An Old Clip Of George Carlin Taking Issue With Comics Who Target ‘Underdogs’ Has Resurfaced In The Wake Of The Chappelle Controversy

An old George Carlin interview has resurfaced in the wake of Dave Chappelle complaining about being canceled (while performing in front of a packed audience) following the backlash to his Netflix special, The Closer. The clip is from 1990, when the legendary comedian appeared on Larry King’s show to discuss Andrew Dice Clay’s sexist and homophobic jokes.

“I would defend to the death his right to do everything he does,” Carlin admitted. But “the thing that I find unusual, and it’s, you know, not a criticism so much, but his targets are underdog[s]. And comedy traditionally has picked on people in power, people who abuse their power. Women and gays and immigrants are kind of, to my way of thinking, underdog[s]. And, you know, he ought to be careful, because he’s Jewish. And a lot of people who want to pick on these kind of groups, the Jews are on that list. A little further you’ve got women, gays, gypsies and boom, boom, boom, and suddenly you find the Jews.” King asked why Dice Clay was able to “get away” with these offensive jokes that target marginalized communities, to which Carlin replied:

“I think his core audience are young, white males who are threatened by these groups. I think a lot of these guys aren’t sure of their manhood, because that’s a problem when you’re going through adolescence. You know, ‘Am I really, could I be, I hope I’m not one of them.’ And the women who assert themselves and are competent are a threat to these men, and so are immigrants in terms of jobs.”

Thirty-plus years later, Carlin’s wise words are still worth hearing: