In the late 1970s, a lot of comedians were criticizing George Carlin for falling off and becoming too formulaic. In Carlin's autobiography, he claimed that Rick Moranis' impersonation from SCTV devastated him and made him reevaluate his act.

In the late 1970s, a lot of comedians were criticizing George Carlin for falling off and becoming too formulaic. In Carlin's autobiography, he claimed that Rick Moranis' impersonation from SCTV devastated him and made him reevaluate his act.

Wow, Rick Moranis is even more awesome than I realized. I would have never thought anyone could be capable of devastating George Carlin.

what the fuck how old is rick moranis

He's 62. Moranis's wife died of cancer, and he stopped taking film roles in 1997 so he could focus on raising his kids. I think a lot of us still think of him as a 45 year old guy because he hasn't been seen publicly much in the last 18 years.

To me George Carlin is like this: If you catch him too early he does really hacky material and those silly characters "I'm the hippy-dippy weatherman" and if you catch him too late, he's just a grumpy old man. But there's a sweet spot in the middle where he cemented his name as a great.

i think he's aged pretty well.

i don't think his age would prevent him from playing any role he would want, if he wanted to act some more.

i think he's aged pretty well.

i don't think his age would prevent him from playing any role he would want, if he wanted to act some more.

Honey, I raised the kids!

his stand up

George Carlin back in the 70s wasn't really all that funny because he was usually high as fuck and was more like doped up Seinfeld more than the 'angry philosopher' that's he's mostly remembered as.

SCTV came out in the mid 70s out of Canada and apparently got fairly big in the US and comparable to SNL even though they were low budget as hell but they made a lot of good characters and were pretty funny.

All the SCTV cast were the same kind of drama class turned college actor/theatresports players and George Carlin was a legend to young comedians. I think Rick Moranis's rip on him was because he was starting to turn into Krusty the Clown and needed a wake up call.

This line is much sadder when you imagine him saying that to his wife's tombstone.

I've been a fan of stand up comedy for long time and just could never get in George Carlin. It felt forced and unnatural whenever he told a joke.

I was sure the title was hype. Was not expecting that. Wow.

No way is that a picture of a 62-year-old man.

As Joe Rogan said on a recent podcast, you have to consider the time when the performance took place. Lenny Bruce is probably the most important comic of all time, but his material isn't funny at all.

I'm not saying that Carlin was ever not funny, but when you look at the respected grandfathers of comedy it doesn't always come down to specific bits that do or don't stand the test of time, but how they influenced the art-form.

curse words joke

As someone who just finished chronologically watching all of his routines, this comment is spot on. After hearing his controversial 5 specials in a row, I began to question continuing the marathon. Somewhere in the middle was that magical Carlin which allowed me to persevere and see him in much that same light.

Even as a formula, Carlin was better than most of his contemporaries for a long time -- and an example of steadfast comedic gold for comedians of today. SCTV had no sacred cows, however, and George no doubt was better off learning from dedicated artists rather than from random critics.

Looks good here too.

I feel like I'm just watching an old man ranting about how everything in society is wrong when I watch him. Instead of laughing, I find myself listening for most of his act. He comes off as quite arrogant and all-knowing when a lot of his work can be rationally argued against. He deserves praise for pushing comedy beyond the social norms of the time, but I just don't think he holds up as well as some contemporary comedians who have had time to look back and learn from him.

That's how you burn someone with nuclear fire. Damn. That was just brutal. Rick Moranis is highly underrated, in the same way Bob Saget was before he really got out there doing stand up again.

The man was a true comedian. It's a shame and a blessing he retired young to attend to his children.

I grew up in the era of Rick Moranis as Louis in Ghostbusters then on to roles like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Bob Saget doing Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. I never realized how much different and impressive they were as stand ups until much later. It was just so easy to write them off as those geeky, loser characters they played.

the big reason why he did not come back to acting is he planned to take a long break to take care of his kids and after a few years he realized that he did not miss hollywood at all and decided he was happier just being with his family. You have to look up to a guy who really put his family before everything else

That's how I feel about a lot of what's become a sort of "Comedians tell you about why the world/social policy is wrong."

They take these really strong political stances while completely ignoring or misunderstanding huge swaths of massive issues, but you can't argue it because "He's just a comedian lol."

It's one thing I never liked about John Stewart/Stephen Colbert (and don't get me wrong, I've got the highest respect for both of them), they always kept that as their shield "I'm not a journalist, I don't need to be right or fair, I'm just a comedian."

Especially grating when you hear about how much of the pre-recorded segments were edited or directed to get the right soundbites, no better than the news stations they were lampooning.

Another one

Paranoid? Carlin's not paranoid.

