On Location: George Carlin at USC

Synopsis: On March 5, 1977, George Carlin’s standup concert at the University of Southern California became the first of his thus-far 12 HBO specials.

This performance showcases his unique role as America’s first counter-culture comedian, and his distinct ability to hold society’s hypocrisies and idiocies up to the light.

The Routines include: “Old Folks & Kids,” “Monopoly,” “Dogs & Cats #1,” “Newscast #1,” “Names,” “Supermarkets,” and “Words.”

On Location: George Carlin at USC 7.0

I had read somewhere that this was not Carlin’s best HBO special, that he would kick into gear on the next one. That assessment was entirely spot on. I’m very glad that I got wind of it beforehand – at least my expectations were tapered accordingly.

The George Carlin seen in this special is not the same one that we’ve gotten used to seeing later in life: there is very little flow to his routine, he’s constantly pausing (or, dare I say… hesitating? confused) and he appears to have difficulty putting all the pieces together.

The other commentary that I read suggested that he was nervous. I’m not sure if that’s what was going on, because he concealed any nervousness he had quite well, as far as I’m concerned. My first impression is that his lack of focus is due to either being drunk or under some other mood-altering influence. sad0038 Free Sad Emoticons

The end result is that we are seeing in ‘George Carlin at the USC’ a stand-up comedian with years under his belt but who looks like a bit of an amateur – a funny one, certainly, but not one of the sharpest comedians in US history. Or a comic genius.

Thankfully, I’d seen some of his works before, so this was not a deterrent. It may not be the best introductory material, however; I would like to imagine this one more as a foot-note in a career filled with more highlights than most could dare to dream of. happy0027 Free Emoticons   Happy

One response to “On Location: George Carlin at USC

  1. Pingback: George Carlin: Personal Favorites | thecriticaleye·

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