Michael Jackson was, of course, one of my cultural heroes, but notoriously a punching bag, seemingly incapable of ever fighting back against those who taunted and tormented him.
George Carlin, right, was another one of my esteemed art warriors, but 180 degrees away from Jackson in temperment, ripping new holes into targets at will. (Carlin died in June 2008; Jackson passed almost exactly a year later, in June 2009.)
So, when I heard that Carlin had once recorded a short statement about why Jackson was the greatest entertainer ever, “bar none,” needless to say, I was expecting a harsh, satirical assassination, given his notoriously acidic tongue and ribald takes on human folly.
Instead, the results, though scarcely a minute in length, and profane–audio NSFW, kiddies–are also profound. Carlin not only defends and hails Jackson, but he takes carefully considered aim at sacred American heroes, like Elvis and Sinatra, to make his point.
In honor of the recent, posthumous release of Carlin’s autobiography, Last Words, co-authored with Tony Hendra, above, I give you the Man…and the Man in the Mirror.