|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Monday, June 23, 2008 |
( 6/23/2008 07:26:00 AM ) Bill S.
CARLIN: Showing my age, I remember when George Carlin struck it big with the Hippy Dippy Weatherman ("Tomorrow's high . . . whenever I get up!"), years before he honed his observational skills with his classic deconstructions of the English language. I was in high school at the time, and my friend Tom Michalski had purchased the album after hearing Carlin's weatherman sketch get played repeatedly on Chicago station WLS. I can still see us listening to and memorizing that bit off of a small box record player.
Carlin's stand-up grew more finely honed over the years, but I always found him funny, even at his most misanthropic. While his presence livened up more than one movie (Outrageous Fortune, the two Bill And Ted movies, not to mention his wonderful turn as Cardinal Glick in Kevin Smith's Dogma), it was as a stand-up that he truly reached the heights. Sharply observational, iconoclastic, playfully rude: no one else quite had his voice, though more than one young comedian foolishly tried to appropriate it. Though his passing doesn't come as much of a shock - Carlin had been an old guy for decades now - it still feels like a major part of my own adolescence has just died.
R.I.P., George, you cranky ol' bastard . . .