The obligatory “George Carlin dies at 71″ post

posted at 1:10 pm on June 23, 2008 by Allahpundit

I’m tempted to say “passes away,” but watch the very end of the third clip below to see why that would be disrespectful. I always enjoyed his bits even though I didn’t agree with him politically and, as I’ve said before, found his “disappointed idealist” shtick to be wearisome and even irresponsible. True to form, he told HuffPo a few months ago that he was intrigued by Obamania — partly because the sheeplike American public that made him a star would never embrace true Change unless it was dragged along, dimwittedly, by some liberal’s cult of personality. He was also true to form when asked by another interviewer about Obama. Quote:

A: …I will admit that there is an adventure and a romance in this Obama story that plucks at a little bit of a string somewhere deep inside me, but I would never get on board to where I could
actually invest in it emotionally because I know what they’re going to do to him. I know what’s gonna happen to him.

Q: What?

A: He’s gonna get assassinated. You know that’s going to happen in this country. You think they’re going to allow that s–t?

That was published in late February, while St. Barack was in the process of blowing out Hillary in caucus after caucus. Too bad we won’t get to see Carlin’s reaction in November when, in all likelihood, America does indeed “allow that s–t.”

Three clips for you here showcasing the two pillars of his act: Wry social criticism in the first, bitter political nihilism in the second, and a smooth blending of the two in the third. I passed on the Seven Dirty Words routine since it’s so ubiquitous (so much so that it threatens to swallow up his oeuvre like “Who’s on first?” did to Abbott & Costello), but this is Carlin, after all, so please observe your official content warning.


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Sorry to see him go. Not a favorite of mine by any stretch of the imagination, but no one can deny his impact.

Ed Morrissey on June 23, 2008 at 1:12 PM

His best routine was the difference between football and baseball. Its funny because its true!!!

Other than that, eh, typical lefty humor that got boring after 1 minute.

Andy in Agoura Hills on June 23, 2008 at 1:14 PM

He was funny at times, but I found his pandering to college kids and drug abusers was a bit gratuitous. I think he was a bit overrated, and over time his act became a bit grating.

stonemeister on June 23, 2008 at 1:15 PM

He was 71 and had heart problems. It was time. He is fortunate in that he will be remembered. I wonder how many other 70-something unwell people died yesterday and wont be remembered by anyone? It is sad when someone dies…but we all do eventually. No offense meant to anyone, but I just cannot get worked up over this.

HawaiiLwyr on June 23, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Too bad we won’t get to see Carlin’s reaction in November when, in all likelihood, America does indeed “allow that s–t.”

Oh, God, it’s really going to happen, isn’t it?

And I thought Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was a nightmare…

Kensington on June 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Meh.

Served in the Air Force. I guess that’s commendable.

m0nkeyb0y on June 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM

I do believe he said we are living under fascism (on Politically Incorrect). Just feeding the college kids (as stonemeister said). He was an intelligent mans, so he knew what he was saying was crap. That kind of talk completely turned me off.

Your Jewish Master on June 23, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on June 23, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Yep. Best routine of his by far.

lorien1973 on June 23, 2008 at 1:28 PM

All political stuffery aside:

This is indeed a Sad Day. He will be missed – God Bless him!

He is loved – and he, as opposed to some others, expressed real love for this country.

Some things should transcend political nit-picking:

This is one of those things.

He was loved and will be missed.

grtflmark on June 23, 2008 at 1:30 PM

His routine from clip one was his best ever.

darclon on June 23, 2008 at 1:31 PM

It’s sad. He was one of those guys who was kind of a fixture, for lack of a better word, for me growing up. I did not like his political views but I always looked at them in context with his comedy.

With him gone I’m starting to realize that I’m aging to the point where life stops giving me things and starts taking them away.

JohnTant on June 23, 2008 at 1:33 PM

I’m not going to dance on his grave now that he’s gone.

But I just hope that his spirit now has the compassion that eluded him in this life.

Going on The View and telling victims of the CA fire that they deserved it because they’re destroying the planet is beyond the pale, in my opinion.

A great comedian, a great talent, and he’ll never be forgotten.

But I just hope that he doesn’t still feel that way, wherever he is now.

Hawkins1701 on June 23, 2008 at 1:40 PM

I have to echo some of the sentiments of the other posters above, although I certainly can understand where George was coming from in clip #2. This presidential cycle is a textbook example of what he was railing against. Granted, every other form of government is worse, but it’s still worthy to point out sometimes that we’re not doing anywhere near as good as we could be doing.

