The Aristocrats

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dan, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    Although the commercials are touting this as simply 100 comedians telling one dirty joke, it's a lot more than that. Sure, there are many, many comedians telling the joke (including the Smothers Brothers, a magician, the South Park kids, and a mime), but it's more about exploring what comedy is, what the relationship is between the comedian and the audience, what makes each comedian unique. The movie draws many parallels between the telling of a joke and jazz music, the way that no 2 musicians will ever play the same piece the same way, no 2 comedians will ever tell a joke the same way.

    If you're not a fan of comedy or the exploration thereof, obviously you won't like this movie. It's first and foremost a documentary, so don't expect much more than talking heads. The joke itself is apparently sort of a secret handshake that's existed since the days of vaudeville that comedians only told to each other, so watching it, there is sort of a feeling like you're being let in on a secret, which is pretty cool.

    I enjoyed it a lot, though. Most of the versions of the joke were really good, save for a few. And, it actually had something to say about comedy, which I think was what made it more than just a quick laugh. The most poignant moment in the movie comes when describing the Friar's Club Roast of Hugh Hefner, which, unfortunately, took place in NYC only a few weeks after 9/11. Everyone, audience and comedians, were walking on eggshells, scared to be making too many jokes, obviously. So, Gilbert Gottfried comes out and makes a very tasteless joke ("I couldn't get a direct flight to La Guardia, every flight had a stop at the Empire State Building") that, of course, got a lot of boos. So, sort of as a challenge, he goes straight into an absolutely filthy version of The Aristocrats. The clip they show is great, because all of the comedians are just completely awed by how brave he is to tell the joke to an already-angry audience. And, in the end, he wins them all over and recieves huge applause. It was sort of a moment that showed how powerful and cathartic comedy, even filthy, scatalogical comedy, can be.

    From a technical standpoint, it's very clear that this movie was shot on very low-grade camcorders and probably edited on someone's laptop. Probably to compensate for this cheap look, there is a lot of cutting between cameras (each interview was filmed with 2 cameras), which is a little annoying at first, but you get used to it.

    And, believe the hype: Full House's Bob Saget tells the most vulgar, disgusting, hilarious version of the joke out of anyone else in the movie. It's funny to hear the other comedians talking about Saget, what a filthy, twisted mind he has, and when you see him, all you think of is Danny Tanner, but, yeah, his version is definitely the highlight of the movie.

    And, funnily enough, as I was writing this, I saw that he was on Conan O'Brien, and in the interview he mentioned that he thought the movie Face/Off was about Roy from Siegfried and Roy. So, that gives you an idea about what his sense of humor is all about.
     
  2. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    i've be getting this on dvd the next time i get some dvds.
     
  3. Kagom
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    Kagom Senior Member

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    At first I was a bit uneasy with this. It was weird, but as it went on, it grew on me. Definitely a very funny movie!
     

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