George Carlin Dies
Posted by bmac on June 22, 2008
The older you get, it seems like either someone you grew up with, or people you know, start passing away almost weekly. Parents, friends, and even celebrities that have been an influence on our lives. A friend of mine said to me a few weeks ago, “15 years ago, we were all going to weddings, now we’re all going to funerals.” Sadly, it seems to be true. Part of growing older I guess.
I used to love George Carlin. I do think he was a comedic genius, absolutely brilliant more often than not, although he really seemed to go downhill in the last 10-15 years. It seemed to me, he really became a bitter, angry old man. Which can really be a trap in comedy, because in case you don’t know, comedy, particularly stand-up comedy, is based in anger.
Stand-up comics are some of the most pissed off, angry, miserable fuckers you’ll ever meet. That anger comes out in jokes, and that anger drives them, just as all great art is born of anger. I’ve said it before, but happy people make crappy art. George most definitely fit that model. Unfortunately, I think the anger that drove him to be so creative and funny, ultimately ate him up inside.
His last few HBO specials were downright nasty, and mean. He said a lot of horrible things about America, and Americans over the last few years, and for me, it just kind of soiled all the brilliant things he’s done over such a long career.
I hope George finds the solace he couldn’t seem to get a hold of while in his mortal coil.
There’s no denying he was one of the very best that ever trod the boards, in my opinion second only to Bill Cosby.