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Funny Books - George Carlin - Last Words - a memoir

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Last Words, a Memoir
George Carlin with Tony Hendra
Free Press 2010
296 pages

George Carlin Last Words is an interesting enough biography. Part as-told-to, part autobiography, Last Words rarely reflects the verbal agility or the caustic observational skills the comic had. This memoir is good enough to please and interest George Carlin fans but not quite interesting enough to stand on its own. It does make for a good read.

Carlin did not like bullshit so there is no bullshit here. He reveals the darker side of the comic so self-involved in his career to be aware of his wife's problems, his drug use and how it even affected his daughter, and his second comeback through HBO specials.

Last Words has little about Carlin s creative process. If you are looking for inside information on stand-up comedy or other comics think again.

There is no doubt Carlin is behind the text in this biography even if it is mostly as told to Tony Hendra. Carlin's hand is more obvious in the last two or three chapters of Last Words. It is no coincidence these are much better chapters. They are bookended by the first and last of the HBO specials that gave the comic a second life if not a second career.

Last Words  reveals a lot about Carlin though it is not a tell-all biography. From his growing up in White Harlem, the strength his mother showed as a single mother, his stint in the air force, the years being a disc jockey and being part of the Burns and Carlin comedy duo, his years as a middle of the road, Indian Sergeant style comedian, to his first rebirth in the FM part of FM / Am and as Class Clown.

Most frustrating in George Carlin Last Words is the knowledge Last Words, a Memoir is basically background tl what was to be  a major autobiographical Broadway show titled New York Boy.

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 - DVD: Carlin's last HBO special. He was too hip for the room but the room loved him.

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.

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.

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