As far as stand-up comedians go I have a special place in my heart for George Carlin. This is because, for better or worse, George was, during his later years, a continuous source of inspiration for me. His brand of humor was as crude as anything you see on television today yet it packed a more relevant and mildly progressive edge than much of the broadcasted trite.
Admittedly, however, he did not start out this way. Indeed though he was intensely political prior to his death when he was first starting out he was more conservative; demonizing unions and bordering on pro-republicanism in some materials his strain of humor was what one might have expected for a comedian struggling to make a name for himself in the era of “trickle-down economics”.
Of course all comedians develop as they gain experience: some swing to the right, other to the left. In George’s case it was to the left. While he never became revolutionary, in the sense of being an internationalist, he did steadily acknowledge several Marxist concepts: the debauchery of consumerism and the existence of a ruling class. Both of these concepts can be found sprinkled throughout his later performances and point to a profound change in worldly outlook.
This being said George still could only be classified as what I call a False Progressive; IE, someone who leads the oppressed into false senses of liberation. This is because of his insistence on politically incorrect language. Most notably George constantly slips into the haze of uttering words like “bitch”, “cunt”, “nigger”, and “fag” more than a few time (the understanding being that since it doesn’t come from a “harmful” place the aforementioned words have no ill effect on society). Of course this is a wrong stance for any legitimately progressive person to take. So this is to say that George still had a moderate amount of development to undergo; whether he would have been able to accomplish this growth while enamored his in his career field, however, is unknown.
All in all though George Carlin is one of those guys that knows there are some messed up things in contemporary American society. More to the point he is able to express such musings in an entertaining manner which manages to educate while distracting people from their worries. His humor struck to the core making him one of the few persons in his profession who dared to go to such lengths. So while I will never be able to agree with some of George’s views I can say that I have benefited from listening to his sketches. With a great deal of his material on youtube now has never been a better time to check him out.