Irony is that Carlin’s best bit on death is on his last stand-up comedy DVD It’s Bad For Ya. On On The Road, Carlin said after his death he would like to be blown up. Well, Carlin certainly did go out with a bang with his last HBO special. It’s Bad For Ya contains the comic’s best stuff in a long time.
It’s Bad For Ya does not start off strong. Carlin’s digs at Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and Dr. Phil are mundane and generic. This immediately picks up though when the stand-up comic starts talking about his 70th birthday and a fifteen minute or so routine on death, the language we use about death, and the imagery associated with it. Death is a topic Carlin had touched upon before (Parental Advisory) but this routine is his longest and tightest, and most thought-provoking bits ever.
George Carlin was never great at the segue and it is still true on It’s Bad For Ya but this 68 minute performance flows better than anything he had done before. The middle of this stand-up comedy DVD features Carlin’s usual loosely tied together bits and pieces of observational and societal comedy.
The last few routines here are longer, tighter pieces on national pride, religion, and rights with the comic at his very best.
George Carlin closed strong with It’s Bad For Ya.
Hard core Carlin fans who have both the It’s Bad for Ya CD and DVD version of this show will notice the DVD tracks the same way as the CD, a little unusual as most discs go for 10 or so minute chapters.
Extra features on this stand-up comedy DVD include Too Hip For The Room where George Carlin talks about and analyzes his career is what really makes It’s Bad For You the most valuable Carlin DVD of them all. His whole process analysis is fascinating. The routines in this last performance are what make this recording great.
There is also a clip from the Jackie Gleason Show with pre-hippie days Carlin doing banal material.
Whoever picked the music for the credits and the menu for this release is a moron.
Other George Carlin Reviews
Complaints And Grievances: This Carlin CD is just Bitching and Moaning By An Old Fart.
Life Is Worth Losing: The George Carlin comedy CD that is going to rehabilitate him as still being one of the greats.
Doin' It Again: George Carlin is not always absolutely brilliant on Doin' It Again, the DVD version
George Carlin 1937 - 2008: Proved to be, as he wished, too hip for the room
When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?: contains some warmed over stuff and leftovers, and gristle
Jammin' In New York: One of the best George Carlin comedy DVDs
The Serious George Carlin Page: Everything you want to know about Carlin on CD and DVD
November 08 George Carlin Releases: Article about 11/08 releases
Editorial - George Carlin Receives Mark Twain Prize: About time Carlin got the Mark Twain but guest list is rather questionable
It's Bad For Ya - CD: George Carlin's swan song comedy CD is no turkey
George Carlin On Location aka at USC (1977): First Carlin HBO Special became the On the Road CD
The Comedy Network - George Carlin It's Bad For Ya 05/16/09 10 P.M.: Last Carlin HBO comedy special is great.
Last Words - a memoir: semi autobiographical book is pretty decent and honest
The George Carlin Letters: Not particularly interesting and certainly not revealing.
Conversations With Carlin: 2001 interview where the author asked Carlin all the right questions. Very interesting and revealing.