Final Works and beyond (2006-present)
"I'm always thinking of new shit. I have two more HBO shows I'd like to do. Then I have a Broadway idea about a stage-struck kid in Manhattan, namely me, who was on his own because his mother had to work. He had the run of the island. I'd love to do that. Then there's a fourth book coming. That will be more specialized ranting and raving about America and its government and crazy fucking people. And then you do today's work. Today's work always comes first."
- George Carlin, October 2005 Playboy interview
Includes all of the following:
- Brain Droppings
- Napalm & Silly Putty
- When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?
- BONUS: 31 pages of extra material
3 x Carlin: An Orgy of George (2006)
Hyperion Publishing. Released October 31, 2006. 890 pages.
This book compiles every page of the books Brain Droppings, Napalm & Silly Putty and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? into a single volume, in that order.
The book ends with an additional 31 pages of previously unreleased writings. The first half of this is a series of routines he later incorporated into Life Is Worth Losing. The rest consists of a 3-part piece called "The Sensitive Physician", followed by "Celebrity Crystal Ball" (similar in style to "Celebrity Predictions" from Sometimes a Little Brain Damage Can Help), "Idea Flow" (which also previously appeared in Sometimes a Little Brain Damage Can Help), and a long piece called "Keep It Off the News" on various types of news pieces which shouldn't be considered news.
I see the book going for under $8 these days on Amazon.com, which is an absolute steal. If you don't own any of Carlin's books, just get this mega-volume.
Includes the following titles:
- On Location
- George Carlin: Again!
- Carlin at Carnegie
- Carlin on Campus
- Playin' With Your Head
- What Am I Doing In New Jersey?
- Doin' It Again
- Jammin' In New York
- Back In Town
- You Are All Diseased
- Complaints and Grievances
- Life is Worth Losing
- BONUS: "George on George" interview
- BONUS: Exclusive Carlin audio interview, April 2007
All My Stuff (2007)
DVD box set
This 14-disc DVD box set includes all of Carlin's HBO specials, with the exceptions of the 40 Years of Comedy special (which I've never seen released in any form), and It's Bad For Ya (which is understandable, since it hadn't been made yet).
Also included are the George on George interview which had been originally made for the 2003 Completely Carlin box set, plus an exclusive 75-minute audio conversation with Carlin taped in April 2007 as part of the XM Radio Artist Confidential Series.
I must confess, I don't own this. I decided not to buy it because I already own 13 of the 14 discs separately. Being the completist that I am though, I may just break down and buy it some day. In any case, this is a great purchase if you own little to no Carlin on DVD. As expected, it's cheaper to buy the whole set instead of buying the titles individually. Even if you have both The George Carlin Collection and Completely Carlin, you'd still be missing a few titles which are included here.
Both the DVD chapters and CD tracks have the titles and quantity. So here's a list of both. The first time is the length of the CD track, and the second time is the length of the DVD chapter.
- Opening [1:30] [2:02]
- Old Fuck [3:45] [3:56]
- Goin' Through My Address Book [2:52] [2:54]
- Things We Say When People Die [2:36] [2:37]
- He's Smiling Down [2:11] [1:58]
- Parents in Hell [1:08] [1:23]
- People Refuse to Be Realistic [1:10] [1:08]
- Dead Parents Helping [3:59] [4:06]
- A Couple of Other Questions [1:04] [1:06]
- Today's Professional Parents [5:48] [5:47]
- The Self-Esteem Movement [1:16] [1:15]
- Every Child Is Special [1:42] [1:47]
- Children Are Our Future [0:39] [0:39]
- Raisin' a Child Is Not Difficult [0:42] [0:42]
- I Like People [0:51] [0:33]
- Stupid Bullshit [3:12] [3:39]
- Stupid Bullshit on the Phone [2:33] [2:41]
- What a Phone Call Should Be [0:54] [0:59]
- In a Coma [0:49] [0:50]
- Their Kids! [1:09] [2:52]
- They Want to Show You the Pictures [4:29] [3:03]
- Just Enough Bullshit [1:33] [1:00]
- No One Questions Things [2:55] [3:26]
- Proud to Be an American [1:47] [1:56]
- God Bless America [2:59] [2:59]
- Takin' Off Yer Hat [3:04] [3:03]
- Swearing on the Bible [4:23] [4:12]
- You Have No Rights [5:14] [6:06]
It's Bad for Ya (2008)
Album and HBO special
Recorded March 1, 2008. Released July 29, 2008.
Engineered by Don Worsham. Mastered by Greg Calbi, Sterling Sound, NY. Art Direction by Jim Rasfeld. Cover Photo by Bob Sebree. Additional Photos by Janet Van Ham.
Eardrum Records / Laugh.com / Fontana Distribution
This was Carlin's final HBO special. It was recorded on March 1, 2008. Carlin passed away on June 22, 2008 (and to think, I had tickets to see him in July). The album was finally released on July 29, 2008. It won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2009.
