George Carlin: Again!

Synopsis: Performing in the round at the Celebrity Star Theater in Phoenix (July 23, 1978), George Carlin mesmerizes his audience in the second of his 12 HBO specials.

The show was originally planned as part of a concert/sketch movie, The Illustrated George Carlin, that never came to fruition.

The routines include: “Death,” “Kids & Parents,” “Newscast #2,” “Time,” “and “Al Sleet, The Hippy-Dippy Weatherman.”

George Carlin: Again! 8.0

I’m not sure if it’s simply a reflection of the previous HBO special’s underperformance, or if this one truly is one of the better ones but, to me, this George Carlin routine stands out. happy0027 Free Emoticons   Happy

For starters, the delivery was superior to the previous one. Carlin was much more focused, being approximately 95% “on” this time (vs. 35% the last time). I enjoyed that he was relaxed, using an “in-the-round” format instead of just being on a standard stage. It gave a much more complicit vibe to the proceedings. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

Some of the skits are rehashed from the previous shows, but I didn’t mind it because it only amounted to about 30% of this set and he had developed the bits further by then – so their core was the same, but the way he delivered his routines was different, more fleshed out. To me, it was like seeing a rock band playing the classics, but offering new arrangements or jams to keep them fresh.

I adored his segment on time and the words that we use to describe its passage; his observations are quite amusing. While the material is not as incisive as it would later become in the third phase of his career, becoming more socio-political, his use of words and his reflections on the meaning that we attach to them is remarkable. While it is not supremely intellectual, it is neither mere crassness nor juvenile humour – a lot of thought has been put into it. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

So I’d recommend ‘Again!’ to get a glimpse of the ’70s George Carlin. While it may not be wholly representative of his shtick in that era, it is a quality show through-and-through and it is filled with plenty of laughs and enough fodder to generate a thought or two.

‘Again!’ is suitably titled, being worth repeated plays. I can guarantee that I’ll go back to it in the future. happy0021 Free Emoticons   Happy

One response to “George Carlin: Again!

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

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