Day: March 2, 2008

Review/Interview: George Carlin “It’s Bad For Ya”

George Carlin’s latest HBO special, "It’s Bad For Ya," debuted live Saturday night on HBO. For repeat viewings, it’s On Demand and also airing multiple times, including 12:10 a.m. Monday on HBO2 (consult the HBO master schedule here). If your DVR acted like mine, it cut out early. Ah, the beauty of live TV and its incompatibility with DVR technology. Here are Carlin’s closing minutes, in case you missed them the first time around, as I did this morning. Note: Obviously NSFW due to language. The hourplus essentially is the finished product of material I’d seen brand-new a year ago in Aspen at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Carlin refined the best parts and cut out the filler, going after the BS that we buy into as a culture and a nation, and how we’ve forgotten to question the BS or teach our children to, either. Religion and child-worship really come into his crosshairs. There’s a section in the middle about boring people and their boring conversations that doesn’t really fit, at least thematically, but it’s a stronger and certainly more accessible set than his previous special about death. And that’s even with Carlin talking at length about being old and his friends dying off in the first 10 minutes! Here, though, he turns it into a discussion about what to do with your dead friends and their...

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SNL with Ellen Page, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani

SNL’s second new episode of 2008 began much as the first one had, with an extra-long pro-Hillary cold open focusing on the Democratic presidential debate — 10 1/2 minutes! — that included an "editorial response" from the real Sen. Hillary Clinton. If you thought last week’s SNL was pro-Hillary, this one managed to top that. Do you suppose Lorne Michaels and Co. are really pro-Hillary, or do you think they’re merely acting in their own self-interest, because they don’t have a winnable Obama in Fred Armisen? Food for proverbial thought. Darrell Hammond did manage to provide the best impersonation in that opening sketch with his Tim Russert, overshadowing Will Forte’s Brian Williams and that Law & Order cameo from Vincent D’Onofrio. I think I’ve figured out why SNL’s political jokes just haven’t been working in recent years: They’re more interested in making the point than they seem to be in getting the laugh. The best sketch of tonight’s episode had to have been The Dakota Fanning Show, with Amy Poehler once again showing that she’s the star of this current cast. Also the biggest request out of host Ellen Page on this night (they didn’t really ask her for much, did they?) to portray Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. It included a taped bit in which Poehler as Fanning went out on the streets to ask actual kids about current socio-political...

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