I’m finally making my way through all of George Carlin’s standups. If you haven’t done so, you should. I’ve been aware of and admired his work for years, but with Netflix instant, I have finally sat down to go through much, if not all of his standup specials. I highly recommend doing so, although some will mind the language.
One reason I’m doing this with Carlin is because, between him and Richard Pryor, there is a wealth of genius. Another reason is because standup is specifically built on the pithy statement. Combine the two and you can get people to stop dead in their tracks and think. Of course citing a well-known comedian is always helpful.
I’m specifically working through Carlin for his insights on American culture and the State, with specific attention to homogenizing identity and complex social space (which are important topics in my dissertation). Here, unlike Carlin’s sometimes statements on religion, he rarely over states his case. In fact, I may even quote him for papers I’m presenting this spring, particularly this little genealogy from his What Am I Doing in New Jersey: