Monday, September 05, 2005

The Aristocrats

Warning: this entry contains profanity (but just a little bit). Read at your own risk.
If you're not familiar with The Aristocrats, here's the set-up of the joke: a guy walks into a talent agent's office and says, "Have I got an act for you!" He then proceeds to describe acts that are absolutely lewd, foul, obscene and disgusting - and all improvised by the joketeller. After hearing the entire act, complete with big showy ending, the agent says, "And what do you call this?" The punchline? "The Aristocrats!" It's a joke comedians have been telling each other for years, and now we common folk get a chance to hear it, too.
Penn Gillette and Paul Provenza compiled this documentary of about one hundred comedians not only telling the joke, but talking about its history, formulas for telling it well, the evolution of shock, etc. While the "funny" parts of the movie are really funny, it's these in-between sections - the actual documentary, if you will - that make this movie. It would be really boring to hear 100 comedians tell the same joke, even with the variations. The other aspects show the comedians "explore their craft" (thanks to Nate for that line) and give the joke its style, and in my opinion, that's the best part.
Gilbert Gottfried said "sucking and fucking" about 30 times in two minutes, and it was awesome. Billy the Mime was superb - I never thought a mime could be so vulgar. Carrie Fisher, Sarah Silverman and Jon Stewart didn't even tell the joke, and they said some of the nastiest and funniest things. If you have the cojones to handle the most obscene things you'll ever hear, go see Aristocrats - you might not laugh, but you'll definitely be shocked.

The Aristocrats - A-

4 comments:

equippedtofascinate said...

Your disclaimer about profanity being used in this post made me all the more excited to read it. I know that's sad, but it's true.

Bethro said...

I heard about this, and I heard it was fantastic!

Ashlee said...

Thirty thumbs way up. If you're a comedian nerd like me, you'll understand why I audibly cheered when my favorites like Dana Gould appeared on the screen. A highlight for me, I must say, was Tim Conway during the closing credits. He's brilliant.

In a totally different cinematic direction, "Crash" is available on DVD today. I charge anyone that hasn't seen this movie to please do so. It is the best movie I've seen this year, arguably in the last 2 or 3.

Chargenda said...

that's all the fucking profanity you have?