nose-dive into the Katrina destruction of N.O.

He's lost his edge, so he uses cutting-edge catch phrases which get praises, even though they're not funny, because he needs the money.
posted by Bugbread at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Sorry but the first five minutes is also total schlock. It's like those old "write your own X" features in Mad Magazine.
posted by autodidact at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2007


You sure this is new? This looks like the same footage I saw on YouTube some months ago. Complete with the cemetary backdrop.

His short-lived tv show on FOX is on a list of shows that I cite as the reason why I don't watch FOX anymore - everything they broadcast that I like gets cancelled.

A little over a year ago during one of his shows, he admitted in public to a little 'heart failure.' A little over half a year ago he was on stage again and admitted to experiencing a little 'heart failure.' However, I think this is just a part of his act. The man can't die. He's too mean to die.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:45 PM on April 15, 2007


Perhaps we should kill him. Nothing he did before this matters in the slightest. He worthless now. Destroy him. Destroy all old people.
posted by Faze at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2007


George Carlin was awesome for about half an hour when I was 14.
posted by DU at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


google video views when I watched it was at: 166,666

hrm...

fucking christians!
posted by spish at 2:52 PM on April 15, 2007


I've always found Carlin to be the most overrated comedian around (with Lenny Bruce running a close second). I'm familiar with his "golden age" but I found him unfunny then, even in the context of the times. I am not saying he has no social importance, but, again like Lenny Bruce, he may have been socially daring, but he just wasn't funny.
posted by Falconetti at 2:58 PM on April 15, 2007


But.....but......these are corporate IT buzzwords. And they're made to sound ridiculous. The software on his hard-drive is hardcore! Fuck my hat! The man is a genius!
Sad but true: the five seconds I ever found George Carlin funny was when he was making Bill & Ted look bad.
posted by hydatius at 2:59 PM on April 15, 2007


I was never a Carlin fan either. Loved all kinds of standup, but I never thought Carlin was very funny beyond the shock factor. I knew you were all wondering "What does Deej think of Carlin?" so I thought I better chime in.
posted by The Deej at 3:16 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nothing says "edgy" like an old white man rapping, huh?

That counts as "rapping"? Anyway, I've seen clips of this before, but never the whole thing.
posted by delmoi at 3:16 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]



Yeah, I was thinking of "Step Right Up" too, but this doesn't quite hold up to that comparison. This isn't that funny, but it is a really great cut-up of modern lingo that seems utter senseless once decontextualized. The man's got smarts.
posted by bukharin at 3:17 PM on April 15, 2007


Carlnbeta
posted by Bugbread at 3:17 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


"...won't be long until we have a . thread..."

"...we should kill him... "

"...He's lost his edge..."

"...also total schlock..."

"...Truly cringeworthy..."

"...isn't that funny..."

"...most overrated..."

"...was awesome for about half an hour when I was 14..."



i hate you guys.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:20 PM on April 15, 2007 [9 favorites]


WHY DO WE DRIVE ON A PARKWAY AND PARK ON A DRIVEWAY IM GEORGE CARLIN GOODNIGHT DROPS MICROPHONE
posted by Falconetti at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2007 [11 favorites]


More than any other comedian that I can think of, Carlin has always been about language. I always liked that about him. I don't like his shock factor stuff, and his political material lacks (in my opinion) humor. But the language stuff I always liked, and it is why I will watch or listen to him sometimes.

In the first segment of this clip, he is making fun of modern language and terminology. I like it. I find it clever. It didn't crack me up, and it didn't overwhelm me. But it also didn't inspire me to take a shit in a thread. I watched five minutes of a youtube clip, and I usually don't.
posted by flarbuse at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'll step in with ZachsMind here and defend Mr. Carlin--while finding someone funny is a matter of (mostly) taste (and I find Carlin funny more often than not), he's a great member of a long tradition of jesters speaking truth where others can't (or won't). When I was younger, some of his rants opened my eyes up to some obvious facets of the world, of which I was previously unaware.

