Directed by: Paul Provenza
Premise: Interviews one hundred comedians about a shared dirty joke known as “The Aristocrats.”
What Works: This is one of the most repulsively funny films to come about in a long time and it manages to do it completely through dialogue. This allows many of the linguistically-skilled comedians to do their worst—or best—and push every boundary of propriety. This presentation also allows each comedian to put their own spin on the joke and The Aristocrats features such disparate acts as George Carlin, Gilbert Gottfried, Lewis Black, the staff of The Onion, Penn and Teller, Bob Saget, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, and Sarah Silverman. The film also features a public rendition of the joke performed by Gottfried after the September 11th terrorist attack and the film pauses to consider the benefits of humor and laughter in the midst of stress and fear.
What Doesn’t: The Aristocrats does get repetitive after awhile, since the basic formula of the joke is the same and the gross out humor hits the ceiling early on. Viewers who are easily offended or have politically correct attitudes about humor will not enjoy this film.
DVD extras: Deleted scenes, joke reel, commentary track.
Bottom Line: The Aristocrats is not for everyone but those who are fans of toilet humor, standup comedy, or pushing the boundaries of entertainment will find the film worthwhile.
Episode: #89 (March 26, 2006)