George Carlin... It's Bad for Ya! (2008) Poster

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hard-edged, take-no-prisoners satire at its finest; Carlin's best in almost 10 years
Quinoa19843 March 2008
It might be a stretch saying this as a die-hard Carlin fan, but the material, both written and as performed, in It's Bad for Ya is some of the best late-era material yet. At 70 Carlin bounces back from the level of despair (and some of the stumbles in the act itself) from Life is Worth Losing to a special that is firmly structured but loose and playful- or as much as the "old f***" can get- and is continuously, ceaselessly, funny. And funny as in reminiscent of what some of us had going on when watching Back in Town or 'Diseased' the first time. The material, even if sounding at times a tinge of the previously done (i.e. the whole bit on children in school and camp like the Children segment in Diseased), is always fresh and with such a sting of truth to everything that it scalds the mind while (here goes) tickling the funny bone.

Going from the topic of death (how long to wait to scratch off a name from the book? six weeks, unless if on the computer scheduler), the facets of communication, looking down from Heaven, spots of God (naturally), kids, and just troublesome gestures involving hats in religion and if people really have "Rights" make up the bulk of the special, centered around the premise that what's bad for you, plain and simple, is BS. Total, complete BS, which as we also learn (or if you've really learned it you're like the kid waiting at the street corner for a week following dropped off not-quite randomly by the parent) holds the country together. Carlin isn't necessarily angry though, even if disdain seems to spout out at most turns, even just to observe how horrifying children's teeth coming in look. It's skepticism tinged with the feeling that everything is NOT going to be "fine".

What it comes down to is this: Carlin is to dirty, witty, cautionary stand-up comedy what Yoda is to Jedis everywhere, which is a small spark of hope via crystal clear wisdom in a world where it's pretty damn hard to get any. At the least, we get classic GC - outrageous lines and bits from the man's 13th (or is it 14th) comedy special, including as far as an eyebrow-raising observation on people who play Mozart music during a birth!
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The last, and one of the best.
super marauder20 July 2009
My brother got me hooked on Carlin back in the 70s. I always loved his observational humor. That is, looking at every day things and finding the humor in it, like asking the question,"Have you ever tried to throw away an old waste basket? You can't do it! They keep bringing back to you!" And asking questions like why is the word kill more acceptable then the "F" word, while making prefect sense with the discussion.

However, during the 90s his stuff was less funny, and more angry. What he seemed to be doing was holding a mirror to society's face and say 'take a look!' At this point, his shows were less of a comedy show, and more of a gripe session. But in all fairness he always made a tremendous amount of sense. He really made you think.

Here was Carlin old and new. He starts out about the fun one could have by getting old, and later slamming the the state of the world. Again making perfect sense.

This was his best since "Jammin' in New York", and as it turns out his last.

I think what 'The Shootist' was to John Wayne, or 'A Prairie Home Companion' to Robert Altman, 'It's Bad For Ya' is to George Carlin. A fond farewell to a true great icon. Love him, or hate him, I think he will be remembered.
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Carlin is Hysterical
jts040519 November 2008
It's Bad for Ya really showcases more of George Carlin's talents. He really is still as sharp as a tack. It is a shame that we lost him this past year, but his comedy will forever live on. This stand-up special is literally one of the funniest I have ever heard a comedian perform. Even though he is making fun of small children, it just makes you laugh the way he says some of the stuff. It is true that Carlin can literally make something that seems unfunny and turn it into one of the funniest things you have ever and will ever hear. I really enjoyed this stand-up particularly from Carlin and recommend that those that liked this check out more of George Carlin's stand-up.
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First comment on the Last
bps4 July 2008
Mr. Carlin left our common forum in June of 2008, shortly after going to the hospital for pains in the chest (he had a history of heart trouble). The media, and comics everywhere covered the loss more than I or he would have EVER expected ... but, he was the Grandfather of observational comedy.

THIS recording was his last production and contains a large section dedicated to the topic of death and the prospects of life thereafter. Filming of the project occurred shortly after his seventieth birthday, which he was happy to have attained (observed?). I have followed Carlin's career from the days of fuzzy black and white television, and enjoyed his topical record albums.

It is a privilege for ANY Carlin fan to at least see (if not own a copy) of this particular show. He was still fast moving, and with great timing, even at 70! As he would say,,, he is NOT "smiling down from Heaven on you". If he's doing anything at all it's not taking harp lessons; perhaps he's looking up!!!
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It's good for ya' comedy
marimbadaddy22 February 2009
This is unfortunately Carlin's last recorded HBO concert, from a series that lasted over 30 years. Though this may not be his "best" work, it is excellent, funny, and thought provoking. This recording is also a bit different from most of his other concerts that it is a bit lengthier than most of his other concerts.

