Mon 15 Aug 2005
How does such a pretty girl say such vulgar things?
Theatrical Release Date: 08/12/2005
Directors: Penn Jillette & Paul Provenza
Featuring: Hank AzariaLewis Black, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Scott ‘Carrot Top’ Thompson, Andy Dick, Eric Idle, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Silverman, Bob Saget, etc., etc.
Looking to laugh this summer? Do you like scatological humor? How about incest? Bestiality? Would a few racial and religious jokes keep you chuckling? If you said yes to every question, then The Aristocrats is for you. This documentary was conceived by comedians Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, who went out to many of the top comedians around and asked them to give their rendition of The Aristocrats, an old Vaudeville joke that allows for and encourages extreme improvisation.
I won’t ruin any of it, talking about this film is like giving away the punch line to a joke while someone is onstage telling it. I will say that if you are in any way squeamish about jokes involving bodily fluids or sex with your immediate family and pets, then you want no part of this film.
Provenza does an average job of piecing together all of the different comedians’ interviews. There were times when the pacing felt a bit odd, but I’m sure getting everything to fit right was a nightmare, so I’m not really bothered by it. Nor was I bothered by any of the jokes, but that’s because I have no soul.
And there were plenty of jokes to laugh at. While building up the nerve to tell their version of the joke, each comedian also gives some background on how/when they first heard The Aristocrats and what it means to other comedians. I was especially floored by Sarah Silverman and Bob Saget. The South Park portion was pretty good as well.
Also worthy of mentioning is that AMC decided to ban this film from its theaters because they were afraid too many people would be offended. I love when people boycott films; it only ends up helping the ticket sales of the movie. When will people learn? Though I will say there were a few walkouts and theatre management where I saw the film confirmed loads of people are leaving prematurely. Yet another good reason to see this film.
An average documentary artistically but worth much more by entertainment standards, I’m going to give this one a 3 out of 5 and use the 6 pack of Old Style for a drinking game. I’ll take a sip every time someone mentions sex with their son or daughter. That should last the 90 minutes. I think.
P.S. Stick around for the credits, there’s a good joke about a Catholic priest. No, I’m not kidding. Wait, where are you going? Come back. Aw.