George Carlin : Thought Leader

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Misplaced faith can ruin an industry just like misplaced laughs can ruin comedy.

George Carlin packages his routine into essay-style rants. While he occasionally injects a one-liner to keep the joke lively, the real humor is his thesis. Yet, some people crack-up after every line whether he tells a joke or not.

Unfamiliar? Watch this. (If you listen carefully, you can hear scattered laughter between clauses.)

Consensus says George Carlin is funny. So, the theory goes, if he’s performing than everything must be funny.

Good comedians use feedback to evaluate their material. Poor George Carlin doesn’t get the luxury of an “honest” response. Consequently, his work deteriorates and his comedy becomes less funny.

Likewise, as “thought leaders” (I hate that term) gain larger followings, their cheerleaders become more vocal. Consequently, they hear less useful feedback and their whole world deteriorates.

I’m starting to wonder if tech thought leaders and their followers are getting too loud.

More: George Carlin – Religion is Bullshit, George Carlin – Pro-life is Anti-Woman

Personal Notes:

When I saw George Carlin live a few years back, I sat in front of two women who giggled uncontrollably after every sentence. I turned around to scoff at them, but then I noticed others throughout the audience were also laughing out of turn.

It didn’t seem to matter what he was saying: they laughed at everything. It bothered me. And, I’m pretty sure it bothered him.

I was in the third row.

Also, I used to watch Leo Laporte on the Screen Savers, every night, for years. Infinite respect to him, but I’m wondering if it’s time for a changing of the guard.

Article edited since posting for clarity.

Recruiting Animal
Recruiting Animal

I used to find George Carlin funny when I was a little kid and he had short, greased back hair.

Later I found him sanctimonious.

I saw George Carlin at O'Keefe Centre in Toronto. The opening act was the Modern Jazz Quartet. They were not at all appropriate for the rockers who went to see Carlin so a large part of the audience just walked out when they started to play.

Carlin made a big speech scolding everybody for not respecting a respected ensemble.

I thought it was rude too but looking back if Carlin was so irreverent he should have scolded the promoters for sticking the audience with an obviously misplaced


Some thought leader

Tina Russell
Tina Russell

I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

Tina Russell


  1. […] You are not the squeaky wheel that complains about every small problem, because you understand that sometimes, things are broken. But when injustice place the world in a dark shadow, when people around you see hopelessness, when nothing can be done, you will raise your voice. You will rise up and fight. You will lead the way. […]