Leading up to his death, George Carlin was working on an autobiography. Thankfully, that book was completed and saw the light of day. It’s appropriately named Last Words. Read on for my review of George’s last book.
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.
If you’ve read my other articles and reviews about George Carlin, then you know he’s my all-time favorite comedian and that he had a huge influence on my life. I remember reading the hardback version of this book when it came out and being so happy that it was released. Listening back to the audiobook via Downpour, all these years later, it still brings a smile to my face.
This audiobook starts off with Kelly Carlin (George’s daughter) interviewing Tony Hendra. He explains how this book came about, including what went into creating it, George’s original plans for the release, and more. It was very enlightening.
This audiobook is narrated by George’s brother Patrick, who has a gravely voice that is reminiscent of the comedian’s. I couldn’t think of a better person to read about George’s life than someone who shared it with him. It makes for a meaningful and intimate listening experience.
Last Words by George Carlin is a great read. I highly recommended it to fans of George, those who enjoy autobiographies, and anyone looking for a humorous, insightful examination of one of the most important lives ever to be lived.