Not everyone can be as hip, all-knowing, and preternaturally perceptive as some of you are--when becoming aware of U.S. culture as it really is (rather than how it's presented to us daily), a little help never hurts. Mr. Carlin was a big help for my late-teenage-years self, and I'll love him forever for that.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:30 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Judging from that blinking thing on your hand, you're getting old, too.

Fish and sea greens! Plankton and protein from the sea!

And I like George Carlin, so fuck almost all of you. He's been "about to die" since the 80s.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2007


I know it doesn't count for anything, but my insults of Carlin weren't meant as an absolute. Comedy, art, music, etc. are all subjective, and there's no such thing as "actually funny", "actually good", etc. Personally, I found it remarkably unfunny. But that's just subjective opinion, and I don't mean, by saying so, to insult the tastes of anyone who did find it funny.
posted by Bugbread at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2007


While his humor is holds about much water as his bladder, I still appreciate what the man stands for and raves about [despite being a sell-out to long distance companies in the '90s].
posted by moonbird at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2007


I've always loved Carlin but even I didn't care for this.

It does hurt to read the comments of people hatin' on one of my favorite comedians but I'll get over it.
posted by SteveTheRed at 3:40 PM on April 15, 2007


Carlin's old stuff was cool, but this is just an old man spouting buzzwords. Meh.
posted by dozo at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2007


Aging funny man makes fun of Internet Nerds and their lingo. In retaliation, nerds take unfunny potshots at greatness they will never achieve. Film at eleven.
posted by Eideteker at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2007


I'm saddened by the gleeful "he sucks" style posts that appear whenever any artist/celebrity is mentioned here. Seriously.

I've always liked Carlin.
posted by davebush at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2007


I was listening to Carlin back in his heyday and, honestly, I never could understand the popularity. I mean, he put himself on the map with the whole "7 dirty words you can't say on tv" routine but, after that, there was nothing.
Except, maybe, he invented the "Didja ever notice...?" style.
These days, he just comes across like some old man who's angry that none of the youngsters listen to him.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:25 PM on April 15, 2007


Well, you have to appreciate his memory. I couldn't memorize all that jibber-jabber.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:33 PM on April 15, 2007


Eideteker writes "In retaliation, nerds take unfunny potshots at greatness they will never achieve."

Er...I think the argument here is that this isn't an example of greatness.

Again, I respect that there is no true good or bad here, it's a matter of taste. But from my perspective, my unfunny potshot up above was a potshot at an unfunny ungreat performance. It's not that I could do better. It's the same level of mediocrity I achieve every day. But with far better rhythm.
posted by Bugbread at 4:36 PM on April 15, 2007


flarbuse: "his political material lacks (in my opinion) humor"

Well duh! Since when do political statements have to be funny? Just cuz they come out of a comedian's mouth? That's like saying when a politician talks it always has to make sense.

Carlin once said that "if they laugh, it means you're a comedian. If they don't, it means you're a performance artist." Not sure if he ever cared either way how people saw him, so long as they paid for their ticket.

As for an old man spouting buzzwords, he's not spouting buzzwords cuz he thinks they're cool. He KNOWS that an old man spouting buzzwords is a buzz kill. That's the point.

Carlin worships entropy. He's a studious practitioner of the written word and the spoken word. These are things that matter more to him than your god or my political party. He likes to watch humanity evolve itself into a painted corner, and prefers it to go with a bang and not a whimper, so long as he's on the sidelines with hotdogs and a beer.

The language of humanity though - he hopes that'll echo for awhile after humanity is gone. He knows it won't, but he appreciates language, and a lot of his comedy routines have been about how modern man abuses its own language. Buzzwords kill language. They pound meaning into bite-sized nuggets that are barely chewed on before they are swallowed by the sheep populace.

It's like taking a beautiful prize-winning cow and turning it into a few dozen happy meals.

By being an old man rapping buzzwords faster than an italian mobster can spit obscenities, George Carlin is metaphorically raining on the corporate parade of buzzwords. He's taking those happy meals and proverbially supergluing them to Ronald McDonald's cheeks. ...No. The other cheeks. He's making fun of the very concept of buzzwords, and how the more you use them, the less they mean. The less they bring to the language.

