Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Remembered

Comedians just aren’t the same like they were when I was young. I grew up on comedians such as George Carlin , Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Robert Klein, and a host of others. Some of them, like Cosby, took real life and made it seem hilarious. Pryor was known for his colorful and often profanity-ridden routines. But Carlin was just a little edgier than most. With his death yesterday, everyone seems to be talking about the “7 dirty words” that one could never utter on TV (I won’t utter them here either, I want to keep it clean). But what I remember him for is his “Al Sleet, the hippy-dippy weatherman, ” and his portrayal of the “Wonderful WINO” radio station. It was creative, funny, and related to the times. I didn’t enjoy his comedy as much later on, but he still kept his edge and kept it relevant to the times.

Comedy these days is still funny, but rather than get it in monologues as in the past, we seem to get it in movies instead. It still makes one laugh, you just have to pay more for the privilege. It seems that many comedians have been relegated to the TV talk shows, like the View, and Ellen, and late night TV shows with the likes of Leno, Conan, etc. It's still somewhat homogenized to some extent as far as TV is concerned. But Carlin, and others like him of his time, may have very well opened the door for more risque comedy that maybe even someone like Lennie Bruce could never get away with. They probably set the stage for talk show shock jocks, who use comedy to shock listeners.

So here, just to remember some of Carlin’s early stuff, here is a performance of his when he was on the Hollywood Palace in 1966, and an audio of his "newscast" featuring “Al Sleet.” Enjoy!

One of his “Newscasts” with Al Sleet

From the Hollywood Palace

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