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Movie Review: The Aristocrats

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This movie is absolutely hysterical, and potentially offensive to just about anybody. It is a documentary that concerns itself with the dirtiest joke in the world. It is the joke that comedians tell each other. Everyone tells it differently, each successive person trying to outdo the last.

The Aristocrats doesn’t delve too deeply into the joke’s origins, although some of that history is there. The primary focus of the film is on the different ways that it is told. Just how dirty can a joke get?

Frankly, there isn’t much to review here. The video presentation? Hit or miss. It was shot with camcorders with whatever room lighting was available, but that really doesn’t impact the enjoyment of the material. Audio? Probably just a stereo mix, you don’t need much for a film that is all dialogue and talking heads.

The are very few standard parts of the joke. All that seems to be needed is the basics – husband, wife, kids, animals. Then the opening: “Man walks into a talent agency looking to get signed.” And the closing punchline: “The Aristocrats.” Everything in-between, now there lies the improv portion of tonight’s show. Generally, there are liberally amounts of bodily fluids, acts that are illegal in some states, and whatever else you can toss in.

We get a wide variety of comedians either telling the joke, or relating some nugget about their experience with the joke – maybe a bit of the history, or how they first heard it, or what they like to add in.

The easily offended need not apply. This is near 90 minutes of sickness, and it is absolutely hilarious. You will laugh for just about the entire film.

The film is so “one note” that it doesn’t give much to discuss. The best I can say is that you should see it. It is quite possibly one of the funniest things you will see this year.


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  • RJ

    I am interested in this film. But I am concerned that it will become repetitive and tiresome quickly.

    Am I incorrect on this? Just how many times can the same joke be told, and still retain the viewer’s attention?

  • Essentially, the same joke is told repeatedly for the duration, with bits and pieces of background. It didn’t become repetitive for me as the point of the joke is the improv, each time it’s told it is different as different comedians bring different things to the table, the only constant is the punchline.