You guys diss him as if being old is a prerequisite to being uncool. He not only knows he's old. He's using his age and presence and character and what you think he is and what he knows he is and all that stuff, and he's channelling it all into that performance, and if you walk away from it killing the messenger, you've made his point. He didn't get through to you. Why? Cuz buzzwords kill language, and Laurie Anderson (performance artist, btw) was bleeping right.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:37 PM on April 15, 2007 [8 favorites]


Man. Tough room.
posted by hal9k at 4:40 PM on April 15, 2007


And for the rest of you: I hear Mind of Mencia is new this week.
posted by hal9k at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I liked it; it wasn't just Tech 2.0 babble, it was all kinds of current jargonizing he was doing, so the best giggles were when he mixed it up the most: "A high concept, low profile, medium range ballistic missionary." I liked it so much I went Googling for a transcript and found it.

I'm a long time Carlin fan, from his early 'regular stand-up guy' days through his 7 Dirty Words era (When I was in college, I edited Hanna Barbera cartoon sound effects to specifically replace each of the words and played it on my college radio show... somebody else stole the idea and put it on Dr. Demento), but he kind of lost me the last few years as his general demeanor got angrier. The rage was getting in the way of the funny. I was surprised when he mentioned "341 days sober" after the Modern Man Rap, and watching for the next several minutes noticed a new change in his tone back to somewhat more gleefully naughty. (I haven't watched it all yet, so I may turn out to be wrong) Still, it helped me get a giggle out of topics from cornholing and suicide. Style matters. Wish I'd known it was coming when the show first aired over a year ago. But he really must get something else to wear besides those black pajamas - they really make him look old.
posted by wendell at 4:45 PM on April 15, 2007


...and what ZachsMind said.
posted by wendell at 4:47 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


2,443 Dirty Words (probably NSFW)
posted by the_bone at 5:00 PM on April 15, 2007


He's making fun of the very concept of buzzwords, and how the more you use them, the less they mean. The less they bring to the language.

Only when you use them incorrectly for comic effect because, like anything else you perceive to be symptomatic of a rapidly changing world, they scare and confuse you. Any lingustic term loses meaning if the speaker deliberately uses it in a meaningless context. Like any other innovation, neologisms are only scary and threatening to those who are averse to change. A new word or phrase which coherently and concisely describes a novel or complex concept does not 'kill language', it makes it richer and more elegant. The idea that people routinely think, 'Oh, there is now a word for this, so it need not concern me,' is silly and demonstrably false.

This is why, although I found the first few minutes of the video occasionally funny (and an impressive feat of memorisation), it was also irritating and misguided. Also, the majority of the 'buzzwords', at least in the 2-3 minutes I listened to before getting bored, weren't corporate, they were just new. I like Carlin. I think he used to be funny, and oten still is. But this isn't funny or a political statement, it's just cranky conservatism, and it made me want to get off his lawn.
posted by Soulfather at 5:07 PM on April 15, 2007


Now that I've had time to watch the whole thing, I'm surprised this wasn't better received. His ranting seems pretty in line with the standard-issue MeFi philosophy and beliefset that comes in the kit with your membership, along with the autographed glossy of mathowie and the tin of cookies baked by jessamyn. Maybe it was nothing new, but I always enjoy getting riled up about the perceived collapse within our society, if for no other reason than that it makes me want to give that extra 10% in taking care of myself and those around me. It gives me that oomph to pick up the piece of newspaper blowing around the city street and put it in a trash can. It gives me the courage to smile at the random person on the street, brightening their day. It renews the sheer joy if life in me that convinces me to walk to the store rather than driving, because really, the rain isn't so bad. It's an anger that liberates; frees me from a mindset of daily drudgery into one that is alert and awake, consuming not material goods peddled by multibillion-dollar corporations, but genuine moments between people and alone, in nature.

I like Carlin because he points to the stuff we take for granted or ignore every day. He likes to slap you and say, "Wake the fuck up, asshole!" Thanks, George. I needed that.

