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The Aristocrats (2005)

February 16, 2010

3/10 Potty Mouths

Man, jokes are stupid.

The Aristocrats is a documentary about the most offensive joke of all time and the ways in which various comedians go about telling it.

In a nutshell, the joke is about a circus family that walk into a promoter’s office, perform the most cringe-inducing, effed up shit one can possible come up with. Then, once all their orifices are nice and vacant, they finish up and bow. The promoter wipes the vomit off his chin and says, “What’s your act called?” and the family replies, “The aristocrats!

Cue crickets.

When it comes to compelling subject material for a documentary, I don’t really get this one. Then again, I don’t really like jokes to begin with. The only one I know is about a kid who thinks his mom farted and blew up their house, and that one’s not even that good. It’s not that I don’t like them because I don’t know how to tell them or anything, it’s just that jokes suck., simple as that So, yeah, having to listen to comedians tell the same crappy joke over and over for an hour and a half isn’t my idea of funny.

The whole thing is grounded in shock value and a whole lot of it isn’t even that shocking. Now, shock value can be hilarious, like Tarantino shock value or Borat shock value, but having to sit by and watch people try to out-gross each other ain’t exactly a recipe for success. Nor is it even much of an insight into the comedy world or “the comedic process” (if that’s even a thing) in the way that something like Comedian was.

But there are two high points of The Aristocrats: Gilbert Gottfried and freakin’ Bob Saget who is doing a bangup job of helping people forget about his Danny Tanner days. Everyone else in this movie does their best to be as foul as possible with the joke, but then Bob and Gilbert show up and make everyone else look like they’re members of the FCC.

Some of the stuff that comes out of these two unlikely comedians is nothing short of totally insane. Completely disregarding taste, decency and physics, their time on screen are the only instances where the movies reaches an apex of vulgarity that I couldn’t help but laugh at. This is the no-holds-barred stuff and they’re also the only things anybody even remembers from this movie.

Look, if you love jokes, if you right out shit yourself and grin from ear to ear when someone says, “KNOCK, KNOCK!” then The Aristocrats might be a fuckin’ hoot. But me, I’m all set with Eastbound and Down and Seinfeld reruns and a million other shows and movies that are a hell of a lot funnier than this was.

If I paid to see someone do standup and all they did was jokes and jokes and jokes, I would walk the hell out. Well, unless it was Rodney Dangerfield, but I don’t count those as jokes anyway.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2010 5:22 am

    WEIRD! This is in my bag today as I’m lending it out to a bud, hope he doesn’t slate it like Aiden! :-p

    Fair review though, I used to do stand up and have tried that joke before (did about 15 mins worth) so know how difficult it is to pull off. Definitely one for those that like their comedians. Oh, and how crap is Whoppi Golberg’s version?!?!

  2. nothatwasacompliment permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:43 am

    i made a joke one time…wanna hear it?
    What do you call a mosquito on wheels?
    A roller-skeeter!

    …hmm…maybe it needs to be more vulgar…

    • nothatwasacompliment permalink
      February 16, 2010 11:43 am

      made UP a joke…i meant to say…made UP…

  3. Branden permalink
    February 17, 2010 3:42 pm

    I agree that this movie is an acquired taste. Gilbert and Bob were the highlights of the movie. I didn’t hate the movie, because I enjoy jokes. I’m an old soul. Give me those vaudevillian jokes anytime as long as their good.

  4. Kevin permalink
    March 14, 2010 12:27 am

    As a periphery member of the NYC stand-up scene, I can say that this joke is more than just an in-joke something comics do to try and keep each other on their toes. It’s a right of passage.

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