Curiously enough, some of the routines include the topics of death and superstitions about the afterlife.
The Zippy quote that appeared in the liner notes of What Am I Doing In New Jersey? also appears on the back of this CD.
Last Words (2009)
Book. Carlin biography by George Carlin and Tony Hendra.
Free Press publishing. ISBN: 1-4391-7295-1
Audio book published by Simon & Schuster (5 CDs, 6 hours)
For a long time, Carlin had been writing parts of his autobiography. When Carlin passed away, Tony Hendra edited and completed the autobiography and released it as Last Words. An abridged, 5-disc audio book was also released, read by George's older brother Patrick Carlin.
Considering how often I quote the book on this website, what else can I say?
The Very Best of (2010)
DVD compilation series, 4 discs per set
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
ASINs: B0037B2WL4, B0037B2WNW, B0037B2WT6
As I've said before, Carlin doesn't seem to be too well-known outside of the US. There have however been a few non-US pressings of his stuff, particularly DVDs in Region 2 / PAL format. These include three "Very Best of" DVD sets, released in 2010. Each set contains 4 of his past HBO specials, one per disc.
- The Very Best of: 1977-1984
- On Location: George Carlin at USC
- George Carlin: Again!
- Carlin at Carnegie
- Carlin on Campus
- The Very Best of: 1986-1992
- Playin' With Your Head
- What Am I Doing in New Jersey?
- Doin' It Again
- Live at the Paramount (same as Jammin' In New York)
- The Very Best of: 1996-2001
- George Carlin: Back in Town
- You Are All Diseased
- Complaints and Grievances
- Personal Favorites
Note that his later HBO specials, Life is Worth Losing and It's Bad For Ya, got their own separate Region 2 / PAL releases on DVD.
The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade (2011)
This is an illustrated memoir by Sally Wade, Carlin's lover for the last ten years of his life. It's a collection of writings and artwork that Carlin had made personally for Wade over the years, which makes up about 1/3 of the book. Throughout the rest of the book, Wade writes about the last ten years of their relationship together.
I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die. (2016)
Album (CD, vinyl, and digital download)
Posthumous compilation. Released September 16, 2016.
Eardrum Records GC-5701, Distributed by MPI Media Group
Produced by Jerry Hamza, Kelly Carlin & Logan Heftel
Cover photo by Dan Dion
Liner notes by Lewis Black
- [Side A] Boston Rant 1957 [5:36]
- [Side A] Rats and Squealers [6:58]
- [Side A] Cocaine [0:27]
- [Side A] The Fecal Differential [3:12]
- [Side B] Tired of Songs [3:23]
- [Side B] The First Enema [5:26]
- [Side B] Uncle Dave [9:52]
- [Bonus] Jerry Hamza Interview [7:58]
- [Bonus] Rocca Urbisci Interview [4:55]
- [Bonus] I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die 6-23-2001 (Original Ending) [8:38]
"I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die" was the original working title of Carlin's 12th HBO special, to be recorded in New York that November, 2001. It was also the title of the closing routine he had originally planned for that performance. However, after the events of September 11th, Carlin made the decision to drop the routine from the set, add some new material, and rework everything into what finally became his actual 2001 HBO special, "Complaints and Grievances".
The dropped routine itself, "I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die", was eventually reworked several years later into "Coast-to-Coast Emergency", the closing track of his 2006 HBO special, "Life Is Worth Losing". As Carlin said in his biography Last Words, "I honed it all that time [since 1999] and it evolved into a complex catastrophe leaving millions dead in every possible kind of disaster, unfolding across the continent, disrupting the laws of nature, full of a kind of grisly poetry, a real tour de force, along the lines of 'The Planet Is Fine', but darker and madder." He adds that after 9/11, "Osama bin fucking Laden hadn't just blown up the World Trade Center. He'd blown up the best piece I'd written in ten years. I'm a realist. We changed the name of the show to Complaints and Grievances. [...] Hard-core fans were probably hoping I'd do something about 9/11. I did mention it -- the elephant in the living room no one was talking about -- which got a kind of hopeful laugh. But I left it at that and kept the focus on strong observational stuff [...] But there was a hole in the show the size of Ground Zero."
This 2016 release is not a complete recording of the original show he had planned. Rather, it's a compilation of essentially unreleased material, sourced from cassette tapes in Carlin's personal archives. The first track is from his early home recordings, at the age of 20. This was while he was still working with NBC Radio WEZE in Boston as a board announcer. He rants about police and fireman, and argues about individualism. I was surprised he had these rants in him as far back as 1957; they sound much more like the sort of thoughts he'd have 15 years later, long after deciding to quit doing safe comedy for television and developing his more controversial routines.