Can anyone spare $5 for a sockpuppet named "an endless stream of dead uncle daves"?
posted by Eideteker at 5:08 PM on April 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


ZachsMind writes "Buzzwords kill language. They pound meaning into bite-sized nuggets that are barely chewed on before they are swallowed by the sheep populace. It's like taking a beautiful prize-winning cow and turning it into a few dozen happy meals. "

Yes. Better that, instead of using the expression "pre-shrunk", we use "washed or otherwise heated in water or other non-damaging fluids, and possibly air heated, in order to cause the decreasing in size which would normally occur after purchase to be largely taken care of before purchase, in order that the garment can be purchased roughly at parity with its intended final size, without having to factor in the shrinkage that happens to garments that are not thus treated". That is far better for the English language, and allows the chewing that separates us intelligent folks from the sheep.

Eideteker writes "I like Carlin because he points to the stuff we take for granted or ignore every day. He likes to slap you and say, 'Wake the fuck up, asshole!' Thanks, George. I needed that."

Perhaps MeFi is a tough crowd for this kind of act because it is exactly the kind of stuff that gets rehashed every day here. We make fun of Web 2.0 and argue about downsizing and rip on the latest right wing neologisms and rail against consumerism all the time. So, as comedy, it isn't particularly funny, and as a wake-up call, it's preaching to the converted. (Just a guess).
posted by Bugbread at 5:27 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


It isn't so much a drag getting old as it is a drag being drug in the dirt by young pups who figure their few good years of howling will last forever.
posted by stirfry at 5:31 PM on April 15, 2007


Wow Soulfather, your thinking outside of the box really shifted my paradigm and I'm now ready to synergize with all the other dinosaurs now, especially with the 300 pound gorilla out of the room!
posted by porpoise at 5:37 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think his criticism wouldn't be so much that the words are new but that they remove the need for thought. Instead of using words that actually mean something, one uses a buzzword, to sound as if they were speaking something meaningful, and instead fill the air around them with stuff and nonsense.
posted by MythMaker at 5:47 PM on April 15, 2007


"You can say what you want about this country. I love this country. I love the freedoms that we used to have."

This may be old hat to the MeFi populous, but we have a short-term memory. Carlin was a contemporary of Lenny Bruce, and Carlin did his share of time too, for speaking and doing as he pleased. You may not find Carlin funny now. You may or may not have found him funny then. You may not even be able to understand why anyone ever found Lenny Bruce funny.

The point was they did it. Richard Pryor did it. A lot of guys stood in front of an audience and did it. They used those seven dirty words. They questioned authority. They stuck it to the establishment. They did what many in their audience wanted to do but didn't have the balls to do it.

Not too long ago if you did what Carlin & Bruce & Pryor and what others did, you'd get worse than jail time. You'd get worse than having the press rag on you here and there. You'd see an end to your livelihood. You'd get shunned. You'd get run out of town on a rail. Or say in Pryor's case, you'd just get hanged.

We take it for granted now, and less of us are doing those things. Then we wonder where our freedoms went. We let them go. Stern is run off to satelite on a rail. Imus is told to live on his savings. Richards is - well I don't know what happened to that guy...?

Maybe Carlin's diatribe is too tame. Maybe he didn't take off the kid gloves. Maybe he shoulda.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:34 PM on April 15, 2007


"Well somebody's gotta think about these things. Apparently I've been appointed."

Pesci bless ya, George. You old bastard.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:04 PM on April 15, 2007


ZM, as at least I indicated above, he has social importance but I find him immensely unfunny. Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor did all that too, but they managed to make me laugh at the same time.
posted by Falconetti at 7:09 PM on April 15, 2007


Foxx and Pryor and Bruce are all dead. So is Hope. So is Skelton. and Berle. and Diller. and Carson. and Hackett. and Burns. and Gracie Allen. And Steve Allen. And all the other funny Allens. The only Allens left are not funny. There's cemetaries filled of dead funny guys.

I'd say they're more unfunny than Carlin. Today, Carlin's got them beat, cuz he outlived the fuckers. What do we have left? Jonathan Winters. Jerry Lewis. Bill Cosby. If he can outlive just three more guys, Carlin wins the funny, cuz he gets the last word. To be honest, Cosby's lookin' pretty good. He's a worthy opponent. Winters and Lewis though? Carlin can take them on, no problem.

