Free Press, Paperback, 9781439191101, 294pp.
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
One of the undisputed heavyweight champions of American comedy, with nineteen appearances on the Johnny Carson show, thirteen HBO specials, five Grammys, and a critical Supreme Court battle over censorship under his belt, George Carlin saw it all throughout his extraordinary fifty-year career, and made fun of most of it. "Last Words "is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acerbic humor with never-before-told stories from his own life, including encounters with a Who's Who of 1970s celebrity--from Lenny Bruce to Hugh Hefner--and the origins of some of his most famous standup routines. Carlin's early conflicts, his long struggle with substance abuse, his turbulent relationships with his family, and his triumphs over catastrophic setbacks all fueled the unique comedic worldview he brought to the stage. From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, "Last Words "is told with the same razor-sharp wit and unblinking honesty that made Carlin one of the best-loved comedians in American history.
Tony Hendra attended Cambridge University, where he performed frequently with friends and future Monty Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman. He was editor in chief of "Spy", an original editor of "National Lampoon", and he played Ian Faith in "This Is Spinal Tap". He has written frequently for "New York", "Harper s", "GQ, Vanity Fair", "Men s ""Journal", and "Esquire". "Father Joe "was a "New York Times "bestseller. He lives in New York.
"Last Words, a posthumous autobiography from George Carlin, is a jazzy, inward-looking piece of work...as a chronicler of the working of his own mind, Carlin is terrific."
-- The New York Times
"...what "Last Words" ultimately reveals is how Carlin became a political protester, slam poet, cynic, polemicist and performance artist whose messages were delivered under the veneer of humor."
"The book is at turns biting and touching, and often both, which is what you would expect from a man for whom the sacred was profane and the profane, sacred."
"...frank and insightful..."
"This is not a collection of setups and punch lines, but a candid, fearless accounting of his life and art...Last Words shows a comic master at the height of his storytelling powers and with no limit to what he had left to say."
"For comedy fans, this book is vital. It's easily worth its weight in gold for the biting observations on showbiz and its personalities."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"[Last Words] sounds as if he is still with us, rested and ready to ridicule the latest cultural hypocrisies."
--The Washington Times
"Seven particular words are associated with the late comedian George Carlin, and sentimental is not one of them. But that's the surprising portrait that emerges from Last Words."