July 06

HBO FYC: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM, Directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio

George Carlin’s American Dream is a 2022 two-part documentary film about comedian George Carlin directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio.
Then he discovered drugs. Carlin unpacked his mind, stopped shaving his beard, and changed his act. What “George Carlin’s American Dream” really captures is how much its subject was willing to shift and change, never just to sell tickets but to figure out what mattered to him as an artist. Drugs opened his mind to the world and a true love for semantics would shape the next phase of his career. Carlin loved words. Some of his best bits have the wordplay of poetry or philosophy, and it’s fascinating to see him develop this brand from out of those early variety show days all the way through his HBO masterpieces.

For the first hour or so of “George Carlin’s American Dream,” Apatow and Bonifiglio largely let Carlin speak for himself. He did so many interviews that it’s possible to cut together his own words with home movies, photos, etc., and some of the truly archival clips are stunning. Even fans may not realize how much Carlin tried to “go straight” early in his career, doing traditional suit-and-tie variety shows, clean-shaven and eager to please. Inspired by Danny Kaye as a child, Carlin just wanted to be an entertainer, and he was figuring out exactly how to make that dream come true. WATCH NOW AT