George Carlin, A Tribute

"I don't have pet peeves - I have major psychotic hatreds" -- George Carlin 5/12/1937 - 6/22/2008
     George Carlin was, simply put, a master comedian, and prolific writer.  When it came to delivering raw, in your face, relevant, and hilarious stand-up routines, George Carlin never let you down.  And, like with all the greats, you know right away when you see a great comedian.  And, anyone could clearly see that George Carlin was a true master.  I knew immediately that Carlin was among the greats as soon as I first saw him perform when I was a child.  His performance was just so special, and recognizably honest, and sincere that you felt as though he was speaking directly to you. 
     George possessed the type of stage presence, courage, and perfect timing that made you feel as though you knew him and, not only that but, he thought just like you, only a lot more bitter and angry.  His comedy was always thought provoking, and relevant as well as hilariously crafted, and well delivered.  Carlin owned the stage and your attention.  He demanded it, and he was a clear, and undeniable master of the art of Stand-Up comedy.  A prolific, and masterful storyteller, hilarious and relate able performer, and downright brilliant humorist, George Carlin and his unique brand of comedy truly was a gift to society.

     For anyone who is a loyal reader of 'Laughing at Life, 2', I don't have to tell you about our tribute pieces but, to those who are new to our little blog, let me explain them.   These tributes are for the entertainers and comedians who inspired and molded me as a comic or, just the ones who inspired me or, I felt were relevant and, had something valuable to say.  For me, Carlin fits right in this category like a glove.  That being said, I did not agree with every thing George had to say.  But, I don't feel that agreeing with everything a person says is a deciding factor in whether or not that person was gifted or had other valuable things to say.  When it came to Carlin's comedy, even when I disagreed with the things George might be saying, I always could respect his right to say those things and, even if I completely disagreed, I agreed he had every right to have his own views.  I am very open minded, which I feel is a good way to be.  So even the rare times that George would lose me or even offend me, he always made me think while he entertained me and I feel that in itself is a true gift.
     George Carlin had a very long and successful comedy career that spanned many decades and genres.  Carlin had MANY successful comedy albums and feature length stand-up specials as well as, many best selling books, tons of movie roles, and many television appearances throughout his lengthy career in entertainment.  He was everywhere in films and television from a dirty hitchhiker in Kevin Smith's 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back', down to his memorable, but often forgotten, role as 'The Conductor' on the popular hit children's show 'Thomas The Tank Engine'.  George Carlin had a unique range in his comedy appeal which, I feel, made him a hot commodity in entertainment and, will also lead to him being remembered and revered for generations to come.
     Carlin's stand-up routines always had an underlying message to them.  His early ones seemed to focus on freedom of speech as well as pointing out the absurdities of society and human nature but, at the same time, stayed light hearted in their delivery.  Later in his career and mainly in his last special before his death they seemed to focus more on his hatred for organized religion and, his last one in particular seemed to me to be an outright attack on God himself.  To me this increase in George's bitterness was sad.  I watched ALL of his specials and own most of them but that last one left me mostly feeling sorry for him.  For those who haven't seen it it was called 'It's Bad For Ya', it focused almost exclusively on religion and, to me, felt like an outright attack on God.  As I said before, I am open minded but, this special of George's didn't make me laugh once and, just left me feeling sorry for him.  Especially since he died soon after it was released.  George clearly had a problem with the church, as any fan of his work knew but, near the end that dislike for the corruption of organised religion seemed to turn into a sour and misguided hatred for God.  I was saddened by this because in that special he didn't seem concerned at all with being funny, as he had always done throughout his career no matter what sociological absurdity or subject matter he was tackling, he just seemed to be so full of hatred and no longer concerned at all with humor in that last special.  For the record, I'm not saying anyone has to be religious, or for that matter have faith in God but, for it to make someone so angry and hateful that others do just makes me feel sad for that person.  That being said, I still feel that his comedy collection and contribution has tremendous value to society and was filled with great messages on what was truly important in life while making us laugh at ourselves in the process.
     It would be very hard for me to pick my favorite George Carlin comedy special or even my favorite Carlin routine, there were just so many great ones throughout his career.  But, some of my favorite ones were, his recurring bit on the seven words you can't say on television, his bit on the human obsession with 'stuff', as well as another favorite bit of his about how to solve the nation's debt and crime problems using custom prisons and pay per view TV.  Carlin had tons to say it seemed and always said it in very funny and thought provoking ways while making us laugh as we learned to think differently.  That in itself is a very rare gift that only a handful of entertainers posses.  And those entertainers, for me, are the most valuable and precious ones that we have.  The ones who really have something to say and teach us about life and ourselves and can say it in a way that makes us think without knowing it all while we are being entertained.  So, in closing, I'd just like to say, 'Thank you George Carlin, for all you shared with us throughout your career and for all the laughs you gave us along the way.  You will be deeply missed and in the end I hope you finally found the peace you were looking for.  We love you George.  Thank you.'

Before you leave, we have more great tribute pieces here at Laughing at Life, 2 like...



  1. Carlin was one of the best of the funny men. Humor with an intellect. I missed those last railings against God and religion and I'm glad I did. Anger and bitterness are not good companions for comedy.

    A note about your blog: Hopefully you've already read the comment I left at your other site, if not you might want to check it out since what I'm going to say relates to that comment.

    The presentation of the content text looks much better here--more readable without flowing off my page. The side bar still is off the page and I have to scroll over to it. Again this is either a problem with your page width settings or it could be my viewing screen. Please let me know. If it's on my end then I'm not sure how to fix it, but I'm pretty sure it's your settings. Your comment box looks like any other blog I've seen so that's what convinces me it's your settings.

    I enjoy good humor and it looks like you have some funny stuff here.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks for your comment and ya, his last one is worth skipping. I will look into my settings, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog. Thanks again.


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