If they were to make a Mt. Rushmore for stand-up comedians George Carlin’s head would be on it. There’s not much debate about that from the comedy community. When it comes to influence, there are few that could be argued as being more influential than Carlin as well. While biopics have been made about influential comedians before, one has never been made about George Carlin and The Jackal Group is setting out to change that.
The Jackal Group announced earlier this week that it had acquired the film rights to George Carlin from his estate. The film will be produced by TJG’s CEO/Chairman Gail Berman and its President Joe Early. Additionally Stan Cervin is attached as a writer and producer, Cervin earned an Academy Award for his screenplay for the film, Moneyball. Other producers include former agent Bruce Kaufman and longtime manager/executor of the Carlin estate, Jerry Hamza.
“We are honored to tell the story of one of the most important and influential comedians of all time, and to do so alongside those who knew him best,” said Berman and Earley in a statement. “In addition to shaping comedy and culture for decades, and entertaining generations of audiences, Carlin’s battle to protect free speech continues to impact our daily lives and is as relevant as ever.”
Hamza added, “I’m very excited to be involved with a film based on George’s life. It was wasn’t until after George died, I realized he was a hero. As a performer, George would never ‘sell out,’ and never comprise his beliefs – I learned so much from him. I think the public will be very happy to learn about George’s life. He was truly the top of the ladder in his field.”
It’s been 10 years since George Carlin passed away, but his legacy only seems to have grown as a pioneer and trailblazer in the world of stand-up comedy. Over the course of his career he’s earned 5 Grammys and 11 nominations for his 20 comedy albums. Additionally he released 16 HBO comedy specials and released 6 books. He’s also starred in movies and TV and his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” bit one of the most popular in stand-up comedy. In 2002, he received the Freedom of Speech Award from the First Amendment Center, and shortly after his death, he was posthumously awarded The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
It’s super early in the process, so no actors/actresses have been connected for the film, nor is it yet known when and what format the film will be released. But when there are updates, we’ll all be pretty jazzed about it.