This one’s a biggie for me, folks. George Carlin is a hero of mine and so this news is all I really care about right now.
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Stan Chervin (Moneyball) is writing and producing a biopic about the legendary comedian- and, as far as I’m concerned, philosopher– George Carlin. The Jackal Group’s Gail Berman and Joe Earley released a statement about why they acquired the film rights to to the late comedian’s life, and why his work is more relevant than ever these days:
“We are honored to tell the story of one of the most important and influential comedians of all time, and to do so alongside those who knew him best. In addition to shaping comedy and culture for decades, and entertaining generations of audiences, Carlin’s battle to protect free speech continues to impact our daily lives and is as relevant as ever.”
They’re not wrong. I often look around at the mess we’re in as a society and I ask myself, “What would George have to say about all this?” His voice is sorely missed during this time where censorship (from the left, of all places!) is running rampant, ignorance is being celebrated, and people are falling for everything while standing for nothing. Carlin always had a gift for making you laugh while also making you think. He’d challenge his audience rather than pander to it, and his comedy was fueled by the explosively kinetic energy of someone who wants to awaken you from your self-imposed stupor.
Beyond that, George Carlin was also a tireless workaholic, whose never-ending hustle and determination has made him the role model of countless stand-ups who’ve risen in his absence. He worked right down to the end, releasing his final stand-up special It’s Bad For Ya only three months before his untimely passing from heart failure on June 22, 2008. He was only 71.
That was the day before my 25th birthday, and I remember it cast a pall over the festivities that year. I miss him. He’d been an important voice in my life since 1992’s Jammin’ in New York which, for my money, is one of the greatest stand-up specials of all time.
Here’s hoping they get this right, because the world- and its frustrating penchant for toxic groupthink- could use a resurgence of the George Carlin school of free thought.