Just when I had pretty much given up on George Carlin as a stand-up comic he releases a new stand-up comedy CD, Life Is Worth Losing.

Life Is Worth Losing shows that when Carlin feels like it he can still be on point, funny, relevant, and great. After the dreadful Complaints and Grievances and You Are All Diseased where a comic who was once a particularly adroit with the language dead-on social commentator had turned into a grumpy old man who only bitched about things but did not say anything relevant,

It is no coincidence that unlike Complaints and Grievances, which contained 22 tracks, and You Are All Diseased, which contained 17 tracks, some with titles that included six or seven topics, George Carlin’s latest stand-up comedy CD, Life Is Worth Losing, has but eleven tracks and each of them, except the first, focuses on an aspect of life or death.

Instead of the scattershot approach Carlin seemed to have adopted of late, Life Is Worth Losing is a tight, focused, bitingly funny comedy CD.

George Carlin has always been known for his verbal agility and interest in the English language. The opening track of Life Is Worth Losing, A Modern Man, is almost a tour de force four-minute bit on modern expressions. It is almost brilliant (“I got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant, and a personal agenda.” is but one of the series of expressions he strings together) but if you listen closely some of the expressions he uses to show he is a modern man are there solely for the their sound and not for what they mean (such as “supersized, long-lasting, high definition, oven-ready, and built to last”). Still, this opening track shows Carlin is back for business.

Life Is Worth Losing is definitely George Carlin at his best and far superior to his two or three (maybe even four or five) previous stand-up comedy CDs.

Another reason this is so is Carlin is much more in control of his art here, much more poised, much calmer than the screaming and ranting version of George Carlin he had, unfortunately, made us used to.

Life Is Worth Losing is certainly George Carlin’s darkest and most cynical material to date but he is now willing to reason it out instead of shouting it out. He may not have much respect for the human race but he seems to have regained some respect for his audience and his listeners.

For those, like myself, who had given up on George Carlin a while back and were getting his stand-up comedy CDs just out of habit Life Is Worth Losing is the CD that is going to rehabilitate Carlin as still being one of the greats.

George Carlin
Life Is Worth Losing
Comedy CD
Atlantic Records 2006
71 minutes

Track List:

A Modern Man
Three Little Words
The Suicide Guy
Extreme Human Behavior
The All-Suicide Channel
Dumb Americans
Pyramid Of The Hopeless
Autoerotic Asphyxia
Posthumous Female Transplants
Yeast Infection
Coast-to-Coast Emergency


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