The Aristocrats

More than 100 funny people (including big stars and lesser-known talents) tell the same raunchy vaudeville joke — with about 100 different results — in director-comedian Paul Provenza’s outrageously potty-mouthed documentary. Nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the unabashedly uncensored film catches a wide swath of comedians, writers and intellectuals at their casually comic best.

Rating: 9 out of 10

I rarely laugh this hard at anything, but I couldn’t help myself with “The Aristocrats.”

It’s a simple joke: A guy goes into a talent agency and says, “Have I got an act for you!” Fill in the rest with anything disgusting and crass, then end with the agent saying, “That’s horrible! What do you call it?” To which the guy says, “The Aristocrats.”

This is an inside baseball kind of documentary that gives us a glimpse into a joke told by generations of comedians who have tried to one-up each other by improvising some of the most disgusting jokes you’ve ever heard. This is not a documentary for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely brillitant in its simplicity. It’s got some great moments from some of comedy’s best, such as Robin Williams, Lewis Black, Sarah Silverman and the late and amazing George Carlin. This is a flick for people who like stand-up comedy and don’t mind filthy humor. Perhaps the filthiest you’ll ever hear.

4 responses to “The Aristocrats

  1. Gottfried was an absolute legend in this. I never had a lot of time for him before, but his rendition had me in tears.

  2. I saw this at the little art house theater not knowing what to expect. I hurt my side laughing. 9 out of ten indeed!

  3. It’s amazing how you can hear one joke so many times and keep laughing. I assigned this for my humor class, and it was one of my proudest teaching moments!

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