That being said, I think his answer on Obama was a cop-out. It looked like he clearly wanted to drink the kool-aid but chickened out and then gave an answer that is stuck somewhere in his ’60′s thinking – and wholly inconsistent with what he was lamenting in clip #2.

thirteen28 on June 23, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Wow, AP didn’t even use the a word. And I thought nothing was beneath him when it came to comment whoring.

Darth Executor on June 23, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I gotta say this was impressive

http://youtube.com/watch?v=jCljFYn3zTY

That he was able to remember all that was pretty amazing.

apollyonbob on June 23, 2008 at 1:48 PM

I share many of the thoughts posted here:

I dont wish him ill, but his “comedy” became more and more mean and stupid as the years passed. He stopped being funny 25 years ago and has ever since made his money by doing a “what will George say next about Bush or Reagan or stupid conservatives” routine. It was shopworn, boring, and mean-spirited. That was his whole schtick since 9/11, and I turned the channel every time i saw him in the last 10 years at least.

Still, he was a groundbreaker in the Lenny Bruce/Richard Pryor mold who will be missed for his early works for sure. “7 words” and “Baseball & Football” are Hall of Fame Classics…two pillars on which my sense of humor is based.
They should be taught to every school kid in Christendom.

As for his later life’s work…more or less unwatchable, imho.

Mike D. on June 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM

I know this guy’s supposed to be a one-of-a-kind innovator in comedy, but I guess I’m not old enough to remember a time when every comedian didn’t sound exactly like him.

Consider this comment some aloof and caustic irony for the Adult Swim/Family Guy crowd.

ScottMcC on June 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Carlin was a lefty and a nihilist, but he was a First Amendment champion, a clever etymologist, and he had a way of stripping back the veneer of our lives to reveal the banality within. I enjoyed his routines, even when I disagreed or when they made me uncomfortable.

Mark Jaquith on June 23, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Kensington on June 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Yes, it is.

Probably =p

Dash on June 23, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Third video no longer available.

O-Dub on June 23, 2008 at 2:06 PM

He’ll be missed, but others such as Sam Kinison and Denis Leary went him one better.

MadisonConservative on June 23, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Best routine ever was “football vs baseball”.

May he rest in peace.

ocbrat on June 23, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Sorry to hear this

Sekhmet on June 23, 2008 at 2:28 PM

I loved George Carlin when I was young. I still love George Carlin.

When his first wife died in 1997, he became a heck of a lot more angry than what he was. He was always bitter and cynical, but the anger came later.

I will most definitely miss him.

(As a kid, I found a record (yes, vinyl) that my stepfather had of him: “Playin’ With Your Head” and listened to it in secret. I laughed my butt off and to this day, it’s still one of my favorite comedy albums.)

kippras on June 23, 2008 at 2:30 PM

liked his Catholic altar boy material from early on..

“Uh, fathuh, If God himself is so great and powerful then can he can create a rock so heavy that he himself can’t lift it ?” (paraphrased)

max1 on June 23, 2008 at 2:31 PM

I liked him and thought him funny in the 60′s the Hippy Dippy weatherman and stuff…. didn’t much find him humorous afterward. Blessings to his family in their loss.

MNDavenotPC on June 23, 2008 at 2:41 PM

I often liked Carlin.

But, what drives me nuts when someone like this passes is we get hagiography that claims that he’s “brilliant,” or a “genius,” or the “most influential” this or that. Yes, he was funny, yes he entertained, yes he might have influenced other comics…. but he was NOT a great leader and he did not do anything that was so consequential to humanity like curing cancer or what not.

He was just an entertainer and to puff him up as more is just wrongheaded.

Warner Todd Huston on June 23, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Regardless of his politics I loved George Carlin and he was often critical of the left as much as he was the right. I present you his best routine.

manfriend on June 23, 2008 at 3:02 PM

I wish some of y’all would lighten up a bit and stop sounding like the conservative version of those Konstipated Kos-ites.

Let’s face it: the man was an entertainer, and laughs are never out of season. Heck, I’d cheerfully listen to hours of Carlin in preference to a minute of Osama Obama.

And if Carlin was a lefty troofer — I wouldn’t know if he was, or if it was part of his shtick — he didn’t spend the entire duration of his shows jamming it down the audiences’ throats.

