Thursday, February 5, 2009

George Carlin: The Long Goodbye

George Carlin: The Long Goodbye: "For all the encomiums that followed his passing last June, of a heart attack at age 71, what has been conveniently missed is the fact that, for the past few years of his life, the entertainment world didn't pay much attention to George Carlin. Unlike his great contemporary Richard Pryor — whose slow decline from multiple sclerosis prompted years of tributes and early eulogies, before his death in December 2005 — Carlin had the bad form to keep working to the very end, maintaining a nearly full schedule of concert appearances, drawing crowds of devoted (mostly baby-boomer) fans, continuing to come up with edgy, often reckless, occasionally brilliant material. Other stand-up stars, like Pryor or Jerry Seinfeld, didn't win their greatest acclaim until they graduated to movies or TV series; Carlin remained, resolutely, 'just' a stand-up comedian — one, moreover, whose long hair and hipster attitude came to seem increasingly dated. (Read TIME's 2004 '10 Questions For George Carlin'.)"