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George Carlin's 13th HBO special "Life is worth losing"

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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   todbnla



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Posted November 16 2005 - 07:42 AM

I watched this recently and was just wondering: I have seen several of his other HBO show's and I felt George was somewhat different this go around; His humor seemed off or maybe he just had a bad night...anyone else catch this? If so, what were your thoughts?

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#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted November 16 2005 - 07:49 AM

I love Carlin; seen all of his HBO specials since '82 (was that the first? Or was it '77) but the latest one seemed really dark, even for him. I half expected him to commit suicide on the stage. Still, the opening bit was brilliant and he remains more topical and more relevant than most comedians. Still, my favorite special remains What Am I Doing In New Jersey? from 1988.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 16 2005 - 07:55 AM

I noticed the same thing. The opening routine was vintage Carlin -- fast, inventive and funny -- but from there his energy seemed to flag. I hope it was just an off night and not a sign of something else (he's approaching 70 and IIRC has a history of heart problems). M.
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#4 of 15 OFFLINE   John_Lee


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Posted November 16 2005 - 10:18 AM

Carlin and HDTV do not mix any more. When did he become the spitting image of Andy Rooney?

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Brad Porter

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Posted November 16 2005 - 12:19 PM

I was rather underwhelmed by the performance as well. Perhaps it's a result of his age and his ongoing sobriety. Brad
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#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Ike



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Posted November 16 2005 - 03:45 PM

As a fan of his darker material I wasn't disappointed, but I noticed that he was struggling at points. He appeared to be sick, his eyes were off and his cheeks swollen. He struggled where usually he is technically brilliant. I've seen him interviewed recently and didn't notice anything, so I assume that this was health related. The ending bit-tracking a flood in LA to the creation of a new universe-was genius, and I'd love to see him perform it when he is in better health.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Bill GrandPre

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Posted November 16 2005 - 04:28 PM

Carlin only gets better as he gets older and crankier.
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#8 of 15 OFFLINE   MichaelBA


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Posted November 16 2005 - 10:05 PM

Age seems to have caught up with Carlin, quite precipitously. He looked very unwell, and his stage presence and timing were considerably weakened from what they were once.

This latest special was on one HBO channel with a much older performance from 1982 on another, and the differences were quite startling. That's more than understandable, of course, given the 23 year difference between specials. But it was sad to see Carlin in his current debilitated state. It was rather a distraction from his actual material.Posted Image
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#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Aaron Cooke

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Posted November 17 2005 - 04:03 AM

I will say this, having seen him twice on tour over the last year to year and a half (material from this show) and having been a fan since the late 80's...I thought this was his worst HBO special since the very first ones. I think it was a combination of him just not being "on" he seemed to struggle a bit with the routines in a way i'm not used to seeing in his own material (although it has been creeping up more frequently in live interview situations) and secondly, i just don't think the audience was into it for some reason. yeah the material is dark, even for carlin, but that didn't stop either of the audiences I saw it with from laughing their asses off. If the audience really wasn't getting into it, i'm sure that in turn effected his performance and probably lead to a cyclical thing. anyway, i was a bit disappointed in the show but carlin is still the man. as far as i'm concerned he's the funniest man on the planet...past/present or future.

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted November 18 2005 - 12:50 AM

I agree that Carlin is still the funniest person out there, and his contributions to comedy and to our culture are bigger than anyone I can think of. But from what I gather, he seems very depressed since the death of his wife, which I believe happened right before his last show and his "Fuck Hope" segment. I thought at the time that that was the darkest I'd ever seen him, but his pro-suicide bit was even darker.

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   MichaelBA


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Posted November 18 2005 - 12:54 AM

That would explain a lot. He was reputed to be extremely devoted to her. Sad.Posted Image
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#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Jed M

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Posted November 18 2005 - 03:14 AM

He also had a mental breakdown on stage last year in Las Vegas and checked himself into rehab. Like others, I have seen every HBO special and have seen him in person twice, but I too was underwhelmed with that performance. It had its moments but sadly the anger, which used to be his tool, is getting the better of Carlin. Without his sense of humor he is just a bitter old man now. Hopefully he bounces back after this tough last year.
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#13 of 15 OFFLINE   MichaelBA


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Posted November 18 2005 - 03:24 AM

Hmm. That observation hits home so closely that I think I'll watch it again tonight and see if I think better of it!
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#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Shawn_KE



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Posted November 22 2005 - 08:00 AM

Caught this the other nigh, love it like his previous ones. Carlin my be getting sick and is getting old, but he still makes me laugh my ass off AND think at the same time.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob_L


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Posted November 29 2005 - 05:35 PM

I also felt that Carlin's ability to make his cynicism funny was missing in this latest special -- and I ALWAYS look forward to his HBO shows. Some vintage Carlin wordplay, but otherwise just a exercise in grim, depressive muttering.

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