The Aristocrats

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Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th September 2005

Production compaines: Mighty Cheese Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Jason Alexander as Himself, Chris Albrecht as Himself, Hank Azaria as Himself, Shelley Berman as Himself, Steven Gary Banks as Billy The Mime, Lewis Black as Himself, David Brenner as Himself, Mario Cantone as Himself, George Carlin as Himself, Drew Carey as Himself, Mark Cohen as Himself, Scott Thompson as Himself, Billy Connolly as Himself, Hugh Hefner as Himself, Jimmy Kimmel as Himself, Paul Provenza as Himself, Rob Schneider as Himself, Pat Cooper as Himself, Wayne Cotter as Himself, Andy Dick as Himself, Frank Digiacomo as Himself, Phyllis Diller as Herself, Susie Essman as Herself, Carrie Fisher as Herself, Joe Franklin as Himself, Todd Glass as Himself, Judy Gold as Herself, Whoopi Goldberg as Herself, Gilbert Gottfried as Himself, Dana Gould as Himself, Allan Harvey as Himself, Eric Idle as Himself, Dom Irrera as Himself, Eddie Izzard as Himself, Richard Jeni as Himself, Jake Johannsen as Himself, The Amazing Johnathan as Himself, Alan Kirschenbaum as Himself, Jay Kogen as Himself, Sue Kolinsky as Herself, Paul Krassner as Himself, Cathy Ladman as Herself, Lisa Lampanelli as Herself, Richard Lewis as Himself, Wendy Liebman as Herself, Howie Mandel as Himself, Merrill Markoe as Herself, Jay Marshall as Himself, Jackie Martling as Himself, Chuck McCann as Himself, Michael McKean as Himself, Eric Mead as Himself, Larry Miller as Himself, Martin Mull as Himself, Kevin Nealon as Himself, Taylor Negron as Himself, Otto Petersen as Himself, Rick Overton as Himself, Gary Owens as Himself, Owen Morse as Himself, Jonathan Wee as Himself, Penn Jillette as Himself, Teller as Himself, Peter Pitofsky as Himself, Emo Philips as Himself, Kevin Pollak as Himself, Paul Reiser as Himself, Andy Richter as Himself, Don Rickles as Himself, Chris Rock as Himself, Gregg Rogell as Himself, Jeffrey Ross as Himself, Jon Ross as Himself, Rita Rudner as Herself, Bob Saget as Himself, T. Sean Shannon as Himself, Harry Shearer as Himself, Sarah Silverman as Herself, Bill Maher as Himself, Bobby Slayton as Himself, Dick Smothers as Himself, Tom Smothers as Himself, Doug Stanhope as Himself, Carrie Snow as Herself, David Steinberg as Himself, Jon Stewart as Himself, Larry Storch as Himself, Rip Taylor as Himself, Dave Thomas as Himself, Johnny Thompson as Himself, Peter Tilden as Himself, Bruce Vilanch as Himself, Fred Willard as Himself, Robin Williams as Himself, Steven Wright as Himself, Joe Garden as Himself, Todd Hanson as Himself, Tim Harrod as Himself, Chris Karwowski as Himself, Carol Kolb as Herself, Trey Parker as Himself, Matt Stone as Himself, Tim Conway as Himself, Paul Provenza as Himself, Maria Schneider as Herself, Eddie Gorodetsky as Himself

The Aristocrats Movie Review


In the dark weeks following 9/11, Comedy Central's management surprisingly decided not to cancel its taping of The Friar's Club Roast of Hugh Hefner. During the recording of the event, hundreds of comedians and urban luminaries found themselves shocked out of their post-terrorism pall by none other than Gilbert Gottfried, who delivered what the New York Times' Frank Rich, an attendee of the taping, called "the greatest dirty joke ever told."

Tracing its origins to vaudeville, this "comic's joke" is tantamount to a secret handshake among comedians and their friends. Although versions vary widely, it basically goes like this: A man seeking show biz representation walks into a talent agent's office and describes his family's act, which consists of various illegal and unspeakable activities including incest, bestiality, necrophilia, and an explosion of bodily fluids. After the man finishes, the appalled agent asks what this horrible act is called, to which the man responds, "The Aristocrats!"

And so it is that in the era of the FCC's war on indecency, veteran comedians Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette (the latter of daring comedy-magic legends Penn & Teller) have crafted a mighty unusual 90-minute documentary entirely about this joke. In a tightly edited montage of clips, more than 100 professional funny-makers from Robin Williams to Phyllis Diller, Hank Azaria to Fred Willard, Chris Rock to the Smothers Brothers, tell the joke, de-construct the joke, reconstruct the joke, and turn the joke inside out.

The genius of "The Aristocrats," the joke, is its free form. While the beginning and punchline are pretty much constant (with some variations mentioned by the documentary's players), it's the middle that provides a blank sketchpad for the warped mind of the comic. And the genius of The Aristocrats, the movie, is watching A-listers, B-listers, Borscht Belters, sitcom stars, writers, and even a mime put their filthy spins on the gag. What results is insanely profane, offensively vile, and almost unrelentingly hilarious. Want to know where your taste boundaries lie? Take notes.

Highlights of The Aristocrats include Bob Saget's disgusting take on the joke, told in the moments before he is to perform in a club; a hysterical animated version delivered by Eric Cartman of South Park, Kevin Pollak telling the joke as Christopher Walken; and Gottfried's clip from the Hefner roast, which if actually broadcast would have spurred a pile of legislation higher than the Catskills.

By the time Sarah Silverman - who rivals only Gottfried himself for fearlessness - makes an appearance, we're too softened up by the verbal extremities to be shocked. (Her first-person version, which includes a toxic accusation against old TV personality Joe Franklin, is one of the funniest moments in the movie.)

The Aristocrats is naturally not for everyone. But if you're the type of comedy club patron who guffaws at the type of dark and edgy material that makes the suburban bachelorette partiers at the next table stare into their margaritas, you'll cherish this voyeuristic peek into the sick minds that make America laugh.


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