That's the bitter old man detaching himself from the world and just sitting back and observing it. Dude's probably an idealist that got crushed by the indifference of the universe.

edit: I agree though. His middle act was better in general. I liked the later work too. It reminds me of all of the beggar philosophers from back then, standing and giving their perspective on the nature of the world and the truth of it. You can kind of imagine some of the surviving speeches being delivered in a similar way.

When he pissed on religion, that was a big deal. Now, you can't be a Christian on the internet. Saying that shit in 1995 (much less 1985) took brass balls. He spoke out against the commercialization of everything and consumer culture.

The reason you don't find Carlin interesting, is because the world you understand is one so influenced by his perspective, you don't see it. He just had it 30 years ago.

I'd say he actually looks better now, he lost some weight it seems.

I'd say he actually looks better now, he lost some weight it seems.

Carlin had 5 stages:

1.The Beatnik "Sick Comic" Stage

-Time Period: Late 50s, early 60s

-Influenced by Lenny Bruce, did a lot of characters, voices, and skits

-Teamed with Jack Burns

-Very edgy and controversial for the time, hence why Carlin was labelled one of what people in the 50s called comics like Lenny: "Sick" Comics- a meaningless perjorative about equivalent to the term "shock jock" today. If you even dared to do something against society's taboos, whether it was language or race or politics, you were labelled a "sick comic."

-Dressed in black shirt and jeans

-Albums in this style: Burns and Carlin at the Playboy Club Tonight, 1960

-Famous bit in this style: Lenny Bruce vs Mort Sahl

2.The "Establishment Comic" Stage

-Time Period: Early 60s to early 70s

-Very clean, safe for television material

-Established his extremely precise rhythmic style, still did skits, characters and voices

-First made him a star on television.

-Dressed in a suit and tie

-Albums in this style: Take-Offs and Put-On, Side AM of FM & AM.

-Famous bit in this style: The Indian Lieutenant, Al Sleet The Hippy Dippy Weatherman

3.The Hippy Era

-Time Period: Early 70s to Late 70s

-When Carlin grew out his hair and beard

-When he brought back swearing and dirty language and edgy subjects to the act

-Subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision

-What most consider the greatest era for Carlin

-Observational humour, funny voices, social commentary, stories of people from growing up

-Carlin said this was when his act first started having himself in it.

-Dressed in hippy type clothes

-Albums in this style: Side FM of FM & AM, Class Clown, Occupation Foole, Toledo Window Box, An Evening with Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo

-Famous bit in this style: The 7 Dirty Words You Can Never Say On Television

4.The Observational Era

-Time Period: Mid 70s to Mid 80s

-Bleeds into the hippy era.

-When Carlin cut his balding hair short and grew his beard short

-When he emphasized observational humour, the little tiny things in life, and more clean and good natured humour

-A huge influence on Jerry Seinfeld and every observational comic that followed after, this is the era Rick Moranis is lampooning in the link above.

-In my opinion, when Carlin was at his funniest

-Carlin was guest hosting The Tonight Show and on television a lot at this point- his first HBO specials appeared, and so his job as first host of SNL

-Dressed in a shirt or sweater without buttons, a suit jacket or sport coat, but no tie, and in dress pants or jeans.

-I'd describe the overall style in this era as a cross between Seinfeld and Gallagher.

-But also very physical and high-energy-also reminiscent of Brian Regan, Steve Martin, Dane Cook.

-Carlin said in this autobiography, as OP said, that it made him realize his was doing too much observational humour, and that he had forgotten to put himself into his act again. But he also praised the technical way he built up the silly ideas in this period, like the "Give My Love To Clause" bit in Playing With Your Head

-By the way, the Moranis impression is PERFECT. In his book Carlin also mentions Cheech & Chong making fuin of him around the same era.

-Albums in this style: An Evening with Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo, On the Road, A Place for My Stuff, Carlin on Campus, Playin' with Your Head

-Famous bits in this style: Football vs Baseball, Cats vs Dogs, Give My Love To Klaus, Losing Things, A Place For My Stuff

5.The Rant Era

-1988 - 2008

-In my opinion, when Carlin stopped trying to be as funny

-He said he was influenced by Sam Kinison

-Emphasis on anger (he called it disappointment), ranting and social commentary

-Dress: Black shirt and black dress pants or jeans

-Grey hair that he grew out into a ponytail.

-Albums in this style: What Am I Doing in New Jersey?, Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics, Jammin' in New York, Back in Town, You Are All Diseased, Complaints and Grievances, Life Is Worth Losing, It's Bad for Ya

-Famous bits in this style: The Planet Is Fine, People Who Should Be Killed

These reflect the overall trends, but Carlin always blended his different styles within one album. Even on an album where he did a lot of angry ranting, he also would put in a bit about fart jokes, or about observational humour.

