The HBO two-part documentary, George Carlin’s American Dream, chronicles the life and work of legendary comedian George Carlin.
Directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, the documentary will debut on HBO on back-to-back nights. Part 1 debuts Friday, May 20 (8:00-9:55 p.m. ET/PT) with part 2 debuting Saturday, May 21 at the same time. Both episodes will be available to stream on HBO Max beginning Friday, May 20.
Dubbed the “dean of counterculture comedians,” Carlin’s career spanned half a century during which he headlined 14 HBO comedy specials and appeared on “The Tonight Show” over 130 times, constantly evolving with the times and staying sharply resonant up until his death in 2008 and beyond. Carlin’s ability to zoom in on societal ills has proven eerily prophetic and much of his work resonates today with alarming – and still hilarious – clarity. The documentary examines a cultural chameleon who is remembered as one of the most influential stand-up comics of all time.
The documentary tracks Carlin’s rise to fame and opens an intimate window into his personal life, including his childhood in New York City, his long struggle with drugs that took its toll on his health, his brushes with the law, his loving relationship with Brenda, his wife of 36 years, and his second marriage to Sally Wade. Intimate interviews with Carlin and Brenda’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, offer unique insight into her family’s story and her parents’ enduring love and partnership.
Documentary features a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival material including archival films, photos, audio recordings, letters, and diaries and interviews with Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert, Bill Burr, Bette Midler, W. Kamau Bell, Sam Jay, Judy Gold, Jon Stewart, and others. Joining them to share their memories of Carlin are daughter Kelly Carlin, manager Jerry Hamza, second wife Sally Wade, his brother, the late Patrick Carlin, and others.
Watch the official trailer for George Carlin’s American Dream.