The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats has the tagline “No nudity. No violence. Unspeakable obscenity.” Having just watched it, I can testify to this. It’s a documentary looking at a joke with the punchline “the aristocrats!” which is only really told by comedians, to other comedians, and has been around for at least sixty years. The idea is to be as obscene as possible. Some people’s interpretations had me squirming, which is quite the feat 🙂 We’re talking fecal matter, we’re taking sexual acts you’ve never thought possible, we’re talking bestiality, incest, necrophilia and bloodletting. Yet, somehow, it’s still funny. It sounds terribly puerile, and in a way it is, but the joke does actually provide an insight into the nature of comedy. The film’s far more interesting than you might expect.

I’m not going to print the joke here, since it really works better out loud. Also, although my website is actually banned in libraries already (really!), I think it would seal the door forever.

I can think of maybe one person I would be comfortable watching this film with, but I’d say it’s worth checking out, if only to see how long it takes for your own personal boundaries to be crossed. Just be sure to keep the sound low. Btw, if you see the DVD, check out the ‘Behind the green room door’ special feature, which has various comedians just telling straight jokes.