from my Dead Frog articles:
Though the ‘60s were a tumultuous time, the beatnik comedians like Bruce and Buckley were more vocal and popular than the hippie comedians. George Carlin was famous for his Hippy Dippy Weatherman character, which he would perform in clubs. But hippies were not fans of this character.
It wasn’t until the ‘70s that Carlin and Richard Pryor would bring the energy of the ‘60s counterculture into the world of comedy.
Wild and Crazy: ‘70s
By the early ‘70s, George Carlin seemed to be spinning his wheels in the mud. Nightclubs like the Copacabana wanted nothing to do with the bearded Dionysian madman with a foul mouth and a distaste for authority. Carlin wanted to play coffehouses and colleges, growing tired of the clubs, but hippie bastions like The Bitter End and The Troubador were also not embracing the new George Carlin (the Troubador eventually gave him a chance). Many hippies thought he was trying to hop on the bandwagon.
The release of his 1972 album, FM & AM, would change that. Spending thirty five weeks on the Billboard pop charts, the album was as important to comedy as Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home was to rock. Much like Bringing It All Back Home had one familiar acoustic side and one electric side, the AM side of the record had parodies of pop culture ephemera. The FM side showcased the new Carlin: the Carlin that talked about drugs, profanity and birth control.
Carlin was now welcome everywhere, including the coffeehouses and colleges that he loved so much.