George Carlin Was Not Funny?

Here’s a case in point that even the great comedian George Carlin can’t make everyone laugh.

"I never thought George Carlin was funny. Not even a little bit. It
wasn’t due to his language or anything, whether it was Carlin’s lame
routine about seven words or his cameos in movies like Dogma, I just
thought he was lame, boring, and obvious from the start and never saw
any reason to change my opinion. His uttered wisdom, such as it was,
seemed design to impress those with average IQs; they were chock full
of the illusion of intelligence rather than anything approaching the
real thing." [read more]

Personally, I find Carlin to be not only funny but also intellectually stimulating. His foul mouth was his style. His profanity was his signature. Yet in spite of the profanity, his intellect and creativity broke through while he shattered mainstream taboos.

But the real test of Carlin’s greatness as a comedian can never be measured by his casual audience, like me, or Vox Popoli. The real test of Carlin’s greatness is the recognition of his peers — those who understand the ins and outs, and the esoteric artform of comedy.

"You could certainly say that George downright invented modern
American stand-up comedy in many ways. Every comedian does a little
George. I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve been standing
around with some comedians and someone talks about some idea for a joke
and another comedian would say, “Carlin does it.” I’ve heard it my
whole career: “Carlin does it,” “Carlin already did it,” “Carlin did it
eight years ago.”

"And he didn’t just “do” it. He worked over an
idea like a diamond cutter with facets and angles and refractions of
light. He made you sorry you ever thought you wanted to be a comedian.
He was like a train hobo with a chicken bone. When he was done there
was nothing left for anybody.

"But his brilliance fathered dozens
of great comedians. I personally never cared about “Seven Words You Can
Never Say on Television,” or “FM & AM.” To me, everything he did
just had this gleaming wonderful precision and originality." [Jerry Seinfeld on NYTimes]

So whether we think Carlin was funny or no funny, there’s no question that he revolutionized the face of comedy.

UPDATE: And here’s another case in point that George Carlin is the thinking man’s comic. See George Carlin’s last interview. Thanks to Eric Blue for the heads up!

"The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is
tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of
it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all
backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live
in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a
gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young
enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you
get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid,
you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you
go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and
you finish off as an orgasm."  ~George Carlin on Death