George Carlin and the death of comedy

There was a time when comedians told jokes. Funny, tasteful jokes that you wouldn’t mind repeating to anyone, young or old. I recently watched one of George Carlin’s “acts.” It doesn’t say anything good about a person who allows himself to talk the way he did. And yes, this needs to be talked about, especially to my Catholic brothers and sisters.

He started with a few profane words for a few well known people and how he doesn’t need to be told who to admire. Nothing funny. He sounded angry. He then went on to denigrate motherhood and referred to having a baby as “pumping out a unit” and why this was a terrible thing. He called it “polluting the earth.” Fathers were dumped on. And as far as things in general, “it’s all b******* and it’s bad for you.” A cheery, happy little act? No, not at all. Yet this is what passes for comedy in this country.

He decides to tell people there is no heaven, that “there is no ‘up there.’” And he’s Irish, which he decides to denigrate as well.

Mr. Carlin told us he was raised Catholic but when he “reached the age of reason,” he apparently encountered what he called “logic.”

I felt sorry for Mr. Carlin and I was puzzled that anyone was laughing at anything he said. It was all dismal, depressing and, eventually, anti-God. And if it’s “all b****** and it’s bad for you,” what is anyone to make of what he said during the time he was ‘performing’? Did he leave anyone with a single positive or uplifting thing? Nope.

I hope comedy reappears one day, but already, they’ve got a lame replacement out there for George.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to avoid what they call comedy until things improve.


I think most of us are well aware of how much you enjoy a good, hearty laugh, especially when laced with bitterness and irony.

Perhaps you have missed your true calling, and should be up there making the audiences roll in the aisles with merriment. :stuck_out_tongue:

pray for him, and those who listen to him…

In terms of contemporary comedy, it is easy as a performer to bash straight men/wives/any religion (except Islam)/southerners/corporate america/former president Bush/traditional marriage/etc. I do improv comedy in my city and have for years. I can always tell a new performer who isn’t comfortable yet by they way they go for the easy joke, or potty humor. It takes a lot more . . . . class, huzpah, experience, maturity (what ever you want to call it) to rise to the top of the audience intelligence level and find something off the beaten track. It is mostly college troupes I see that have the problems you noted. And if you think about it, that was when George Carlin really came into his own - during the college age of the babyboomers. It’s too bad he never progressed beyond that.

I agree that too much comedy today is just a vulgar rant. Carlin gets his share of the blame but more goes to Lenny Bruce and Redd Foxx (before his TV show).

I saw George Carlin in a small show at a junior college, of all places, in the early '70’s. It was right after “The Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television” came out and he did the routine. I’d heard about the material but was completely shocked that a small junior college in conservative Fort Worth, Texas would allow it. I kept thinking some administrative-type would step forward and stop it, but they didn’t.

When I was a kid, I thought the “hippy dippy weatherman” was funny, but the rest of his act just left me cold. :shrug:

I like the “Just for Laughs” gags, out of Montreal - they’re clean, and silly, and funny - nobody gets hurt, or even humiliated - the pranksters play the jokes on themselves, and make people think they did something to cause the prank to happen (for example, the prankster might make a pie fly into his own face, and at the same time, cause a passerby to think he did something that caused the pie to jump up and hit the person in the face - for example by pulling on a handle or something like that). :slight_smile:

Or they get someone to “hold my dog’s leash for me” and then the dog gets switched for a cat when the person isn’t looking. :smiley:

While I’m not a big Carlin fan, you do have to love his football/baseball routine, and his routine (at least I think its his) on the various frustrating grammar rules of the English language.

He has always been a jerk, More a rebel rouser apparently.

I saw him perform in Detroit in 1974. He seemed a lot more alive and his fascination with words was clever and funny. The only strange thing was someone from the audience handed him a joint which he put in his nose. “I can’t smoke that. It was in my nose!”

Marijuana is a bad thing.


That’s my view too. George Carlin was funny up until he started to take himself way too seriously as some sort of secular prophet. After that, he was more just bitter and facile than anything else.

But back in the day, Carlin was a genius with words.

– Mark L. Chance.

I wonder if hes laughing now…

I would say that Carlin is in part responsible for the death of comedy.

If you want to watch a “clean” comic who is very funny, search for Brian Regan clips on YouTube. He is very funny. He does not use sex or shock or vulgarity to try to garner laughter. He is just a genuinely funny man who occasionally uses the word “damn” or "hell,’ but that’s about it. I have heard him speak about politics, but in a general way. It’s hard to tell which way he leans politically, and that’s a good thing. Regan is a secular comic.

Also, look for Tim Hawkins video clips. He is a Christian comic and he is pretty funny, as well.

Years ago when he appeared on TV I thought him so much fun…He was always clean and his material was sort of whimsical and a bit off beat

I never followed him in his later years…It’s a shame his material couldn’t have stayed something everyone could enjoy

I think before there was Carlin, there was Rickles. My family couldn’t stand him, because his comedy had a very high ratio of insults to it and he was highly visible. That’s one good thing about Carlin, he wasn’t in enough tv or movies to have enough visibility that most people had any idea who he was. Rickles, probably guest-starred on just about every show you could imagine, especially the sitcoms.

George Carlin is one of the best thing that’s ever happened to me! I fell in love with his comedy in his “Religion is”-- you know what, it’s not safe for me to finish that. :rolleyes:

RIP George Carlin. You will missed by so many, including me! :heart: Farewell, fellow heathen!

Eternally Carlin’s, Blade and Blood

Rickles uses insult humor to get laughs, true. I never get the feeling that he does this out of hatred and anger. He does backtrack, at times, to let everyone know that he is telling jokes. I can certainly understand how people would not take to that kind of so-called humor.

I never got the feeling that Carlin was only joking, and that he didn’t actually possess such anger and hatred for everything. His anger and hatred seemed real to me. He seemed like a man who was angry at the world and wanted to let people know why. Toward the end of his career, Carlin wasn’t really telling jokes. His wit and satire disappeared. He was just listing the things that got him angry and things he hated. It got to the point that nothing seemed to be OK with him. He hated everything (both sides of an issue) about the world.

Carlin got the loudest cheers in his act when he would announce that he wanted to explain what’s angering him currently. The crowd waited for his bile.

By it’s very nature, comedy is a masque for anger and tragedy, The trick is turning into an art form, and often a constructive one for the catharsis of the many, not only the individual. The sacrifices comedians make in this pursuit cannot be overstated.

Yes, Carlin is dead, Belushi is dead, Hicks is dead, Hedberg is dead…and me also I am not feeling so well. :wink:

Mitch Hedberg, (recently deceased, alas) was a comedian I’d feel very safe recommending to all the members on this forum - he rarely (if ever!) swore, never came across as angry, rather as rambling and quirky, and generally as the genuinely nice, goofy Seattle hippie he was - and was completely hilarious!

I think I know who you refer to when you write about Hedberg. If he has a slow, almost, lethargic way of speaking, then I have seen him perform on TV.

As I mentioned previously, Brian Regan is a secular comic, who works a “clean” act. He basically deals with things and circumstances that leave him feeling inadequate. He also plays up the stupidity of some things like: why do they print the name of the novel on the top of every page? He feels if they placed the movie title at the top of the screen for the duration of the movie, it would be ridiculous. So why do it for books? Do people really forget which book they are reading?

Of course, he unpacks this notion in a much funnier way than I do in this post… :shrug: , but you get the idea.

I am personally glad that George Carlin is dead.

He was a maggot in life, and now he is a feast for maggots in death.

May he burn for all eternity.

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