For me it's just good to see George upright, mobile, and complaining about his bowels. True George Carlin fans, we don't ask for much. The only thing we ask, is that he don't die. At least not until humanity has destroyed itself, cuz we wanna hear what he'll have to say about it afterwards!
posted by ZachsMind at 7:32 PM on April 15, 2007


ZachsMind:

Word.

Carlin has always been about language. "There are no bad words; bad thoughts and bad actions, yes, but no bad words." "The men who control the words, control the world."

Lazy, inaccurate language leads to lazy, inaccurate shit happening in the world. Deliberately misleading language leads to deliberately misleading shit happening in the world. That's why we have the "war on terror", and "surges", and we call dropping bombs on poor, innocent foreigners "surgical strikes".

Carlin's not being funny. He's throwing our species' willful inarticulateness (?) back in our faces. I think he's a genius, but what do I know?

And, BTW, "why do we drive on the parkway...", is Gallagher, not Carlin.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:37 PM on April 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I personally find that George Carlin's material these days is too obvious to me; it's the type of thing I've already thought about, then moved on. Plus, when it comes out of his mouth, he just sounds so unhappy, so bitter about it -- when in my mind I've already moved past whatever anger I may have found in it.

Then, that's partially a side-effect of mass media's embracing of shock, in combination with the Internet's ability to get hundreds of thousands of people talking about the same thing with each other the day after it happens. Much like Saturday Night Live's news was funny until The Daily Show started beating them to the punch by several days, we now have conversations about this stuff the day it happens, and when someone like Carlin gets around to talking about it on stage, it's old hat.

Tough to be a comic, even a very good one, in this day and age unless your material can survive past a freshness date of one day...
posted by davejay at 8:03 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Zachs, one correction: Phyllis Diller is still alive and less funny than she used to be (and while never as good, as funny or as daring as Carlin, made a step forward by simply stepping up on stage).

The Modern Man Rap is about language, but also about context, and when looked at closely, quite skillfully assembled:
I've been uplinked and downloaded.
I've been inputted and outsourced.
I know the upside of downsizing.
I know the downside of upgrading.


But I think he misspoke when he said:
Politically anatomically and ecologically incorrect.
It would've been funnier if he'd dropped the "in-", but then, the politically correct/anatomically correct juxtaposition is one of the bit's oldest jokes.

And everyone from Gallagher to Seinfeld to Dane Cook owe their professional existence to George Carlin... which, I guess, is reason enough to hate him.
posted by wendell at 8:07 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ages ago Carlin was more like an edgy Cosby; a storyteller. Then he got angry, then he got old and angry, and his stories became rants. He still has a few funny bits, but since when is spewing bile funny? Lately that's all I hear from him.
posted by Gungho at 8:09 PM on April 15, 2007


Carlin on the effect of lazy language on our culture:
I don't like words that hide the truth. I don't words that conceal reality. I don't like euphemisms, or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent the kind of a soft language to protest themselves from it, and it gets worse with every generation. For some reason, it just keeps getting worse. I'll give you an example of that. There's a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It's when a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed to it's absolute peak and maximum. Can't take anymore input. The nervous system has either (click) snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn't seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue. Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, were up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It's totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we've added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder. I'll bet you if we'd of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I'll betcha.
Spot on.

In times of universal deceit, people will disparage the prophets for not being funny enough.
posted by edverb at 8:28 PM on April 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


You either enjoy Carlin's rambling beat-poet almost-rap schtick or you don't, I guess. It's okay either way.

I hope that I'm half as energetic, creative, and generally active when I'm freaking seventy years old.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:28 PM on April 15, 2007


google video views when I watched it was at: 166,666
Still is. Huh.
posted by Bokononist at 9:18 PM on April 15, 2007


There's also something to be said about the fact that Carlin currently holds the record for the most HBO specials. I think he's at 13 now, at least according to HBO's website.

He also has several Grammy's.

