Thursday, June 26, 2008

George Carlin Remembered

George CarlinI know I should have written about the legendary comic’s passing on Monday, but there was so much media coverage on George Carlin’s death that I wasn’t sure I had anything to add. It’s weird, while I wasn’t the biggest Carlin fan, you can definitely see his influence everywhere. I can still remember as a little boy watching his stand-up comedy specials on HBO. It feels like he’s been around the landscape of pop culture forever.

George CarlinThere are very few comics that have had as big of an impact on our culture as Carlin, and it wasn’t just in the comedy world. While there have definitely been bigger comics, like Richard Pryor or Bob Hope, it is hard to argue with Carlin’s significance and his impact on the nation. Without his comedy shtick the “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” we would have never had the 7 words you really can’t say over the air. Who else has sparked an issue so big that it went to the Supreme Court, where the nation’s high court ruled that the government did have the power to ban broadcast material it deemed indecent. Without Carlin’s comedy who knows what we might have been watching/listening to for the past 30 years.

What I didn’t realize about Carlin was that besides being a comic genius, he was also the very first host of one of my favorite TV shows, Saturday Night Live, back in 1975. To honor the comedian’s passing, NBC and Saturday Night Live have decided to re-air the show’s premiere episode this Saturday, June 28th, at 11:30/10:30C. (link)

The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players - Saturday Night Live Season 1 Cast Photo
I’m pretty excited to watch the hopefully unedited episode to see Carlin work with the also now legendary original cast of SNL, the Not Ready For Prime-Time Players (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin Garrett Morris, Larraine Newman and Gilda Radner). The first episode of Saturday Night Live “also features musical guests Janis Ian and Billy Preston as well as a landmark performance from comedian Andy Kaufman.” (link) If you, like me, are interested in reliving some classic Carlin, then definitely tune in Saturday night for Saturday Night Live’s inaugural episode.
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