I’m a fan of George Carlin. I own Brain Droppings, read Napalm and Silly Putty, and have quite a few mp3s of his audio material. “7 Words You Can’t Say On Television” is a classic, pure and simple. That being said, when I cracked open When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops, I expected largely the same calibre material. I was disappointed.
Carlin’s books have never been cohesive. At best, they’re small, rambling modules about something that irks Carlin. The funniest and most pervasive of his subjects tends to be language, and he deconstructs euphemistic language and strange verbal idiosyncrasies (“pre-boarding” comes to mind, as does “shellshock → battle fatigue → operational exhaustion → post-traumatic stress disorder”). In When Will Jesus…, Carlin seems to have excised much of the vitriol (there’s still plenty) and replaced it with a lot more puns, most of them stretched across paragraphs, and many of them not particularly funny, seeming to serve as vehicles for Carlin to use naughty words. I’m not opposed to naughty words in the slightest, but only when they’re funny.
It was a chore to read all 320 pages of this book. By halfway through, I got tired of the many pointless passages. The funny parts were too few and far between to keep the book interesting and worthwhile. If you like Carlin, listen to his older stuff, and reading Brain Droppings: it’s funnier and more consistent material.