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Complaints & Grievances

George Carlin

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Album Review

George Carlin's post-hippie standup boils down to two formulas: Either he is providing biting cynicism about sociopolitical demagoguery or he is making urbane, possibly even mundane observations about everyday life and pointing out the bizarre inconsistencies of it all. On Complaints and Grievances, the audio version of Carlin's HBO special of November 2001, he is hitting on all cylinders on both counts. Some might wonder why Carlin, as a native of the area and performing in New York City so soon after the World Trade Center attacks, didn't do more than a couple of cursory minutes about it, but that is his MO. Even when being topical, the comedian always seems to realize that good comedy needs to be timeless, and even the few remarks about the ridiculousness of statements like "Don't let the terrorists win" can be listened to years later without needing a sense of nostalgia to appreciate it. Some of the routine gets a bit too silly, such as "You & Me (Things That Come off of Your Body)," which is Carlin's way to root out the squeamish, a ploy of his going back to the Class Clown days. However, like any good George Carlin performance, it contains one certifiable classic where he manages to roll all of his best observations into an irreverent, yet thoughtful monologue, and that would be disc-closer "Why We Don't Need the Ten Commandments," seven minutes of Carlin at his caustic best. ~ Brian O'Neill, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Everything explained...

If there was ONE comedy album that explains what's important in life this would be it. Nothing else matters. Upon a post 9/11 world, everything turned upside down. But Carlin here is still the same. Within moments he proves there are better things to talk about other than terroist attacks, through comedy. Simply put it was just good timing when this comedy act debuted. 'Nuff Said.

Sorry, but...

I consider myself to be a huge Carlin fan. However, I don`t like his material from the last ten-fifteen years of his life. I found him to be ranting and extremely angry. I prefer these albums: A Place For My Stuff, Carlin On Campus, Playin`With Your Head, An Evening With Wally Lando and Class Clown. These albums are funny, clever and topical... minus the extreme anger. (The Ten Commandments segment, found on this album is one of my favorites, but I`m not sure what year he started performing it.)


For some reason, the NAS-Holes track cuts out for no reason and carries on. Great album, don't pay for the whole thing, because you won't get it.


Born: May 12, 1937 in New York, NY

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Famed for his landmark "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" routine, George Carlin filled the void created by the death of Lenny Bruce, honing a provocative, scathing comic style that bravely explored the limits of free speech and good taste. George Dennis Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, in New York City. While serving a stint in the military, he was stationed in Shreveport, LA, where he began working as a disc jockey; after working with fellow radio personality Jack Burns on a Shreveport...
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