JAMES LIPTON WITH GEORGE CARLIN

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George CarlinWordplay. Comedy. And religion. If there ever was a man who could epitomise these three things, it’s the stand-up comic we all know and love – George Carlin. Also, if there ever was a man who could gauge these three topics from George, it’s the one and only interviewer extraordinaire – James Lipton. Especially in 2004 and for 60 minutes.


George Carlin: All My Stuff


THE STORY:
In this episode of 'Inside The Actors Studio', the man with the beard, James Lipton, quizzes the other man with the beard, George Carlin, in front of a class of prospective media honor students live on stage.

Now George starts off this jovial interrogation by elaborating on how he was conceived, before he then regurgitates certain facts relating to: (1) His upbringing by his single parent mother. (2) His adulation for his older brother. (3) The neighborhood that he lived in. And (4) His educational path in both religion and academia.

This then brings us onto Georges comedic rise. However, his route into this jovial profession – like the man himself – is full of ups ans downs. OK, so what do I mean by that? Simple really. George made a firm reputation for himself by entertaining his Mother and his friends as a child – then partaking in numerous war-time efforts – before finally becoming a DJ and collaborating in a double-act. Inadvertently, all of these pursuits allowed him to do what he always dreamed of doing – perform on television and in the comedy circuit.

Please note, by no means was this an easy feet for George. He had to learn from his piers, and adapt to the evolving face of sixties society to be able to reach this outstanding plateau. From such comedians as Charlie Chaplain, Richard Pryor, Jerry Lewis, Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, and other such stars of this ilk.

Here, at this stage of James' interview with George, George comments on some of his Hollywood films. Some of which he frowns upon: 'With Six You Get Eggroll' and 'Outrageous Fortune'. Others of which he takes pride in: 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' and 'The Prince of Tides'. Plus he is especially fond of his work with Kevin Smith on the films 'Dogma' and 'Jersey Girl'.

In closing this tete-a-tete, James asks George a number of questions from the Bernard Pivot structured questionnaire, where we learn that Georges favorite curse word is ‘Mother F*cker’. Before he answers subsequent questions posed to him by the students on topic’s such as ‘his writing technique’, and ‘his hope for the future’.

Please check out some of these quotes from this program:
  • My father could not metabolize ethanol very well.
  • Not only did my material change, I physically changed.
  • I loved the victims. But being the perpetrator was better. Chaos in its finest form. 
  • Drugs cost me more than its worth. Thankfully my intellect took over.
  • I have heart-attacks about every nine years apart. Which isn't bad.
  • You can't always be the new kid on the block. Things change. 
  • Though you can learn it, comedy is ingrained into someones personality.




THE REVIEW:
What a cleaver f*cker. That is what I first thought to myself after watching this episode of ‘Inside the Actors Studio with George Carlin’. Moreover, I also thought “What a shame” too. Well, George has been dead for quite some now (This review has been written in 2011). And he was both a talent and a product of his time, with a ‘can do’ attitude rebelling against a ‘can’t do’ world. Honestly, I came away from this program with a lump in my throat. George just presented himself in such a congenial and comedic way, that I wished that I could have sat down and spoken to this man face to face.

But I can’t. He’s dead. But James Lipton did. And did so whilst allowing him to recount his times past, before steering him towards his times future.


George Carlin RIP


Personally speaking, I found George’s path to success a particularly enlightening one overall. Especially taking into consideration all of the innovative approaches he used to get to his vocation. DJ – host – double-act – stand-up comedian – television personally – actor – George was a man who was able to adapt to his situation, without having to adapt his act too much. His knowledge and analytical mind also came through during this interview too, giving some additional weight behind his words.

Listen, I don't just say this because of what George has done in his life. But because of what he says and how he says it. His eloquence and comedic charm just exhumes with every single word he speaks, giving him that added edge, presenting himself in a good and congenial light.

Heck. They just do not make men like George Carlin anymore, do they? Those urban crusaders with a message in there minds, a statement in there hearts, and a logic for absurdity in the ether. How may other actor’s can you name who have come from vaudeville, lived through hippies-ville, and strived though the internet age. Not many I am sure.


George Carlin on Inside The Actors Studio


Now in closing my... errrr... whatever this is, I would like to tell you my own George Carlin story. Ahem! A couple of years ago, I was watching a old film that I watched before, when all of a sudden I noticed George in it. Now at the time I did not really know who George was, or what he was all about. Nonetheless, I was strangely intrigued by his presence in this flick, 'Outrageous Fortune' (click here for review), and could sense that he wasn't doing himself any justice by being in it. But alas, me being me, I got distracted by my own silliness, and I just dismissed this notion and went on with my life as if nothing happened.

George Carlin Stand Up
However, a couple of weeks later George popped up again in another film I was watching, 'Dogma', and somehow I knew that he was someone I should look out for in the future, as if some unseen hand wanted me to gauge his work on a more deeper level.

So guess what happens to me later that same month? Correct. Again I saw George. This time in the documentary 'The Aristocrats'. Giving me a slap around the face, and prompting me to digest George in all of his media related forms. www.georgecarlin.com was my first port of call, quickly followed by DVD upon DVD upon DVD until George died.

"Shit" I thought to myself "I'll never get to know him now". Though maybe I don't need to, huh? George has already impregnated my mind.

Great.

Love light and peace my scraggly haired friend. You will be missed.

THE RATING: A