He was the first host of Saturday Night Live in 1975.

Best line: "Don't confuse my point of view with cynicism. The real cynics are the ones who tell you that everything's gonna be all right."

Anyway. I just checked out his website (which he personally updates, though not regularly). He's says he's going to be doing 12 weeks here in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. To this I say "AWESOME!!"
posted by daq at 9:59 PM on April 15, 2007


Sad, really.
posted by squirrel at 10:35 PM on April 15, 2007


Years ago, Cosby was funny too. You heard him recently? He's just as bitter and ranty as Carlin is nowadays, but then he'll wrap up his routine on a high note by pulling out something like "Dentist." Even half-heartedly, he still gets laughs and applause and he's off the stage.

I dunno if it's cuz these guys are old, or if they see the world around them changing for the worse and that's what makes them bitter. Maybe they shoulda quit when the world stopped being funny to them.

I tried to find out who originally said that "stand up comedy is cheaper than therapy" for the comedian who gets up there and does it. My results led me to believe that "art supplies are cheaper than therapy" may have been the original quotation.

Anyway, I think for most if not all comedians, they get up there to get a laugh sure but they also get up there to vent, which brings me back to Carlin's statement about "comedian" versus" performance artist."

If I knew I could fill a coliseum with tens of thousands of people, and no matter what comes out of my mouth most of those people are gonna stay riveted in their seats and they're gonna walk out of there pleased as punch that I even showed up, much less exhaled breath over my vocal chords for an hour and a half, you bet your ass I'd say whatever was on my mind, and I wouldn't necessarily be funny. I wouldn't have to be. If I commanded that many people to show up like I was a pied piper, all I'd have to do was be me. Or at the very least, present myself as what they think I am, and leave the real me (the me reserved for friends and family) back in the dressing room.

George could secretly be a devout catholic, or a reformed jew, or a buddhist monk - and we'd never have a clue if he opted to pretend to be an aetheist whenever he was in public.

I presume he's really an agnostic deist, but that's my hypothesis based on his public persona, and your perception of him may radically differ from mine, and ultimately, neither of our perspectives matter.

At Carlin's age, or at Cosby's, maybe they just don't give a crap what we think of them anymore. Who could blame them?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:40 PM on April 15, 2007


Oh. Sorry about the Diller thing. I thought for sure she was dead so didn't bother checking Dead People Server. I did check to see if Winters is still with us though, and I figure when Jerry Lewis goes, there's gonna be a procession on television and radio for five days as if he were an ex-president or something. So didn't bother to check him.

...

Huh? Who's Carl Mencina?

...

Oh. He's okay.

...

Okay I'll shut up.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:00 PM on April 15, 2007


More than any other comedian that I can think of, Carlin has always been about language. I always liked that about him.

Carlin's early dope-fiend Hippy Dippy Weatherman era stuff doesn't do too much for me. His latest HBO special (from which I believe this must be taken -- I haven't watched it yet) doesn't either. But for a good two decades, I reckon Carlin was brilliant, for just that reason: he was all about language, and I love words something fierce. That, and he was angry as fuck at the stupidity and cupidity of America and the rest of the modern world, which seems to me the only reaction to it all that makes any sense -- anger rooted in love, exorcised with humour.

It's been said already in this thread and is always true that de gustibus non est disputandum -- there's always going to be disagreement about funny comedy, good music, literature, whatever, because different people like different things, all the way from godhead to crap, and that's their prerogative. Nobody is ever wrong about what they like. Sometimes they're wrong about what's good, though. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that something is good simply because they like it.

(As a counter-example, I like Korean beer, even though I know it's horrible goat's piss.)

If you've ever heard the tone of reverence other professional comedians use when talking about Carlin, it's pretty clear that he has done a lot of good stuff. I like Carlin a lot, because of my opinion of much of his body of work is that quite a lot of it is very good indeed.

Some of the stuff that I don't like so much may also be good. That's OK with me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:26 PM on April 15, 2007


That opening was glorious.

Jeez, not everything can be icing, people.

Relax.

Nice post.