This is because Carlin said he drew his humour from what he called "The Four Key Area:" armpits, asshole, crotch and teeth. No, actually they were:

The Small World- Little universal things, observational humour

The Big World- Cosmic ideas and questions, social commentary, ranting

Language - Examining and analyzing words, phrases, speech, slang, cliches, etc...

Sillyness- Fart jokes, funny voices, pot talk, physical humour.

This one cracks me up

Well there goes my day, thanks a lot.

Thanks Khaled...

And has a good amount of money and time to do so.

Do you have kids? If not, you'll understand when you do have them, or when friends of yours have them if you prefer to remain childless.

Nirvana is great songwriting. That always lasts.

Ok he looks 62, here

So does Dane Cook, both are examples of successful comedians who aren't also important comedians.


He wasn't 62 in that photo, but he still looks good for his age.

a $250 scholarship to the university of their choice


Yeah it's hard to judge comedy for that reason. Just saying a certain word could send a room into hysterics and now they say them on kids shows. This was the beginning of people being able to say "damn" on TV without national controversy. You risked your career.


His Woody Allen impression is just amazing.

I think that he and Eugene Levy were the most remarkable talents on that very good SCTV lineup. Underrated by miles.

attend to his children

That's a funny way of putting it. Like they were pinheads he had to keep from biting the heads off of chickens or something.

Andrew Dice Clay was selling out Madison Square Garden... that baffles me.

Dayum. George Carlin is like a prophet to me. But wow did Rick nail him. That was good.

Yeah, I actually agree.

I like last night tonight, I watch almost all the episodes, but he's really, really, bad about taking important issues and turning them into talking points.

One that springs to mind just off the top of my head, in the Pageant one, his complaint at the end was about how there's not enough generalised female only University sponsorships.

But women make up the majority of University attendees? Do we need more generalised female scholarships?

If we're targeting minorities or people that need more representation, sure. If we want more women in sciences, sure. But just "If you're a girl, this helps you go to Uni!" They're already the majority...

It's at the point where if I know I'm gonna disagree with his points I'll usually not even bother watching, because I know any issues I have won't be addressed fairly.

Carlin's daughter was on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast recently, and they talked about this. If I remember what they said correctly, Moranis had no idea it had affected Carlin so much, and felt really bad when he found out. Sounds like it had a positive effect in the end, but Moranis still felt bad for making Carlin feel bad, because he really respected Carlin, and is just generally a nice guy.

I'm not sure why you were downvoted - it's a constant battle of trying to keep our daughter from killing herself. I wouldn't trade it in for anything, but you do have to attend to them!

You got tired of hearing the 5 Words You Can't Say on Television after five times? Imagine how he felt, having to tell it every single night. The curse of an artist is that when they become famous for something, they then have to perform that piece forever, no matter how tired they get of it. I'll bet at the end of his life, he had idiots calling for it from the audience.

well, i don't know about that. But the thing about Dane Cook is not to forget that a lot of the vitriol directed against him was because of how incredibly popular he was at his height. Yes, I know about the handful of stolen jokes NOW but let's be real, at the time, most people were cutting into Dane for things that (again, let's be honest) a lot of his contemporaries were just as guilty of. I'm not saying you couldn't find flaws in his material or character, I'm saying that it's because he was incredible popular that his flaws were focused on by his detractors with such vigor. Like, for instance, if I see some relative unknown comic give a mediocre set I'm not gonna rail against the guy because, hey, he's an unknown, he's not perfect but he's just doing his best. But when I see a comedian who sells out stadiums and has a double-platinum comedy album out give a less than stellar set, I'm natural going to feel like something is in want of correcting, maybe I'll spout out about it. My point being, that what Cook and Carlin (at the point of his career being parodied) are both guilty of being imperfect while also being popular.

Also, Dane and George were famous in two very different times. The voice of the minority has never been stronger than it is now. I'm sure if you went by what would have been the standard of the time while George was coming up in the industry, that being things like album sales and the demand to see the comedian perform live, and you applied this metric as a standard of success to Dane, I'm sure the figures would show that functionally, Cook is the tops. You and I and the rest of the internet, however, are privy to the "in-joke" of Dane Cook. The in-joke that consists of a group of people who, while consisting of a considerably smaller amount of people than those who enjoy the work he does, having deciding that we constitute what could be called the "real" opinion on the matter, thinking ourselves somehow closer to the art at hand. Basically, there could've been tons of smaller comedians who thought George Carlin was, at least, slightly overrated at the time. We just discount the possibility of them because all we have as reference point for the public reception of Carlin is the retrospective evidence of his success, and ultimately his vindication.

