Thursday, August 25, 2005

Oh my goodness, how offensive!

Every other wednesday I play poker with some dudes from work, the game starts at 730, so between 5 when I get off work and gametime I have a chance to steal away to the theater to catch a film. The film must start between 515 and 530 and must be less than 2 hours long, and it must be at the Arclight or Chinese. Suffice it to say I'm not always able to see what I want, but last week I really lucked out. 
If, and this is a BIG IF, you are not offended easily then you should run, to your nearest art house theater and see "The Aristocrats" before it goes away - which will probably be sooner rather than later. If you do miss it, a DVD rental is essential. I plan to purchase it for sure. 
The premise of the movie is simple, various comedians -about 50 or so, all take their turns telling the same joke and talking about it. The joke? A classic that goes back over a hundred years, to the days of vaudeville and before, and is now shared among comedians as a kind of bonding fraternity thing. 
The joke itself is simple enough, I won't ruin the movie by telling it in it's simplest form. 
Guy walks into a talent agents office and says "I've got the best, most unique family act you've ever seen!" 
Talent agent says "What is it?" 
The guy proceeds to describe a family act that includes the most vile and repulsive things imaginable. 
(This is the part of the joke that is different for every comedian, the art is in coming up with the most creatively despicable behaviors for the guy and his family to act out.) 
The agent is non plussed and asks "So what do you call the act?" 
"The Aristocrats!" is the pleasant reply. 
This is not a joke neccessarily for the general public, and part of the coolness of it is that it is truly a joke for comedians, who have shared this among each other for decades. There are countless variations, but the structure is fairly consistant. 
I laughed so hard I cried on several occasions; I particularly loved the versions from the South Park kids, a mime, and Bob Saget. 
Gilbert Godfried also emerges as a surprising comedy God among comedians. 
See this movie now! Take the family! (Not!) This movie is probably the most offensive film I have ever seen, and God helped me I loved it.

1 comment:

Daughter Product said...

Yes! We agree, this classic is absurdly hilarious. I had a few stand up comic friends and someone actually got away with telling me before I had a chance to see the movie. Not for the faint of heart or uber seriously offended types. Nice to bond over such a family , er , friendly joke!!!

And yes, since I don't hear from you directly I've resorted to reading your old blog posts. lucky you