Day: June 24, 2008

Trailer: Visioneers, with Zach Galifianakis

Before I move on to other matters, here’s something to refresh the comedy palette. It’s the trailer for the upcoming movie, Visioneers, starring Zach Galifiankis and also Judy Greer. Am I going to explode? Yes. But in a good way. Enjoy. <a href="">Visioneers with Zach Galifianakis</a> on <a...

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Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers: On George Carlin

In today’s newspapers, Jerry Seinfeld wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times appreciating the late George Carlin, who had just joked about evading death to Seinfeld mere days ago. The quote most will focus on: 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. And in today’s New York Post, Joan Rivers wrote a column also in praise of Carlin, who met him in 1961 when they both looked up to Lenny Bruce, and how even Bruce knew that Carlin "was the next...

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George Carlin: In his own words

Some final thoughts from George Carlin himself, via interviews. "Gee, he was just here a minute ago." That’s how Carlin wanted to be remembered. More from the vaults: Perhaps his final interview? He spoke with Psychology Today 10 days before his death, and because of the nature of the magazine, Carlin reflected on a lot about his own life, from his ancestors, his upbringing, his drug use, and here is a quite wonderful passage in which he invokes an idea from Arthur Koestler that reminds us all of the power of humor: The jester makes jokes, he’s funny, he makes fun, he ridicules. But if his ridicules are based on sound ideas and thinking, then he can proceed to the second panel, which is the thinker—he called it the philosopher. The jester becomes the philosopher, and if he does these things with dazzling language that we marvel at, then he becomes a poet too. Then the jester can be a thinking jester who thinks poetically. I didn’t see that and say, “That’s what I am going to do,” but I guess it made an impression on me. I was never afraid to grow and change. I never was afraid of reversing my field on people, and I just think I’ve become a touch of each of those second and third descriptions and I definitely have a gift for language...

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June 2008
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