The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats

DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
5
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Comedy veterans, Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, use their insider status and invite over 100 of their closest friends to reminisce, analyze, deconstruct and deliver their own versions of the world's dirtiest joke. The joke is an old burlesque routine too extreme to be performed in public. It's called The Aristocrats.
Publisher: New York, NY : Thinkfilm ; Santa Monica, CA : Lions Gate Home Entertainment, ©2005.
Edition: Fullscreen.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (DVD) (90 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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c
COURIER3
Feb 04, 2014

AWFUL, TRASH, FOUL LANGUAGE.
NEVER KNEW ABOUT THIS DVD TIL I LISTENED TO HENRY BUSHKIN'S AUDIO C.D. ABOUT THE LIFE OF JOHNNY CARSON. SHOCKED THAT CARSON HAD HIS NAME ON THIS DEBACLE. COULD NOT WATCH BUT PART OF THIS DVD.

f
finnmanniche
Jan 21, 2014

I like Penn and Teller and a lot of the other comedians in this video, and I have no problem with the scatology. But riffing endlessly on the theme of sex with children just isn't funny. Notice how few female comedians are involved in this project as well; I suspect there is a reason!

n
Nuclearfueled
Nov 29, 2013

The premise is a single joke -however it is really not one joke at all. Each comedian takes the frame work of the joke and ad-libs and expands on it to levels that are mind boggling, titillating, and outrageous . If one can roll with the utter depravity and creative stream of filth that is unleashed, it is possible for the constant barrage of taboos to become an almost cathartic experience.

a
AtomicFez
Aug 28, 2011

Making a documentary about one joke seems odd. Making it entertaining and able to last well over an hour is seemingly impossible. This actually works.

The way it seems to be the impossible is because, were it as simple as above, there's no way anyone would want to watch it. But through the examination of the joke, we learn what makes comedy work. In the same manner that the comedians who tell the joke use it as a way to stimulate their own intellectual processes in preparation for performing, the comedians also reveal as much about themselves as the business which they share.

What is 'funny'? What is 'offensive'? Sure, Lenny Bruce is famous for examining that question as a way to wake people up to their own illogical, hypocritical ways; is famous for it, even. Once we admit that 'sex is beautiful' and '10,000 people being killed in Vietnam is offensive', what do we do with the remaining 'grey area' of comedy and, thus, life itself and the society in which it is lived?

Perhaps that too much over-intellectualizing about what is, at its heart, a really vulgar joke, but it really does start asking a lot about the mind of comedic writers: why do they do this? how do they do this? how do I avoid ever meeting one of them in real life?

r
R_2
Jan 16, 2011

Very funny.

Very irreverent.

Hard-to-take language.

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