George Carlin/Headscratchers

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    NOTE: Just Bugs Me pages are for people confused about plot-points and creative decisions, not for Complaining About Shows You Don't Like. Cut it out and have a religious debate elsewhere.

    • Does anyone else think it's odd that "shit" is #1 and "piss" is #2?
      • ... It's the other way around. Taking a dump is #2. I suppose it's weird either way, but perhaps piss is #1 because it happens more frequently.
        • Someone is obviously unfamiliar with Carlin's most famous routine. I presume "shit" came first because the list has better flow when spoken that way.
          • This is almost incontestably true. There is at least one interview wherein Carlin goes into great detail on why and how he structures his routines the way he does, and a lot of it has to do with the music of words and the patterns they make when spoken. Syllabically and/or rhythmically speaking, Carlin is much more of a poet than people generally realize.
            • This may be one reason that his material is hilarious when he says it, but "meh" when it's written down in a book.
          • To reinforce this point, in one of his bits elaborating on the Seven Words list, someone gets him to remove 'motherfucker' from the list, since it's technically duplicating 'fuck.' After repeating the revised list a few times, he adds it back in because it sounded better rhythmically, plus it keeps the other polysyllabic word, 'cocksucker' from dominating.
      • One thing about that routine is that it seems to have made piss ruder in American than in Britain. In Britain, you can say piss on television. Piss is also used in parts of the King James Bible, being as it is an onomatopoeic euphemism for the original word for urination in English, now lost to the mists of time.
        • You've been able to say "piss" on television at least since around 1980. IIRC, it appears in some of the later episodes of M*A*S*H. Of course, it is usually allowed in the context of being "pissed off".
        • Well, you can say "shit" on american television now, too. A lot changes in 30 years.
    • It bugs me that this guy used to narrate Thomas the Tank Engine. Being a former fan, now I can imagine is Thomas saying the words you can't say on TV.
      • He voiced Mr. Conductor as well as the narrator for a few seasons actually, but you have a point there.
      • It's been awhile, and maybe they did things differently in the states, but didn't the narrator do all of the voices in that show?
        • For the ones he narrated, yes.
      • That just begs to be a YouTube Poop. But, to Carlin's credit, he did a damned good job--he gave distinct voices and sometimes accents to each character.
    • It bugs me that Carlin seemed to do less actual jokes in his routine as he got older. His original style was: political joke, random joke, religious joke, what happened to Eddie, 2 sentence political rant that doesn't sound very serious, leading into political joke #2. Later it became: political rant, political joke, long political rant, kinda funny political joke, religous joke, religous rant, you're all sheeple, political joke. There was a significant decrease in the joke to rant ratio there.
      • There's a case to be made that over the same time period, Real Life got a lot more political and a lot less funny.
      • He's a comedian not a politician. He can make any political commentary he wants in his act, but if there is no punch line at the end it is not a joke and therefore not comedy. And Real Life is funnier than ever. You just don't have a sick enough sense of humor to fully appriciate the lollercaust.
        • You mean Carlin didn't. If he started getting more serious and ranty, it was because he was getting fed up with it more and more.
        • Precisely. Carlin often professed in interveiws that the only way he could go on was by not caring. But as you said, he obviously did care at least a little. I meant that many(including Carlin) don't find the endless ammoral grinding conflicts that fuel our world to be as hillarious as I do. I just thought that your previous statment also indicated that you don't find the the current state of world as funny as that which existed from the 70s to the 90s. However if that is not case please join me in a cathartic moment: mwahaha haha ha hahaha ha hahaha. I lol'd.
        • The fact remains that it was less joking and more "everything sucks" bordering on some sort of time distorting anger-wangst. He was funny when he made jokes, but they happened less and less. It can be chalked up to him getting older and more crotchety, but still.
          • "Life is Worth Losing" was pretty bleak, but I blame it on his recent stint in rehab and the toll the Bush Administration took on America. 2008's "It's Bad For Ya" was pretty upbeat, even if his material was pretty dark. He even looked healthier in "It's Bad For Ya" even though he died soon after.
          • I've finally found the name for what his humour was like at the end: "Clappy humour". The amount of genuine laughter by the end seemed far outweighed by everyone applauding him for saying "X sucks." Now I know it's not the done thing to speak ill of the deceased, and I was a big fan of the dude, but honestly, if you're going to a comedy show, wouldn't you rather bust a gut laughing than sit there going "He's saying something I agree with!" *clap clap clap*?
          • Carlin's main influence was Lenny Bruce, and if you notice, Bruce was called a "satirist" and not a "comedian". Bruce's observations were very effective satire, but they weren't often funny. No doubt that's another page Carlin took from Bruce's book.
      • But Carlin himself mentioned he didn't like this. It might have been on Letterman.
      • His work reflects the time it was made. One of my favorite routines of his was the "Airline Safety Lecture" bit from 1992. Non-political, just poking fun at the insane things they say at the airport but that we don't realize are insane. Later on, his humor reflected the times, such as the Religious Right and the environment (The planet is fine. The people are fucked!)
      • A lot of Carlin's later humour is actually more subtle. While on paper its just ranting, in performance his voice and body language put most of the rants in a different context and make it funny. Listen to the audience during his recordings and you can hear the audience laughing throughout, with the applause mainly being reserved for the ends of rants. The nature of his ranting is also a source of humour, as he spends a lot of time pointing out political, social, economical and religious Fridge Logic which is some pretty funny stuff in a "its funny because its true" sort of way. Another aspect of his performances that lead to laughter is the very nature of his persona, which is a curmudgeonly old fuck ranting and raving about random bullshit.