During the 1960s Carlin was very successful as a traditional comic. Dressed in a sharp suit and tie with short slicked-back hair, he appeared frequently on television performing safe, family-friendly comedy (here’s an example). However, in the late 60s and early 70s he became increasingly aware of the emergence of two distinct demographics. There were the 40 year-old generation he was currently performing for and then there were the 20-something, counter-culture movement who were forcing change and challenging the status quo. At 30, Carlin was stuck in the middle and found himself siding with the younger generation as he was becoming more and more frustrated with the rampant bullshit his country had become infected with. This was the time of Nixon, the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. So over a few years, Carlin ditched the suit and tie, grew a beard, long hair and started performing more controversial and anti-establishment material (his most famous routine, Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television, is an [explicit] example). He could have continued doing what he was doing and had a very successful and profitable career, but he chose a new and risky path that was true to himself. He chose not to sell out, and in the process became a hero to the counter-culture movement … and he still had a successful and profitable career!
- The above quote was taken from Carlin’s Life is Worth Losing HBO special and can be viewed here.
- Yes, I know Lee Harvey Oswald fired from the book depository building which was situated BEHIND the motorcade when Kennedy was shot, so he couldn’t of had the front view in his scope that appears in panel seven – I call artistic license.
- I’m a bit of a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist mainly after reading James Ellroy’s brilliant crime fiction novel, American Tabloid. (Also, this Seinfeld scene was pretty convincing.)
- For those interested: JC, GANDHI, LINCOLN, JFK, RFK, MLK, EVERS (I admit not knowing who he was), MALCOLM X, LENNON.
- You can buy all of Carlin’s albums and DVDs at the official George Carlin online store.