I liked him, and a part of our world is poorer for losing him.

MrScribbler on June 23, 2008 at 3:08 PM

I loved his comedy when I was a young, liberal and stupid. He became ponderous as I grew intellectually. I think he was reckless and became a angry old coot towards the end. At any rate, rest in peace, George.

Claypigeon on June 23, 2008 at 3:11 PM

What a bunch of self righteous —-s.

equanimous on June 23, 2008 at 3:17 PM

“Uh, fathuh, If God himself is so great and powerful then can he can create a rock so heavy that he himself can’t lift it ?” (paraphrased)

max1 on June 23, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Yeah, that’s about as sophisticated as atheistic arguments get.

Neither God, as conceived of by Christians, nor omnipotence, are properly tested by this question to begin with. If God were to make such a rock it wouldn’t be merely a rock, it would be a creation greater than God. Hence, the premise is false because no creature can be greater than its creator.

Akzed on June 23, 2008 at 3:21 PM

[...] Unfortunately, like Kurt Vonnegut, Carlin lived a bit too long and got a bit too old and grouchy, which led him to say some stupid things. But let us remember the good times.

thisaintnopicnic on June 23, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Amen, on both counts. Like Charles M. Schulz in a way…but in a different way. They both stopped being funny long before their careers were over. Maybe this happens to all funny people?

JackOfClubs on June 23, 2008 at 3:22 PM

His best routine was the difference between football and baseball. Its funny because its true!!!

Other than that, eh, typical lefty humor that got boring after 1 minute.

Andy in Agoura Hills on June 23, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Get out of my mind!

misterpeasea on June 23, 2008 at 3:29 PM

He wasn’t always kind to the left; find his “The Planet is Fine”. The opening line:

“About 90% of all species born on earth are now extinct…..we didn’t kill them all!”

michaelo on June 23, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Meh.

Served in the Air Force. I guess that’s commendable.

m0nkeyb0y on June 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Not honorably I read in an article today. He was put in front of a court marshal three times; the article did not go into details about why.

When I was 10 or 11 I started listening to his albums (they were called albums back then) and I thought he was hilarious, but then again I was 10 or 11 so as a child back in the early 70′s anything with swear words was funny.

When I worked for Arizona State University in the Risk Management Department he performed at the Grady Gammage auditorium and I worked back stage for fire/life safety. I can’t remember the guy that opened for him I just remember I thought he was funnier than Carlin, and the best part was when Carlin was on stage I sat and talked with the guy (Carlin’s opening act) through Carlin’s performance and he was by far one of the nicest and most down to earth celebrities I had encountered in the many times I worked back stage, most of the celebrities I met were egotistical A-holes and looked at us “commoners” as beneath them.

Just before Carlin’s performance was over his manger (again can’t remember his name) requested I provide an escort for Carlin to get to their car after the show as his often controversial shtick usually pisses someone off.

In my later years I too grew weary of his act as I had matured and became more conservative, that and because Carlin was a product of the 60′s his bitterness over the ultimate failure of the 60′s “cultural revolution” became tediously apparent in his act, which made it less funny and more like a lecture from a bitter and disillusioned old man living in the past.

Still it’s sad when anyone passes, rest in peace George and thanks for the laughs…

Liberty or Death on June 23, 2008 at 3:40 PM

I do remember him in the seventies when I was a pot smoking youth…..he was one of a kind then. He didn’t always hit the political issues then and he was genuis at his brand of comedy.
I wonder if his bitterness derived from his 60′s utopian world view that never materialized. Leftists that never can create heaven on earth without God turn out to be angry unfunny people. At least George stayed funny. The second clip was dead on in many ways, I’m sorry to opine.
Maybe he never got over the Catholic church, pre-Vatican 2.
RIP funny man.
P.S……….loved him in the Kevin Smith movies.

crashman on June 23, 2008 at 3:50 PM

This guy should not be eulogized or honored. Look at me, I’m edgy and trendy. I’m saying dirty words that you can’t say on TV. I think Christianity and America are fascist. Then he’ll get his applause from the college idiots and the Bill Maher audience. If that was the counterculture movement, thank God I missed it.

I’m sorry he died, I hope he found the Lord and some peace at the end. But don’t consider him a great.

edbarnes on June 23, 2008 at 3:55 PM


He was 71 and had heart problems. It was time. He is fortunate in that he will be remembered. I wonder how many other 70-something unwell people died yesterday and wont be remembered by anyone? It is sad when someone dies…but we all do eventually. No offense meant to anyone, but I just cannot get worked up over this.

