Analysis Of George Carlin's 'It's Bad For Ya !'

Good Essays
Peter Ustinov, an English actor, had once said that “comedy is simply a funny way of being serious” (goodreads.com). Comedy is often utilized as a sort of crutch and platform to highlight issues- be it people’s problems, the insane global climate, or to express the absurdity of it all. Great comedians always have a point to make, and George Carlin makes a point to castigate the custom of offering help after the death of someone and the concept of human rights. In George Carlin’s special, “It’s Bad for Ya!”, he utilizes the rhetorical situation, dark humor, and satire to entertain his audience.
In analyzing “It’s Bad for Ya!”, understanding the rhetorical situation makes Carlin’s stand-up routine that much funnier. His content covers politics
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When working with dark humor, a comedian will not hesitate to mock the taboo to get a rise out of their audience. Perhaps by laughing at things that are not supposed to be funny makes it even funnier, or that people open up about sociably unmentionable topics when people joke about it. Regardless, in the segment “Things We Say When People Die,” Carlin does not hesitate to mock people’s attempt at sympathy or bewilderment when someone dies in his successful rendition of using black comedy. He opens up by saying “there are things we say when someone dies. Most of us say a lot of us, do things we say that no one ever questions. They just kind of go unexamined” (n.p). He goes on with his anecdote in which someone tells a widow that if they needed anything, the widower should not hesitate to ask. Carlin scoffs a remark to his own anecdote: “’Oh fine why don't you come over this weekend, you can paint the garage. Bring your plunger- the upstairs toilet overflowed and there's shit all over the floor up there’” (n.p)! By poking fun at this well-meaning custom, it emphasizes that those are really just words of comfort, not an actual promise. He finishes his rant and makes his point that offering help is just something nice to say: “He wants to help? Fuck him, call his bluff! Call his bluff! ‘Don't hesitate to ask’- the nerve of these pricks” (n.p)! His anecdote of …show more content…
In performing in front of a live audience, Carlin had to be skilled in utilizing devices of satire to be funny. In his arsenal of jokes, he tends to make sarcastic quips, as well as over-exaggerates for effect. For example, in his “"You Have No Rights" segment, he satirizes the American idea of having human rights. He criticizes this concept not only by claiming that rights aren’t real, but that “they’re a cute idea” (n.p). He had even stated his social contempt in his special by going as far as saying that “all we've ever had in this country is a bill of temporary privileges” (n.p). By playing with the emotions and pride of Americans by outright stating that the United States, and by extension the rest of the world, has a mere façade of given liberties, he delivers a very effective critique of the concept of human rights. His use of satire, which includes over-exaggeration and sarcasm, mocks the sensitive beliefs of millions of people, yet he delivers a clear

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