One Man Contrasts Two of America's Favorite National Sports
This focuses on George Carlin’s routine contrasting American football and baseball, among his funniest - and, refreshingly, one devoid of obscenities!
Originally I heard his routine on this theme on a 33-1/3 rpm record played on a little record player and thought it one of the funniest I’d heard. How pleased I am to discover he updated it! This hub is primarily to share it with you.
But wait! So what? Well. . . there is more to it!
Aha! OK Why not let George Carlin himself explain the differences? ~ N-joy!
While we're here, I’d enjoy sharing a few brief facts about the man and his work, certainly not a comprehensive bio, but a few things I discovered, thanks to Google, which add more substance to my own impressions from seeing him on TV and hearing him on comedy LPs over many years. No doubt you have many impressions accumulated from your own experiences of him!
George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author, won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums.
After he was well into his craft, he lost some gigs by dressing differently than other comedians of the time, coming onstage in faded jeans and nondescript t-shirts, sporting long hair, beard, and earrings when when a clean-cut, well-dressed appearance for comedians was normal. His own persona gained him the attention of The Ed Sullivan Show and an appearance on it which quickly won him new popularity as the public became caught up in his offbeat sense of style. Ed Sullivan was the first to debut many a talent who would reach pinnacles of fame, including The Beatles (to this country) and Elvis Presley - and on and on the list could go. It's almost spooky for me to have seen the first national appearances as these and other such greats as Barbra Streisand (hers was on a Tonight Show). Such are the rewards of longevity!
I am surprised to learn that Carlin was the first host of NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL), in the fall of 1975. I missed that one but for him, it led to many hosting and backup appearances on the show.
Carlin's material generally touches upon one or more of three self-described categories: "the little world" (observational humor), "the big world" (social commentary), and the peculiarities of the English language (euphemisms, doublespeak, business jargon and that ilk), all sharing the overall theme of (in his words) "humanity's bullshit," which, to him, might easily include any and every aspect of human behavior and civilization. He became famous for irreverently mixing his brands of humour with larger and well-founded social commentary, though his delivery often characterized such subjects with extreme skepticism suggesting that nothing in the world has real - or, at best, fragile and inconsequential existence. It was often uncomfortably close to the bone.
The one word which comes to my mind when thinking of his life and his work is “iconoclast”. If ever anyone made a career out of kicking sacred cows, this man was the one.
In fact, he considered language, which was of great interest to him, as a tool of manipulators, who he perceived use euphemisms to distort truth. He also targeted use of language he regarded as pompous, presumptuous, or silly in his routines. But he confessed that what turned him on was, "reading about language" and admitted that what gave him the most satisfaction in his career was the number of his books that had been sold, close to a million copies.
He gave stellar performances in several movies. The one I saw and enjoyed was "Jersey Girl" in which he played Ben Affleck's blue-collar Dad and became the buddy of his very bright little granddaughter. Human lessons in the movie are touching and left a warm-fuzzy lasting impression on this viewer.
Ultimately he was an entertainer, despite the byproducts of his life’s work. To quote himself: "I have always been willing to put myself at great personal risk for the sake of entertainment. And I've always been willing to put you at great personal risk, for the same reason!"
Hub author's note:
Dateline: March 5, 2012
The chosen video of the routine was disallowed, but the information retains its appeal, even without the video.