Tracks 8 and 9 are new anecdotal "interviews" with two people who knew and worked with Carlin, sharing some stories about him. The rest of the tracks are, of course, various live recordings from 2001, including the aforementioned title track (recorded June 23rd, 2001) and other miscellaneous tracks which never wound up on any other official released albums or HBO specials, recorded Sept 9-10, 2001, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I remember hearing some of these when I saw him live in the early 2000s ("The Fecal Differential", "Tired of Songs", "The First Enema", the last of these also having wound up in one of his books). "Uncle Dave" is essentially another variation of the title routine, and much closer to what became "Coast-to-Coast Emergency".
The CD sleeve contains a short essay by Lewis Black, along with a collage of pictures, and a couple of hand-written notes from George Carlin. One of these notes reads, "Everything should be open to examination. Everything should be open to questioning." The other reads, "A REMINDER: After they have 'cleaned up' the content of artistic expression, they will begin to 'clean up' the content of political expression. Maybe then we'll become concerned. -ART *IS* POLITICS- -RESIST THE EROSION OF OUR RIGHTS- -George Carlin".
Commemorative Collection (2018)
Box Set (DVD, Blu-Ray, CD)
Released June 12, 2018
The George Carlin Commemorative Collection is a 10-disc set. It includes all of Carlin's "HBO Stuff" along with "Extra Bonus Stuff". More specifically, you'll find:
- Discs 1 through 5 (DVD): All 14 of Carlin's HBO specials. What's especially notable about this is that it includes the 1997 George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy special, which had aired on HBO but had never been released on a home video format before. Nope, not even the "All My Stuff" DVD box set had this!
- Discs 6, 7, 8 (DVD): These include various unreleased performances.
- George Carlin's apperance from CBS Talent Scouts (1963). This is a short performance of his for television. Carlin mostly does some celebrity impersonations.
- Carlin at The Hollywood Palace (1966-67). Jimmy Durante introduces Carlin.
- Carlin on The Jackie Gleason Show (January 25, 1969). Jackie Gleason himself introduces Carlin.
- The Real George Carlin (1973). This was the one and only George Carlin mainstream network special. Carlin does some public live performances near his old New York neighborhood, mixed in with live music performances from Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and B.B. King. Carlin's material includes routines heard on albums like Class Clown and Occupation: Foole. Given that this was made for network TV, the material is pretty much "clean".
- Apt 2-C, the unaired pilot for the 1985 HBO series that never happened. Finally released!!!
- George Carlin Personal Favorites, a 1996 compilation that had shown up on the "George Carlin Collection" DVD box set.
- George Carlin Appearance from the Comedy Store (1999). This footage was collected from two shows Carlin performed on January 9, 1999 in the Main Room at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, recorded for personal use. This was about a month before the live performance of You Are All Disease. Not surprising, the show's material is very close to what became You Are All Diseased, though fellow Carlin fans may notice some of the different wording here and there in these earlier drafts. Also, there are a couple of routines in here that he had performed on tour (and I heard myself at some of the other live shows I attended) but never wound up on any of his albums or HBO specials, or even his books.
- George's Best Stuff, another compilation of clips which had appeared in the Completely Carlin DVD box set.
- George on George (2003). This interview was originally released as a bonus DVD in the "Completely Carlin" set.
- George Carlin Appearance from The Comedy & Magic Club (2006). This club in Hermosa Beach, CA was one of the few that Carlin would perform at when not touring. The nights of June 6 and June 13 were advertised as "Workshops", where Carlin tries out some new material. These were some of his first shows following "Life Is Worth Losing".
- George Carlin: Too Hip for the Room (December 17, 2007). This is an abridged version of the 3-hour interview he did for the Archive of American Television.
- Disc 9 (CD): An audio CD of the 2016 posthumous release album, I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die.
- Disc 10 (Blu-Ray): The final two HBO specials, Life is Worth Losing and It's Bad For Ya. These are already included on disc 5 in DVD format, but they're additionally included here on Blu-Ray.
Also included in this collection is a 20"x28" poster of the front cover, and a booklet. The booklet includes descriptions of the discs, 10 different photos of Carlin, and an essay by comedian Patton Oswalt. The heart attack routine which starts "Carlin at Carnegie" is mistakenly referred to as being from "Carlin on Campus". The quotation about the duty of the comedian to "cross [the line] deliberately" is here, but as mentioned here on GeorgeCarlin.net's bogus quotes page, it's not clear if this is something he ever said. A second quotation appears near the end of the book, which we do know is authentic because it appears in his book Napalm & Silly Putty ("I think I am, therefore, I am. I think.").
A New York Boy (unreleased)
In Last Words, Carlin says "I have a Broadway idea about a stage-struck kid in Manhattan, namely me, who was on his own because his mother had to work. He had the run of the island." It was one of Carlin's planned projects that he never got to do. Around 2010, it was reported that Tony Hendra was going to release what was written of it. Some entries on Amazon.com and the like were even made for it. I haven't heard much of anything else about it, though. It seems to have remained unreleased.