Book Review: When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (George Carlin)

Book Review: When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (George Carlin)

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin

George Carlin

George Carlin in 1975, photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

George Carlin was absolutely one of my favorite comedians. Loved his stand up specials, his books, his CDs, his way of delivering and talking and just his cadence and his tone and topics. He had a relevance and a viewpoint of the world that was both cynical as well as relatable. “A thinking man’s comic” – he was intelligent, and used it to make comedy. This wasn’t stupid comedy (Git R Done) or the like, this was linguistic, philosophic, political, sociological approaches to things with humor as the baseline. He ushered in a wave of “philosopher comedians” in the sense that, this is what Socrates could have been like if he was alive in the 1980s or 1990s.

From Wikipedia:

George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic. Regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time, he was dubbed “the dean of counterculture comedians”. He was known for his dark comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and taboo subjects.

Carlin was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era and hosted the first episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975. The first of Carlin’s 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO was filmed in 1977, broadcast as George Carlin at USC. From the late 1980s onwards, his routines focused on sociocultural criticism of American society. He often commented on American political issues and satirized American culture. His “seven dirty words” routine was central to the 1978 United States Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government’s power to censor indecent material on public airwaves.

Carlin released his first solo album, Take-Offs and Put-Ons, in 1966. He went on to receive five Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album, winning for FM & AM (1972), Jammin’ in New York (1992), Brain Droppings (2001), Napalm & Silly Putty (2002), and It’s Bad for Ya (2008). The latter was his final comedy special, which was filmed less than four months before his death from cardiac failure.

Carlin co-created and starred in the Fox sitcom The George Carlin Show (1994–1995). He is also known for his film performances in Car Wash (1976), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), The Prince of Tides (1991), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), Scary Movie 3 (2003), and Jersey Girl (2004). He also had voice roles as Zugor in Tarzan II, Fillmore in Cars (2006), and as Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station, as well as narrating the American dubs of Thomas & Friends.

Carlin was posthumously awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2008. He placed second on Comedy Central‘s list of top 10 American comedians in 2004,[1] while Rolling Stone magazine ranked him second on its list of the 50 best stand-up comedians of all time in 2017, in both cases behind Richard Pryor.[2]

George Carlin – Wikipedia

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? – GoodReads Blurb

From GoodReads, the ‘back of the book’ blurb on When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?:

On the heels of George Carlin’s #1 New York Times bestseller Napalm & Silly Putty comes When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? — infused with Carlin’s trademark irreverent humor and biting cultural observations.

Here we go again . . . George Carlin’s hilarious When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? offers his cutting-edge opinions and observational humor on everything from evasive euphemistic language to politicians to the media to dead people. Nothing and no one is safe!

Despite the current climate of political correctness, Carlin is not afraid to take on controversial

The thinking person’s comic who uses words as weapons, Carlin puts voice to issues that capture the modern imagination. For instance, why are there Ten Commandments? Are UFOs real? What will the future really be like? This brand-new collection tackles all that and more.

In When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? Carlin’s razor-sharp observations demolish everyday values and leave you laughing out loud–delivering exactly what his countless fans have been waiting for.

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? – GoodReads

Book Review: When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

George Carlin’s “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” is a provocative, irreverent, and deeply humorous book that encapsulates the legendary comedian’s unique ability to challenge societal norms while making his audience laugh out loud. This book, which was published in 2004, continues Carlin’s tradition of razor-sharp social commentary, cleverly packaged in a series of essays and observations on American life, language, politics, and the human condition.

Carlin’s style is distinctive and unapologetically blunt. Through his incisive wit, he explores a wide array of topics, from linguistic quirks to political correctness, to the failings of human behaviors and societal structures. Carlin’s criticism is not reserved for any single group; he freely dispenses his scathing insights across the entire spectrum of social and political life.

The book’s title itself is an example of Carlin’s approach, satirically questioning religious sensitivities and cultural taboos. This sets the tone for the entire text, which is a roller coaster ride through Carlin’s irrepressible musings. His ability to link commonplace observations with profound insights is remarkable, making readers laugh while simultaneously prompting them to think critically about the absurdities of everyday life.

However, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” may not be for everyone. Carlin’s humor is often dark and involves a heavy dose of cynicism. Those sensitive to criticism of societal norms and values, particularly around religion and politics, might find his jokes too harsh or offensive. Nonetheless, for fans of Carlin’s brand of humor and new readers with an appetite for critical thought and a tolerance for edgy comedy, this book is a treasure trove of laughs and unexpected wisdom.

From a literary standpoint, Carlin’s work in this book is a seamless continuation of his performances on stage. It’s as if one is reading his stand-up routine, with the added benefit of being able to pause, reflect, and dive back in for more. His mastery of language is evident; he plays with words in a way that is both artful and accessible, ensuring that his messages are not lost in the comedy.

In conclusion, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” is an excellent example of George Carlin’s enduring legacy as a comedian and social commentator. It is a testament to his brilliant mind and his courage to speak boldly on issues many shy away from. The book is a compelling read for those who appreciate humor that is not only entertaining but also intellectually stimulating and provocatively enlightening. For those who enjoy a deep dive into the quirks of human society with no topic off-limits, Carlin’s book is a must-read.

My GoodReads Rating: ****
My LibraryThing Rating: ****
Global Average GoodReads Rating: 3.89 (as of 2.21.24)

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