Monday, June 23, 2008

#11 Sunday Sundries*

Worst of the Week: George Carlin dies at 71. Watched him and laughed since his Ed Sullivan days as the Hippy-Dippy Weatherman and faux newscaster: "Mathematicians have just discovered a new number between 4 and 5; it will be called bleen." In later, edgier, stand-up form he hosted the very first SatNiteLive in 1975, a program shared by soon-to-be legendary Andy Kaufman miming to Mighty Mouse's "HERE I come to save the DAY." (Past-bedtime eldest son and I took a chance on this first show, in what easily became a family tradition.)

Carlin, based on his last HBO gig, was only getting better, edgier, and darkerer in his dotage. A great loss in that respect. By contrast, Kaufman left us his early-death legacy (sangfroid alert) at just about the right time. Unlike Carlin's more subversive-funny assault on conventional sensibilities, Kaufman's was simply and insanely EXPLOSIVE--just had to burn itself out, as it did latterly in the Latke character in Taxi and the "wrestlemania" thing mania. Good news, though: Carlin can be retrieved almost anytime, and the late-night week-end resource for a little happy laughter that he kicked off is still alive after 30plus years!

Best of the Week
: the Obama Bump and six brand-new pairs of premium Gold Toe socks.
(*A day late? Hey, I don't know how YOU interpret the masthead of this daily rag, but it means simply that I produce copy during daylight hours only. Which reminds me of another "edgy" comic, Steven Wright, who drove into a 24-hour convenience store and found it closed: "So the owner pulls up. I ask him, 'The sign says, OPEN 24 HOURS.' He says, 'But not in a ROW'!"

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