Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, December 2, 2013

FINAL POST -- Comedian Philosophers: George Carlin (16-2)

George Carlin was an amazing stand-up comedian whose career spanned over five decades. He was most notably known for his crude sense of humor, with religion, politics, and society in general serving as the main victims of his comedic career. His work falls into three main categories that he described as equating to 'Humanity's Bullshit'. Those categories are 'Big World', 'Little World', and the English language. Big world meaning social issues and the big picture, little world meaning observational humor of people and things, and English language issues such as jargon and euphemisms. Those topics tend to be focal points of many philosophers, coincidentally, and therefore many comedians such as George Carlin qualify as modern philosophers. 

Carlin has dozens of skits that have left their mark on people before his death in 2008. Not only were his topics interesting and relevant to audiences, but the rhythm and delivery that Carlin possessed on that stage was unparalleled. His build up to jokes combined with his raspy voice and New York accent made Carlin an incredibly entertaining person. He speaks his truth and has a lot of fun with it with his audience. I wish I were able to see him live.

One of my favorite skits regarding Carlin was the one above about religion. In the video he stresses how silly and essentially screwed up religion is. He does this on a basic and understandable level without getting too technical. Watch only if you are interested, because with it being about religion some people may force themselves to be offended. If that is not an issue, then enjoy the humor!

Another clip, this one taking place towards the end of his life, has him discussing our rights, including God-given rights. He uses facts frequently in his routines, so if you know your history you can really appreciate a lot of his work that much more. Perhaps Carlin saw where this country was heading after spending over 40 years poking fun at it, and that is what inclined him to discuss this topic.

The above clip was about equality, and there are way too many quotes and video clips from Carlin that are worthy of sharing. Many people thought he was brilliant and absolutely loved the man. Others may bash him as an aging, arrogant, rude individual. However, in my opinion, the very few people who did not enjoy Carlin were just predetermined to be offended.

If any of you have the interest or the time, search for George Carlin on YouTube and you will be able to spend a few hours being utterly fascinated, even educated, and most importantly, entertained. Carlin was not interested in solutions to the questions and issues he discussed, he merely presented them for shock value and humor, and to me that makes the irony even more humorous.

This post should be the first of three posts about philosophical comedians. The next two comedians should be Louis C.K. and Bill Hicks. I hope you guys enjoy the comedians and watch their work besides the snippets provided in these posts. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!


  1. unique 16-311:41 AM CST

    i watched the clip on religion and i have to say i laughed hard. i hope no one who is religious watches that and takes offense. i am deeply rooted in religion and completely ok with how he expressed his truth. thanks for posting.

  2. (16-2) I've never watched Geoge Carlin, but I really enjoyed "We are equal". It was interesting to see him talk about class and status in such a funny way. I may just look him up some more.
    FQ: What is the Double-Effect Law? (Predictable bad side effects of an action with a good intention can be acceptable, but deliberate harm is not.)
    DQ: If you were faced with killing few in order to save many, is it morally right? Can morality be measured with just numbers?
    Link: John Rawls's theories in a nutshell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKBQ1Q539mQ

  3. "...predetermined to be offended" - Predisposed, maybe?

    But... if you think he's on the mark with his satiric pokes at religion you shouldn't wish that the religious don't see them... what kind of philospher doesn't want to encounter those with a different view?

    Carlin was brilliant, funny, not as misanthropic as he pretended to be... but he wasn't just preaching to the choir.

    Best thing he ever did should really offend no one but the random footballer: "Baseball vs. Football... and his routine on his "Stuff" is great too.