Which would bring me to my main idea, vindication. If I had to say the final word on somebodies worth in a field hinged on one thing, it'd be a no-brainer to say it depends on the mark they make on the form of that field. Whether or not one likes Carlin at this point is irrelevant when arguing his value to the school of stand-up comedy. He has inspired so many countless comedians that it'd be stupid to try to say he didn't matter. So in reference to Dane Cook, that's what it comes down to. Will his presence be felt in the next wave of young comics? While meaning no disrespect to the man, I wouldn't hold my breath. Sadly, image does play a huge part in popular culture currently. Context has trumped content. Its hard to picture some hot new upstart comic attributing the development of his style to Dane Cook (regardless of whether or not that's actually true) for fear of being seen a worse off for the comparison. Although, I will say I wouldn't mind in the slightest being proven wrong on that last point. Maybe some new perspective of appreciation for his body of work will surface, maybe he'll enjoy an unprecedented success as an older comedian and his early work will be colored-favorably by our enjoyment of his newer stuff (much like Carlin in that regard.) Like someone else has said, only time will tell.

edit: a typo or two, i'm sure there's twenty more but whatever.

The worst is with last week, where it's masquerading as informing people, when it's just a single perspective on an issue wrapped up in easy formulaic jokes. I tend to agree with their position, so I know I can't watch without exposing myself to circle jerky trains of thought. No thank you.

I only knew Bob Saget from Full House back in the day, but I used to stay up late and watch stand up comedy shows on TV. When I saw him do his stand up, I was like "Oh, this lame guy."

I had no idea how dirty he was.

Not to knock Moranis. I've always liked his works.

This is more of a knock at people who give others credit for doing things they absolutely can do. And well, there's a awful lot of people out there who can't drop everything to give all their attention to their family and still have to get up in the morning, go to work at a shitty job that robs them of time with their family to put food on the table. That's real sacrifice!

What....the fuck man? :'(

To hear his side, he never retired (and doesn't care for it being applied to him). He just got extremely selective.

Read this yesterday:

Really like the interview Rick Moranis did on Nerdist. They talk about SCTV a lot. They pretty much had free reign to do whatever they want. Really interesting.

Catherine O'Hara was hot. Never knew!

I think I remember my brother saying a four year degree cost about $1000 back then. .

But can we at least agree that Carlos Mencia is a walking pile of shit?

In real life and in the movie if they made a sequel. The actress who played his wife in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids passed away last year.

We were living in northeast Michigan in the early 70's, so half (or more) of what we got on TV was Canadian. SNL was funny, but SCTV was way more goof-ball "out there" and didn't come on as late at night.

I still like to say: May the good Lord take a likin' to ya, and blow ya up REAL good!

Oh I agree that he was far ahead of his time, I just don't think that it is necessarily as good today as it was back then. He pushed comedy further than anyone else did and challenged the way people looked at society. The guy went to the fucking Supreme Court because of the things he said and he won, pushing his belief for freedom of speech and allowing other comedians to follow in his footsteps. He is probably the single most important standup comedian in history, no questions asked. That said, people have had time to look back at his work and learn from it, get better at it, and push even further than he did. Has any single person had as much impact? No, and chances are they never will. That said, over the last 30 years, they have slowly improved upon it. He layed the foundation for greater things to come.

FYI he retired to attend to his children because his wife passed away from terminal cancer. He did not want to be on the road doing lengthy movies etc. away from his kids.

I like Grumpy Old Man Carlin, though.

His delivery on the radio and tv characters is just so fucking spot on, though. I don't care much for late Carlin, but that early stuff was super fast, super intricate, and he never dropped a syllable.


I dont know how many US folks can really are aware of just how incredible SCTV was during it's Canadian broadcast years.

While I still enjoy the NBC/US just doesnt have the raw energy of the original Global/CBC stuff.

The ultimate shame is that you cannot buy the Canadian series on DVD/Blu Ray (as far as I know).

Rick Moranis, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Martin Short.....just HEAVY heavy talent.

Damn son, you just wrote a college essay about Dane Cook. Anyway I would just like to touch on the joke stealing thing - Louis CK, the comedian Dane stole from, blatantly ripped off a decade old David Cross joke and everyone let it slide because "oh, it must have just slipped into his subconscious." But somehow when Dane Cook does it it's completely malicious and he's a hack despite hours worth of completely original material.

I mean, mock his delivery all you want, but there's no way he intentionally stole those jokes.

What are the objective criteria for boring? Is Bach boring, or Philip Glass, or the Beatles? Objectively speaking of course.

Fred Armisen did a great Carlin too on Weekend Update once

You know something else that is underrated:Beets.

Pardon me, I believe you've mistakenly posted a picture of Alton Brown.

Agreed, to see someone as great as Carlin get satirized so perfectly is definitely an eye opener.

Then again, I saw Carlin live a few months before he passed and it was nothing like this. He was a 'grumpy old man' type, but he was still brilliant with his delivery and controversial humor.

Did he say anything that contradicts that? You should take a deep breath and lighten up a little. We're all just chatting here, man.