Cheers” parallels are obvious, but “The George Carlin Show,” created by Sam Simon, has its own ambiance. The Boston bar never had a bookmaker in regular attendance, as does this series’ New York working man’s saloon — the Moylan Tavern — and Carlin’s aging hipster character translates well to the sitcom stage. This is the comic without much of the acid that frequently flows in his standup routines. It’s a half-hour that’s easy to take, and Carlin fans won’t be disappointed.
George O’Grady (Carlin) has just quit his job as a cab driver when the episode opens, citing “creative differences”– management doesn’t want him to continue to wear his hair tied in a pony tail. What must be the world’s nicest bookie, “Broadway” Harry Rosetti (Alex Rocco), is looking to collect from O’Grady and is willing to settle for the cabbie’s 27-inch TV and some prized jazz albums.
Regulars include bartender Jack Donahue (Anthony Starke); the wisecracking waitress (Paige French as Sydney Paris); assorted barflies; and three characters who are introduced to O’Grady and others in this episode: out-of-his-element plastic surgeon Neal Beck (Christopher Rich); pet-store owner and prospective romantic interest Kathleen Rachowski (Susan Sullivan); and a Yorkshire terrier.
Production designer Ed LaPorta has come up with a couple of nice sets for the bar and O’Grady’s walkup apartment, and d.p. Gregg Heschong gives the show a grainy, New York look. “Carlin” is lightweight, an attribute that doesn’t seem to have hurt “Seinfeld,” and characters are promising, but show may require more coddling than Fox is used to giving its other, better comedies, like “The Ben Stiller Show” and “Bakersfield P.D.”