Thursday, June 26, 2008

A comedy god

I don't need a comic to use four-letter words to make me laugh. I'm old enough to remember fondly the comic genius of a Groucho Marx or an Abbott and Costello and many others who worked clean. (Of the current crop, Jerry Seinfeid immediately comes to mind.)

But that doesn't mean the "blue" magic weaved by the Richard Pryors and George Carlins escapes me. On the contrary, their observational humor and social commentary, while often filthy, were inspired and groundbreaking.

To watch Carlin in person, as many of us did when he appeared at UPAC in Kingston, was to be spellbound by a comedy god. One only need to listen to the respect to Carlin paid by a David Letterman or Bill Maher or Richard Belzer to appreciate how highly regarded he was within the profession.

I'm looking forward to reading our Ariel Zangla's story Friday, which is supposed to include comments from Carlin's older brother, Patrick, a West Saugerties resident (whose voice and "attitude" sounded just like George when I heard him a few weeks ago on Doug Grunther's Sunday morning program on WDST radio).

HBO has been replaying many of George Carlin's specials, dating back nearly 30 years. Try to catch some of them. Or if you can pick up the DVDs, it's "stuff" worth having.
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