Throughout his long, prolific, and influential career, Carlin has moved from the more observational humor and fart jokes, towards a more 'humanitarian' viewpoint of society and culture. His focus on the English Language and euphemisms increased throughout the years, and culminates in this performance. Though, I would argue that his audio book "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?" best displays his vast wit with regards to language, euphemisms, and the breakdown of our values. It's Bad For Ya is quite indicative of his long transformation from a comedian to a writer.

If you are offended by foul language or the disparagement of the church, you will probably not like any of Carlin's stand up material. However, if you enjoy being mentally stimulated and can tolerate the language and blasphemy, you would probably greatly enjoy this concert.
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He tells it raw if you like it or not.
deloudelouvain21 August 2018
This was George Carlin's last show and he'll be missed. Maybe not to everyone but to me he will, as to many others that liked his satirical view on society. On his view on religions I couldn't agree more with him, on the need to procreate as much as possible and so put our planet in danger by overpopulation I couldn't agree more with him, on how the whole system is working as they want to control everything you do, as they want you to consume as much as possible I couldn't agree more with him. I'm pretty sure he didn't like humans much as they are the parasites of this planet, and if you think about it you got to say he's right. George Carlin, the satirical comedian that said it raw, that will question anything, he'll be missed.
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The Transformed Man in Comedian's Purgatory (a.k.a. "Heck")
CelluloidRehab20 March 2008
George Carlin is probably my favorite comedian. I have seen so many of his specials and even had the opportunity to see him perform live. He had a certain cynicism that always appealed to me. His last 2 specials (Life is Worth Losing especially and Complaints and Grievances) have lacked a certain spirit and content. George appeared overweight, old and tired (not to mention coming out of rehab). "I SAID NOT TO MENTION IT"! Anyway. Life is Worth Losing was especially tragic as he was overweight, disgruntled, coming off of rehab (there we go again...) and extremely unfunny. If there was a way to feel sorry for a comedian without heckling him off stage, George achieved it with Life is Worth Losing. It is as if the New Millennium and Post 9/11 America was trampling George's spirit. The bs had become too large to manage.

The comeback is partially successful with It's Bad for Ya! This special is the transmutation completed. George is no longer trying to rekindle his glory days. He is in full acceptance of his age, being old and dealing with the looming prospects of death. He has accepted being a crusty old SOB and is relishing in it. This is better than his previous specials, yet far from Jammin' in New York. It is a little tragic. His observations are not cutting edge anymore and seem more Andy Rooney than Lenny Bruce. George isn't George anymore. He is no longer criticizing us but is the man in the high castle pointing out how things were and how dissimilar modern life is.

This is an improvement over the previous two specials, but George does not, as of yet, recoup his old glory (if ever). He has been reduced from critical social and political stinging commentary to mostly personal peeves. When he goes political, he still has something to say. It is heavily derived (especially if you have seen any of his previous work), but it still works somehow, as opposed to his random rantings which lack a certain relevance outside of the baby boom generation. The last 25 minutes is the best this special has to offer.

For now I will worship the Sun and pray to Joe Pesci that George can recreate himself as a cutting edge septuagenarian. It's a 50/50 chance. Life seems to have become more tedious for George and his "art" is now his life. This is a step in the right direction from his previous 2 specials, but is far from his old self. Where does he go from here? He may never recoup but maybe he can further metamorphosing/refine this new ornery old man routine. Heres to hoping for 7 more words you can't say on TV or at least a windmill he can handle.
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Mystified (by high ratings)
elisabethbollman14 December 2019
The best thing about this show was the elaborate authentic recreation of Carlin's (presumably) craftsman era study, including windows, walls with wood molding, etc. I don't know how they did it. The show, however, was Not Funny, but the crowd seemed to love it. We couldn't stand to watch that much of it. It was taped very near to where I live (Santa Rosa, CA), so I guess I'm out of synch with my neighbors. He had been funny years ago...
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jbdjr6424 September 2017
George is a little worn out here, in my opinion. Tired material. Started out OK, really not a good concert. He used to be great. This was lacking. So, IMD notifies me as I attempt to post this that I do not have enough lines. Lol. Just wanted to make a short critique. The funny thing is, this monologue of this is about dead, or elderly people and he is in the category now. Long live the "hippy-dippy weatherman". Rip.
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