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George Carlin - It's Bad For Ya [DVD] 
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George Carlin was one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time. He appeared on The Tonight Show more than 130 times, starred in an unprecedented 14 HBO Specials, hosted the first Saturday Night Live and penned three New York Times bestselling books.
It s Bad For Ya, Carlin s Emmy-nominated 14th and final HBO special from March of 2008 features Carlin s noted irreverent and unapologetic observations on topics ranging from death, religion, bureaucracy, patriotism, over-protected children and big business to the pungent examinations of modern language and the decrepit state of the American culture.
Carlin once again comes up with an hour of brand new materials that not only makes you laugh, but makes you think.
George Carlin will always remain part of the popular lexicons for his Seven Dirty Worlds routine, and as a comedian who was never afraid to challenge his audience.
It s Bad For Ya is Carlin s final performance.
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On his final tour Carlin delivered a typically vitriolic tirade tackling topics like death, children, old age and parents, and the original show was nominated for an Emmy. After release the CD equivalent won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. How much his death contributed to this would probably be a valid question, but compared to most comedians' output, this is amongst the best. Against the formidable measuring stick of Carlin's own output however, it isn't his best.
Easily the funniest section is his closing rant about rights, where every one of his observations is on the nail when some of his previous ones in this show, like some of the ones about children, aren't. In some instances he is intentionally making silly arguments (like saying babies are ugly because their heads are too big), but some are just a little off the mark.
Other particularly funny segments are his observations on boring conversations, professional parents, swearing on the bible, and "the self-esteem movement", mostly concluded by the phrase which gave the show its name "It's all bulls**t folks and it's bad for ya."
If you're a Carlin fan, get this. We have precious little of his material available in this country and this is a good example of his work.Read more ›
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Some of it is mildly amusing, but mild is the operative word - for all the empty professionalism of his delivery, it's only in the last couple of minutes that he works up any real passion only to... stop. He only really hits the target head-on once with his demolition of the self-esteem movement ("Imagine that, sociopaths have high self-esteem!"), and that's more accurate than funny, while potentially amusing ideas like trying to coax a telephone bore to end a call like a traffic controller talking down an airplane never fulfil their initial promise. Laughs are few and far between, with Carlin sounding increasingly like the trivial, boring people who run off at the mouth about things of no interest to anyone but themselves that he rails against, but is unaware of the irony.Read more ›
It might be easy to dismiss any George Carlin gig out of hand, as the angry polemic of an angry man but you'd be missing out on something on a deeper level. The anger that he presented wasn't a simple misanthropy, rather it was a justified anger at what he perceived was stupidity, greed and corruption throughout society in his country (there you go: complex misanthropy). Carlin revelled in laying bare the uncomfortable truths of religion, government, culture and the mindset of 'right-thinking' people. Some may find offence, that's their problem; if your beliefs are intellectually defendable, then you'll be able to shrug the jokes off; if not, well, then he may have got to you there. Perhaps one reason for Carlin's lesser profile over here is that some of the beliefs that he sought to expose as ridiculous, are indigenous to the US and are, perhaps, more obviously so from a distance.
There is a slight lean towards to the generalising of some in power but I struggle to mount a suitable defence of these targets. These are much the same as the late, more conspiratorially minded, Bill Hicks focused on, someone who had a similar style as Carlin.
He was a comic who, while making people laugh, challenged complacent thinking and made us reconsider old fixed notions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
They just don't make comedians like George Carlin anymore. You can count his equals on the fingers of one hand: Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2012 by P. A. Broome
This had me laughing real hard,george is the best stand up,that ever lived,he is so well informed about life & hits the nail on the headPublished on 28 Jan. 2012 by marmarc40
I suppose George Carlin is a marmite figure (one either loves or loathes him). He hates idiocy and will lambast those who are either pompous or idiots. Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2011 by Mr. K. P. Rogers
I really can't describe this any other way than to say it's terrible cheesy American rubbish. The guy's jokes are NOT funny and yet every few seconds the crowd erupts into cheers,... Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2011 by JustMe
George Carlin is no longer with us, but in his lengthy career he showed no fear in tackling a variety of subjects in his stand-up work that pushed at barriers, much like Bill Hicks... Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2010 by Og Oggilby