Synopsis: It’s Bad For Ya, Carlin’s Emmy-nominated 14th and final HBO special from March of 2008 features Carlin’s noted irreverent and unapologetic observations on topics ranging from death, religion, bureaucracy, patriotism, overprotected children and big business to the pungent examinations of modern language and the “decrepit state of the American culture”.
Carlin once again comes up with an hour of brand new material that not only make you laugh, but makes you think.
George Carlin will always remain part of the popular lexicon for his “Seven Dirty Words” routine, and as a comedian who was never afraid to challenge his audience.
One of America’s first and funniest counterculture comics rips into society’s sacred taboos and institutions in a new, uncensored evening of stand-up comedy. Carlin’s 14th original solo HBO stand-up special delivers dead-on, laugh-out-loud insights on such issues as: the advantages of being old, child worship and the failure of the so-called “self-esteem” movement – In other words, our abnormal preoccupation with BS.
“I’d like to begin by saying fuck Lance Armstrong. Fuck him and his balls and his bicycles and his steroids and his yellow shirts and the dumb empty expression on his face. I’m tired of that asshole. And while you’re at it, fuck Tiger Woods too!”
After his last show, ‘Life is Worth Losing’, it was difficult to imagine that Carlin could get back in the saddle again – not only was the material especially sombre, but he was looking haggard, veritably older than ever (having survived yet another heart attack mere weeks prior probably had something to do with it, mind you! ).
And yet, for ‘It’s Bad For Ya!’, Carlin was back in shape. Oh, sure, he wasn’t as physically expressive as he’d once been, and it seemed as though he was aging faster than that time-lapsed, decaying fox, but at least he got his game on for this one (case-in-point: his abrasive opening lines ).
The fire may have cooled slightly, no doubt due to age and health, but Carlin came roaring back with gut-busting, lengthy observations about parenting and its impact on the youth of today, old age, patriotism, as well as a cornucopia of short comments and juvenile cracks. Anyone who enjoys Carlin’s later-period shtick would get a kick out of this.
Unfortunately, ‘It’s Bad For Ya!’ would end up being his last show: he died less than four months after it was broadcast (it was live on HBO, showing how “on” he was, even then ). But, as far as swan songs go, it’s a truly fitting one – it echoed his best moments and recaptured the magic one last time.
He may be gone, and we will never be treated to new observations from the cantankerous comedian, but at least we are lucky to have so much of his work on record, whether it be through his countless television specials, innumerable albums, handful of books, or even through the frequent interviews he did, discussing his life and his work.
He was a funny, furious and always fascinating individual. It’s a tremendous gift that he lives on well after his death. It truly is the kind of gift that keeps on giving.
“I’m kinda like herpes, I just keep coming back.”