Hope someone slaps that on YouTube.
posted by squidfartz at 12:34 AM on April 16, 2007


Wait a minute - 60 comments here and no one mentions "Pussy Farts!"?

I like a man who will talk about pussy farts out of the blue. It makes me happy. I think about these things too. "Did she just poop...a little bit?" It's good to have these things aired publicly.

And yeah, the opening 5 minutes isn't laugh out loud funny, it's mostly interesting and has a nice rhythm. I like that about Carlin and I like Carlin. He's messy and mean and swings his punches around chaotically at times. Good. Less clarity, more old ranters who are interesting and have good delivery.

I still think Carlin is the best swearer I've ever seen perform. He just knows how to deliver a rusty, old, guttural "fuuuuck you", like nobody else.
posted by django_z at 12:49 AM on April 16, 2007


I often forget that many people who use this website are dumbshit teenagers. Thanks for reminding me. Again.
posted by Optamystic at 1:27 AM on April 16, 2007


ZachsMind : "Huh? Who's Carl Mencina?

"...

"Oh. He's okay. "


I've only found about Mencina from the net, but you should probably modify that "he's okay" part. Mencina is notorious among comedians (and, recently, some of the public) for stealing other comedians' jokes. I don't mean "riffing on another comedians' jokes as an homage", but plain ole stealin'. Odds are, if you've heard him say something funny, its' because it's someone else's.
posted by Bugbread at 1:53 AM on April 16, 2007


Optamystic : "I often forget that many people who use this website are dumbshit teenagers. Thanks for reminding me. Again."

The question is, are you calling the people who liked Carlin dumbshit teenagers, or the people who didn't like Carlin dumbshit teenagers?

From where I sit, we have lots of people on both sides who talk about Carlin's shtick from way back when, prompting me to believe that like and dislike are evenly distributed, and that most of us here are in their late 20s and 30s.

But if it makes you feel better to think that whoever disagrees with you (whichever side you're on) is young and stupid, more power to you.
posted by Bugbread at 1:56 AM on April 16, 2007


I shouldn't post before my morning coffee. Apologies.
posted by Optamystic at 2:11 AM on April 16, 2007


No worries.
posted by Bugbread at 2:24 AM on April 16, 2007


Thanks wendell.
Mans a poet here and performs well too...Carlin that is. Oh... and suck it haters.
posted by adamvasco at 3:40 AM on April 16, 2007


You realize that George Carlin's "Life is Worth Losing" is pretty old, right? This originally aired in late 2005 I think.
posted by antifuse at 4:42 AM on April 16, 2007


Yeah, I'm getting 166,666 all-time views too...
posted by thejoshu at 4:55 AM on April 16, 2007


It's been a while since I've seen this special, but I remember finding the opening a bit cringeworthy. The actual show was great, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:16 AM on April 16, 2007


antifuse writes "You realize that George Carlin's 'Life is Worth Losing' is pretty old, right? This originally aired in late 2005 I think."

Whoa. They had color television back then?
posted by Bugbread at 5:26 AM on April 16, 2007


Whoa. They had color television back then?

Yeah yeah yeah, 2005 isn't that long ago. But in terms of "Check out these things I found on the internet", it dates around the same time as all those kickass Chuck Norris facts. That's a roundhouse kick back into ancient history, as far as I'm concerned. :)
posted by antifuse at 6:26 AM on April 16, 2007


Makes sense. I always think of "stuff that started on the internet" (Chuck Norris, etc.) as having a much shorter shelf life than "stuff that happened in real life and got put on the internet". And the more popular (Chuck Norris) something is, the shorter the shelf life. George Carlin videos haven't really blazed on the intertubes like Chuck Norris, so 2005 seems recent to me.
posted by Bugbread at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2007


the tin of cookies baked by jessamyn

Wait, cookies? We get cookies? WTF? Where's mine?!

I PAYS MAH FIVE DOLLARS; I BETTAH GETS COOKIES!
posted by grubi at 7:35 AM on April 16, 2007


I always think of "stuff that started on the internet" (Chuck Norris, etc.) as having a much shorter shelf life than "stuff that happened in real life and got put on the internet".

