George Carlin Documentary Premieres on HBO

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A documentary about comedian George Carlin will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on May 20-21, 2022 via HBO Documentary Films. Watch the trailer below.

The two-part film, George Carlin’s American Dream, originally announced in August 2020, is directed by Judd Apatow along with longtime collaborator Michael Bonfiglio. The legendary comedian headlined 14 stand-up comedy specials on HBO over the course of his career. It’s in association with Rise Films and Apatow Productions. Part one debuts on Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT; part two of the film airs on Saturday, May 21, at the same time.

Carlin, born May 12, 1937, was a celebrated stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author, best known for his irreverent, dark comedy and reflections on American society. He has been regarded as one of the most influential stand-up comics of his time. He filmed his first HBO special in 1977 and appeared on The Tonight Show over 130 times.

Watch the trailer for George Carlin’s American Dream

Watch a featurette on the documentary below.

A May 2 announcement notes that the documentary features a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival material including archival films, photos, audio recordings, letters, and diaries and interviews with Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert, Bill Burr, Bette Midler, W. Kamau Bell, Sam Jay, Judy Gold, Jon Stewart, and others. Joining them to share their memories of Carlin are daughter Kelly Carlin, manager Jerry Hamza, second wife Sally Wade, and others.

“George Carlin’s work becomes more relevant every day,” said Apatow in the original Aug. 10, 2020, announcement. “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to tell the story of his life and work.”

In 1972, Carlin was arrested at the annual Summerfest in Milwaukee for saying the “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” He died on June 22, 2008, at the age of 71.

“Having been the public keeper of my dad’s legacy these last 12 years, I’ve dreamt of the right people appearing at the right moment to give the documentary telling of my father’s story what it deserves – an honoring of his comedic genius and unique cultural impact, while not shying away from his personal struggles and humanity,” said Kelly Carlin. “May the comedy gods smile up at us as we endeavor to share my dad’s heart, mind and genius with the world.”

Watch a featurette for the documentary

Watch Carlin do a routine called “Death and Dying” in a 1978 special for HBO

Related: Fellow comedians the Smothers Brothers also defined an era

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  1. v2787
    #1 v2787 21 May, 2022, 13:26

    George Carlin was an absolute genius and a vastly underrated American treasure. His insights are more relevant today than ever. He is sorely missed.

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