"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Genius of George Carlin

George Carlin passed away into the godless void last year. But, with Last Words, readers get another chance to peer into the life and mind of perhaps the best comic to have graced the stage. Carlin was, in many ways, the successor to Lenny Bruce (who considered him a protege of sorts). And the argument could be made that Carlin even surpassed his mentor through the sheer breadth of his intellect and the raw power of his routines. Both comics utilized a jazz-like rhythm which came as close to the idea of rap as comics might dare to tread. Whereas as Lenny Bruce is generally acknowledged as a looming influence for all manner of artists, writers and even musicians, Carlin (while certainly beloved) rarely receives the admiration that he surely deserved.

Last Words was a collaboration between Carlin and his longtime friend, English satirist Tony Hendra (Spitting Image, National Lampoon). Hendra, who recently spoke on NPR's Talk of the Nation this week, has certainly created a lasting tribute to the genius that was George Carlin.

To listen to the Hendra interview on NPR, follow this link:

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