Fuck Aristocrats

I saw this last night. One good thing about discussing this movie is that it’s impossible to spoil it!

I had no idea what to expect going in. I just new it was a documentary about a dirty joke.

While I enjoyed getting an insiders view on the joke, it got a little boring after an hour.

I also felt like I needed a shower after it was all done. It’s not that I’m a prude, but they were just doing the same things over and over. Beastiality, feces, incest are all shocking, true, but after the fourth or fifth time it just gets old. Whoppi was orginal. The hot girl at the end (don’t know her name) was orginal. There were a few others who were original or interesting because they did the joke with an interesting twist (one did it as an impersonation). But for the most part it was just kind of dull and gross.

Fuck Aristocrats!

Yeah, I haven’t seen the movie, but when someone described the premise to me I immediately thought “That will get old really quickly.” Sounds like I may have actually been right for once.

I got tired of it halfway through the Southpark version. Listening to it more than once? I don’t get the appeal.

I think this is one of those things you either get or you don’t.

You know what’s shocking? That nobody knows how to spell “bestiality.” Seriously! It’s like a perennial top ten search string word on Google - as “beastiality.”

Like Down’s Syndrome!

That’s an easy enough mistake to make though-- even easier than somebody who’s played Zork spelling “incongruities” like they were prone to eat people lost in the dark.

Is any of that stuff really shocking anymore? About 2/3 of the way through the documentary, it even talks about how it’s pretty hard to shock an audience with graphic sexual or scatological content, and is it even possible to have a joke that deals in taboo subject matter today. Of course, after that it plays the racial humor card, which is the big taboo of modern times.

I really thought this was mediocre with a few moments of comic brilliance. As I said in the other thread, for all the talk about the joke allowing comics complete freedom and so on, they all basically do the exact same thing. I don’t think it would be too hard for me or any other of us to come up with our own version on the spot that involves more creativity. The editing ruins the telling of the joke for a number of comedians, gilberts "hysterical version ends up being one long “you had to be there” with more invasive editing. But Sarah Silverman’s was perhaps the best of the lot, I really dig her. Before the film, we were shown a trailer for her own comedic film (no I’m not talking about the Rent trailer), it looks like it has a lot of potential.

It did drag on a bit, though it was more about style than substance. However if the mime didn’t have you doubled over you’re dead inside.

When I was first seeing it I knew it was a movie about a joke, but I was wondering if the joke would be that the joke would be about the fact that they never tell the joke.

I agree. The best part about the South Park version is at the end, after the actual joke is over, when they do the real punchline for the scene.

I think the movie did a fine job of explaining why it’s fun to hear the joke told repeatedly by different people. The confusion over this seems unwarranted. I don’t think it gave many good examples of versions of the joke that are fun to listen to. Many of the best versions were too long to include in the film, which undoubtedly hurt it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but I knew what the joke was going in, so maybe that matters.

Bill, how do you know I wasn’t talking about an egomainiac, pefectionist having sex with himself? You know. BESTiality.

Ok, just kidding. You got me. I can’t spell. :)

Oh, yes you can T-Bull. Ahem, Bull.

I saw this yesterday. I thougth it was very uneven, but when it hits, it hits pretty big. So it was worth seeing. It’s also just a really interesting concept, so that helped it along–I don’t know that I’d want to see another movie working on the same premise. But the once was good.

I definitely think that people who make the “But it’s just the same joke” or “But the joke isn’t that funny” complaint aren’t getting it / aren’t the sort of people this movie is made for. Jilette’s comparison to jazz musicians hits it right on the head: the point is not that the joke is supposed to be funny or new, it’s that the interpretation or delivery is supposed to be funny or new. Which sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s not (just like some covers of songs are great, some are meh). One thing Jilette didn’t consider, though: yeah, it’s great to see different musicians cover the same material. But I wouldn’t necessarily want to watch the same song covered by different people for 90 straight minutes back to back to back. Although this movie does a decent job breaking that up with meta commentary, so overall it worked for me.

Another cool thing was seeing some comics that I rarely see anymore. Jake Johannsen remains one of my favoirte stand-up comedians ever, and I don’t think I’ve seen him in ten years (I didn’t even recognize him at first). There are several other funny folks that just haven’t been around lately (at least, not that I’ve seen). That’s pretty cool. And George Carlin, who I’d mostly given up on, is actually both pretty funny and pretty insightful.

So, overall thumbs up. Not great, but very interesting and very funny in parts and definitely worth seeing. Although you could wait for DVD and not lose anything (except the other people in the theater laughing).

I agree that it was spotty, but I also think that’s being a bit generous. I get the point is for each individual to tell the joke in their own way. I think Carlin explains it in the first 15 minutes. The problem is that 80% of the comedians use the same material to tell the joke. I suppose they can use facial expersions or whatever to add some unique humor, but like Samual Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, it’s gonna have to be some might humorus mufuckin facial expresions. I get that they put the movie together so that the telling of the joke gets more and more outrageous, starting with sex, shit, piss and moving to morbid amputee sex with incestuous underage kids. The problem was I’ve heard most of it before, for free, in high school. I don’t follow comedy that much, so maybe one component is having comedians you know and love telling these sort of jokes makes it more interesting. I think it was a good idea, but the execution was poor.

Huh. It really didn’t strike me that way. There were definitely some people who were just sort of “filler” comedians who used the same structure but just tried to give a more outrageous middle. Those were the “meh” guys to me, although a couple of them were pretty funny or had at least one funny line in there–even Bob Saget (who I thought was one of the worst) had “…and the kid’s eye pops out. But dad views that as an opportunity.” Which was pretty funny.

But I thought a lot of the comedians did their own thing with it–the card trick, the jugglers, that awesome Christopher Walken impersonation (that had me rolling), Sarah Silverman’s hilarious rape bit (hey–“hilarious rape,” how often do you see those words right next to each other?), the guy desperately telling the joke to a homeless person, and the mime bit (one of the best in the movie–especially since you’ve got all these passers-by who are clearly going “Wait a second…what is that mime doing?”). The Smothers Brothers and the South Park bits were really funny, not at all because of the joke but just because of the way they played the joke. Other interpretations were original but I didn’t like as much (the singing one, the tell-it-to-your-baby ones, the ventriloquism bit, etc.). And several people didn’t tell the joke at all, telling a different joke instead (Eric Idle, Robin Williams, Martin Mull) or just riffing on the joke (Gilbert Gottfried’s first bit, Phyllis Diller, that Scottish guy, a couple of the others). I thought only a small part of the movie–maybe 20 or 25%–was people just retelling the joke and trying to be more Xtreme with it. Interesting how people’s perceptions of the movie differ!

Interesting how people’s perceptions of the movie differ!

It’s so true. You’ve hit on all my favorite parts of the movie, but to me those parts didn’t seem to be enough to add up to a win. I think it was a good idea for a movie, just poor execution.

You thought the eye socket thing was funny? Ew.

Here’s a link to the South Park bit:


WARNING: Not safe for work. In fact, it’s not safe for home. Or anywhere, really. I feel like I need to wash my brain after watching just this bit. I can’t imagine the whole movie. Seriously, I"m not kidding. You probably shouldn’t even click on that link.

When Sarah Silverman delivered the punchline to her bit, I was the only person in the theatre laughing. She sold it so well, I think some people thought she was being serious.
People were leaving all through the showing. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but that was pretty much exactly what I was expecting. Pretty funny, although the best bits were when people skipped the scat humor and did something different. Sarah Silverman, and the guy who did the joke using cards were probably the best