George Carlin: What Am I Doing in New Jersey?

Synopsis: Growing up in New York City, George Carlin was always the class clown. He went on to become one of the great comedians of all time, with appeal that spans generations. His brand of provocative sociopolitical commentary and scathing comic style brought him four Grammy awards, most recently in 2002. Carlin was the first-ever host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and has starred in twelve HBO specials. He continues to perform to sold-out audiences at venues across the country.

George Carlin’s sixth HBO standup concert special, What Am I Doing In New Jersey? aired as a live broadcast from the Park Theater in Union City, New Jersey. The live performances includes classic routines, Cars & Driving II, Reagan’s Gang, Church People, and American Values, People I Can Do Without, and Keeping People Alert.

George Carlin: What Am I Doing in New Jersey? 8.25

Aaaah… this is when it starts to really get interesting. This is when George Carlin, for the first time, focuses on socio-political commentary more so than on simple observations or even silly gags. This is a path he would remain on for the rest of his career. jumping0050 Free Emoticons   Jumping

I relish the vitriol in this set. Carlin is raging, ranting furiously like a person taken to the extremes of his patience by the society he lives in. But, in so doing, he sheds light on a lot of absurdities and contradictions in human behaviour. I shared many of his gripes and laughed along at the exaggerations he bestowed upon us. happy0018 Free Emoticons   Happy

I loved that he opened up with ‘People I Can Do Without’, a trademark ramble in this third phase of his career. People also frustrate me to no end and for a multitude of reasons, so many of these absurd characters (that he hopefully invented! shock) made me laugh hysterically. I also quite enjoyed the ‘Cars and Driving II’ segment, but it was perhaps too long for my taste; there’s only so much one can say about driving before it gets tiresome.

This HBO special involved an opening segment with a taxi driver, as Carlin “tried” to make his way to the concert and stopped off at a bar midway for directions. It wasn’t all that interesting (and it wasn’t helped by poor audio, which limited our ability to hear what was being said 'indifferent0004

It turned out to be a much better show than the first few minutes would have suggested. In fact, it’s one of my favourites of all the ones I’ve seen thus far. I’d highly recommend ‘What Am I Doing in New Jersey’ to Carlin fans, old and new alike. 'happy0021

One response to “George Carlin: What Am I Doing in New Jersey?

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

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