HawaiiLwyr on June 23, 2008 at 1:17 PM

It was time for him to die, huh? You know, I was about to respond to you by stating that only a classless scumbag with the heart of dogshit would say anything remotely similar to your rant. That was before I saw your name and realized that you apparently are a lawyer from Hawaii which, by designation, would have rendered my comments simply a regurgitation of the obvious.

DanKenton on June 23, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Carlin wasn’t that funny. If it were not for profanity and his hatred of America, no one would have paid much attention to him.

JackM on June 23, 2008 at 4:35 PM

DanKenton on June 23, 2008 at 4:23 PM

I’ve never heard anyone who worked with him say he was anything but a sweetheart on a personal level.
Right on DK

crashman on June 23, 2008 at 4:35 PM

And if Carlin was a lefty troofer — I wouldn’t know if he was, or if it was part of his shtick — he didn’t spend the entire duration of his shows jamming it down the audiences’ throats.

yeah, well…except that he DID do that, quite often and with evident glee, although not as you correctly point out with entire shows. Edgy comedy is one thing. Hatred and contempt disguised as satire is another. In his later life, Carlin crossed that line again and again and again in his HBO shows and other televised routines. He just did. That doesnt make his earlier works any less vaulable and funny but theres no doubt that post-Bush 43 and after 9/11 he used big chunks of his shows to go after Bush and Repubs hammer and tong with gratuitously unfunny personal attacks that had nothing to do with comedy.

In the end though, other HA commenters here are correct: Carlin was an entertainer and nothing more. He was not a deep thinking social critic who will be remembered 100 years from now. So, too much gnashing of teeth over this guy or what he said or stood for is not such a useful excercise, imho. But gloating over or celebrating his death is pretty classless. He was once a very funny guy and now he’s playing two shows a night at the Eternity Lounge.

Mike D. on June 23, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Certainly a talented man, but too vulgar for my taste.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Richard Romano on June 23, 2008 at 4:51 PM

useless trivia fact for you..

He was the first guest host of Saturday Night Live…

71.. good genes.. considering all of the abuse of ‘toxins’ he did in the past..

DaveC on June 23, 2008 at 4:57 PM

I’ll miss George. He did get bitter, but his use of language and his insights were brilliant.

Krydor on June 23, 2008 at 5:16 PM

useless trivia fact for you..

He was the first guest host of Saturday Night Live…

Yeah, and he did the ‘isn’t military intelligence an oxymoron’ and everyone laughed. ‘Look at me, I can swear!’

I won’t miss him.

tlynch001 on June 23, 2008 at 5:58 PM


This guy should not be eulogized or honored.
edbarnes on June 23, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Spoken like a true, tolerant (cough cough) Christian.

Well done.

DanKenton on June 23, 2008 at 6:24 PM

A smart man whose earlier stuff was genius…but it seemed as he aged he became very bitter & dark…and really just wasn’t clever anymore…

DCJeff on June 23, 2008 at 6:36 PM

He was funny in his time, but he ceased being funny years ago, and instead, became an Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Treasonous Scumbag Democratic Traitor Nutbag (TM).

I don’t wish him “ill”, nor am I dancing on his grave; I don’t wish that for any human being, espcially a fellow “American”, but I won’t deify him either.

I new he was obviously a “Lefty”, but in a paternalistic type of way, I viewed him as a lecherous stuck in the 60′s Marxist who had seen his time, and basically ignored him.

Then, twice in a period of a month about 2 years ago, I saw two things, that completely and utterly turned me against him, forever:

a) on the abysmal Bill Mahr show on HBO, his typical Lefty comments about President Bush, applauded wildly by the sheep-like automatons that pass as the slavish audience on that show, were beyond the pale. In fact, he said he refused to call Bush “President”, and instead, referred to him as “Govenor”, because he said that was the last time Bush “won” an election, and that he had been “Appointed” to office by the Supreme Court

b) I turned on HBO late one weekend-night, and he was ranting about the US Military in Iraq. He said that the 4 Blackwater Contractor who were murdered and had their bodies so hideiously descecrated, “deserved” what they got, for just being in Iraq.

He later equated all US Military personnel to war criminals, and said the US Military was no different that the people they were fighting, and that they deliberately targeted Hospitals, civilians, and killed children.

