Monday, February 06, 2006

The Aristocrats

I just bought The Aristocrats on DVD.
I can't say enough about this movie.
I really can't.
It's hysterical.
And that word doesn't say enough.
If you don't know, the movie is about this insanely foul joke that has been told for ages, usually comic to comic. It's generally too foul to be told on stage.
The movie goes to dozens of comics and they talk about the joke, often telling it their own way, and how the joke works.
It's amazing.
Kevin Pollak doing Christopher Walken doing this joke is worth the price alone.
What makes it really worthwhile, though, is if you are interested in humor in and of itself.
If you are interested in the craft.
I most certainly am.
What I loved most was how, halfway through, they started having the comics do real changes to the joke.
A woman's version (sorta), a clean version (which, surprisingly, was funny), and the unbelievable Sarah Silverman version.
At this point, it sort of turns to jokes about the joke, in a sense.
I'm not sure if Sarah's, for example, would have been half as funny if you weren't familiar with the base.
Its also pretty amusing to watch The Onion editorial staff sort of deconstruct and reconstruct the joke, and watching other commedians who don't tell the joke sort of riff on its base.
Thats really what this is.
A jazz session of comedy.
For those of you who don't like Gilbert Godfrey, you'll respect the hell out of him after seeing this.
The clip starts at the Friar's Club Roast for Hugh Heffner.
We get a little background on the planning of the event which took place about 3 months after 9/11.
There had been no humor in New York that whole time.
So they talk and work out the way they want the evening to go, and so forth.
Gil gets up there and, ballsy guy that he is, starts making 9/11 jokes.
Needless to say, they all bomb.
One guy in the audiance yells out "Too Soon!!" (which, in all honesty, I thought was a really compassionate thing to do).
Gil is dying.
He's lost and desperate.
He's up there on stage with all these comics, and there's tons of comics in the audiance.
He goes for it.
He whips out the joke.
And its amazing.

If you want to learn and understand humor, go see this.

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