Ir has been confirmed that director Judd Apatow will helm a new documentary for HBO exploring the life of comedian George Carlin.
The stand-up comedian and actor, regarded by many as one of the most influential in the history of the art, was once labelled “the dean of counterculture comedians” as his famous dark sense of humour led him down paths into politics, religion and societal commentary.
Apatow Productions has teamed up with HBO Documentary Films and Rise Films to create a two-part documentary which will use archival HBO footage taken from Carlin’s prolific relationship with the television network.
“A celebrated stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author, was best known for his irreverent, dark comedy and reflections on American society,” a description from HBO reads. “Carlin was once dubbed ‘the dean of counterculture comedians’ and has been regarded as one of the most influential stand-up comics of his time.”
Reflectin on his decision to take on the project, Apatow said: “George Carlin’s work becomes more relevant every day,” in a statement. “It is an honour to be given the opportunity to tell the story of his life and work,” he added.
Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, admitted she is delighted at the documentary effort: “Having been the public keeper of my dad’s legacy these last 12 years, I’ve dreamt of the right people appearing at the right moment to give the documentary telling of my father’s story what it deserves – an honouring of his comedic genius and unique cultural impact, while not shying away from his personal struggles and humanity,” she said in a statement.
“I’m thrilled that Jerry Hamza and I have teamed up with Judd Apatow, Michael Bonfiglio and Teddy Leifer to make it happen now. May the comedy gods smile up at us as we endeavour to share my dad’s heart, mind and genius with the world.”
“It’s a great honour to be producing a film about George Carlin, a giant figure in comedy,” said executive producer Teddy Leifer. “The sting of his words is as sharp now as when he was on stage. Carlin is the comedian’s comedian who mastered his craft and shaped American counterculture such that he paved the way for a generation of comics that followed. I’m thrilled that we will once again be working with our wonderful colleagues at HBO and that Judd Apatow, another comedy giant, is directing.”
Executive producer Jerry Hamza added: “George Carlin had a string of very successful comedy albums in the first half of the seventies. When they ran out of gas, George needed a place that would accept his language and fuel his career. HBO gave George a stage where his language was unrestricted, and his comic genius was presented to millions.”