Later on, he said any Military member who was in Iraq, who got captured, and was “beheaded”, “deserved” it; just for being over there; to wild applause from the audience of courses.

But don’t take my word for it; I’m sure, somewhere the clips are on YouTube.

I listened to all that purpose, because I wanted to feel Rage against him, and the treasonous, traitorous, Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Left that the Democrats have become in this country.

George Carlin, was at the fore of that movement. For a High School dropout, who was dishonorably discharged from the US Miltary as well, and who got lucky in his career in terms of breaks, he sure hated “America”; with endless humorless rants these past years about “Red State”/”WalMart” America, those FAT, disgusting, Bible-thumping idiots who shop at WalMart and worship God, and all that crazy stuff.

He had another absolutely insane monologue about “Death”, that wasn’t even funny, something about the whole country on fire, and of course it works its way up thru Washington DC so that it can take out Bush, etc.

30 years ago, he was funny.

Since 9/11, he’s been vehemently Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi; a bitter, hate-filled, husk of a man, who despised himself, and manifested it as hate for his country and fellow citizens.

He died, fine; I sympathies to his family, I didn’t wish it on him, nor will I celebrate, but having seen his hate towards his own country over the past 4 – 5 years, excuse me if I don’t shed a tear, either.

Dale in Atlanta on June 23, 2008 at 6:51 PM

As George Carlin would have said:

BWAAA-HAAAAAA-HAAAAAAH!

The joke’s on him.

BDS kills.

profitsbeard on June 23, 2008 at 7:03 PM

That was published in late February, while St. Barack was in the process of blowing out Hillary in caucus after caucus. Too bad we won’t get to see Carlin’s reaction in November when, in all likelihood, America does indeed “allow that s–t.”

Clearly you underestimate the Clintons. Just sayin’.

RightWinged on June 23, 2008 at 7:46 PM

I went to see Carlin when I was in college. At times during that show I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. He even did a riff on the Oregon and Oregon State masconts and how most colleges have these fierce mascots, but in Oregon we have the Ducks and Beavers. He was funny then.

I never enjoyed his bitter old leftist phase and haven’t seen his routine in 20 years. But his routines on words and language were always good.

One place Carlin will be immortalized for conservatives is in the introduction to “Liberal Fascism,” by Jonah Goldberg. JG recounts a conversation between Carlin and Bill Maher in which they are talking about fascism and incorrectly assigning it as a right wing movement. But Carlin also talked about how when fascism comes to America it won’t be with storm troopers, but it will have a “smiley face” on it. Thus the inspiration for the cover of Liberal Fascism.

Mallard T. Drake on June 23, 2008 at 8:23 PM

Not funny. Not an ounce of class.
My opinion.
However, rest in peace.

carbon_footprint on June 23, 2008 at 9:09 PM

Not smart enough.
In this country you can’t expect to live after revealing double secret assassination plans.
Ask Dylan Avery and all those other dead trufers.

Stephen M on June 23, 2008 at 11:01 PM

Godspeed, you old sourpuss.

ZK on June 23, 2008 at 11:23 PM

Jim McKay, Tim Russert, and #3 George Carlin. These things happen in 3′s and there you have it. I was expecting someone else soon but RIP George. You were a funny guy.

johnnyU on June 24, 2008 at 12:11 AM

Sorry to see him go. Still could never figure out why people thought he was so damned funny.

Knuckledragger on June 24, 2008 at 12:22 AM

Carlin had moments of brilliance. But later in life, he became a pathetic, bitter guy. Have a nice trip George. Say Hi to Mussolini and Pol Pot for us.

Sugar Land on June 24, 2008 at 12:57 AM

Lord rest his soul. Seven words you won’t hear at his funeral?

saved on June 24, 2008 at 8:16 AM


Carlin had moments of brilliance. But later in life, he became a pathetic, bitter guy. Have a nice trip George. Say Hi to Mussolini and Pol Pot for us.

Sugar Land on June 24, 2008 at 12:57 AM

So, being bitter and pathetic is grounds for eternal damnation now, huh? Your little cult has some very funny rules. Perhaps Carlin asked master-carpenter Jeebus for forgiveness right before his passing? Isn’t that your secret “get out of hell forever” move? Silly Hypo-Christians.

DanKenton on June 24, 2008 at 9:51 AM

George Died and so did the truth.

MSGTAS on June 24, 2008 at 10:51 AM