True enough, I suppose... but "Check out this George Carlin HBO Comedy Special from 2005", to me, is the equivalent of something like "Check out this Sufjan Stevens album from 2005". Sure, it's enjoyable to some, but it's fairly mainstream and most people who would be in the market for it have probably already enjoyed it. Of course, I'm derailing a bit here, for which I apologize. I shouldn't be complaining about the oldness of the performance.

I should be complaining about the quality of the humour. And I have to say, I was disappointed mightily when I first saw this way back in the day. I generally expect better from Carlin, and this performance was not, in my purely subjective opinion, that good.
posted by antifuse at 7:57 AM on April 16, 2007


Fair nuff.
posted by Bugbread at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2007


"And now, a message from the National Apple Association:
FUCK PEARS!"
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:06 AM on April 16, 2007


bugbread: "Mencina is notorious among comedians (and, recently, some of the public) for stealing other comedians' jokes."

Oh. In that case I hate him I hate him I hate him.

Actually one of the many reasons I never made it as a standup comic is fear. Not fear that I'd fail. Heck, I was looking forward to getting up on that stage and failing on my own material. That's a badge of courage - a rite of passage among comedians.

I feared I'd get up there, panic, my palms would go sweaty, my eyes would dry up, my throat would get parched, and next thing I knew I'd be quoting Stephen Wright sure-fire oneliners as if they were my own. Not out of a desire to commit evil, but out of fear that my own material wasn't worthy.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:19 AM on April 16, 2007


...I meant to add that I despise any 'successful' comedian who gets away with it, cuz I never could. So Carlos Mencia go sit on a tack.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:26 AM on April 16, 2007


Ah, a former comedian? Then you'd especially appreciate (if that's the right word) the utter gall of this particular ripoff of Mencia's:

Mencia Rips Cosby
posted by Bugbread at 9:31 AM on April 16, 2007


Ah, one last note on the Mencia hate wagon: with the exception of that Cosby ripoff, he generally rips off unknown comedians, which especially fucks them up, because, since he's famous, they can no longer use the joke they wrote because people will have heard Mencia say it first, and will assume they're ripping him off.
posted by Bugbread at 9:55 AM on April 16, 2007


bugbread wrote: Mencia Rips Cosby

What ripoff? Those are two completely different jokes. In Cosby's joke, the kid's a running back, while in Mencia's, he's a quarterback. You see? Totally not the same!

Also, Mencia's joke is funnier because he talks fast and screams and uses the word "bitch", whereas Cosby talks much more slowly and deliberately, conversationally you might say, and the joke just kind of builds and builds to a precise, punchy payoff, and then he doesn't even funny it up with a dirty word at the end. (Of course, we all know Bill Cosby would never use words like "filth", "flarn", "filthin'", or "flarnin' filth" in front of people.)

To sum up: The Cos rules, Mencia drools!
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:05 AM on April 16, 2007


Is "hits one out of the park" an American slang for "pinches one out"?
posted by Wataki at 12:45 PM on April 16, 2007


The man can't die.
He's too mean to die.
Chant the mantra.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:39 PM on April 16, 2007


I'm an alpha male on beta blockers...
posted by 2shay at 4:52 PM on April 16, 2007


Is "hits one out of the park" an American slang for "pinches one out"?

Even if it's not, I'm definitely making it a Canadian one. "Dropping the kids off at the pool" has gotten a bit stale. "Hey hun, I'm just gonna go hit one out of the park. I'll be back in 15 minutes or so." Yeah, I like it.
posted by antifuse at 1:48 AM on April 17, 2007


Might I suggest Viz's Profanisaurus if you are wishing to find new and interesting ways to describe having a big dump. The work filter prevents me from directing you to the best place to look but it's generally an excellent resource for budding swearmerchants.
posted by longbaugh at 6:39 AM on April 17, 2007



Is "hits one out of the park" an American slang for "pinches one out"?


Sadly, I am a Brit whose mind has been gradually infiltrated by Americanisms. My understanding is it means 'does rather well, actually'.

But your way works too.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:28 PM on April 18, 2007


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