January 30, 2006

I don't get it.

I rented The Aristocrats over the weekend, mainly because I wanted to know what the joke was all about. I have to say it wasn't all that funny. I'm going to spoil it for you by telling you the joke, so if you don't want to know what it is, stop reading. Anyway, the basic joke is a guy walks into a talent agency and tells the agent that he's got an act that's going to blow off the agent's socks. So the agent asks, "What's your act." The guy then goes on to explain (and this is the part of the joke that depends entirely on how the joke-teller wants to embellish it) that the act consists of the man and his family going onstage, disrobing, shitting and pissing themselves all over the stage, sliding around in the mess, screwing each other, and whatever other depraved activity one can think of. The agent asks, "What do you call it?" and the man answers, "We call it The Aristocrats."

Everyone in the movie acknowledges that the joke itself is not funny, but that the fun is all in how the comedian tells the joke. I'm a great fan of questionable humor and I have to say the only time I laughed during the course of this movie was when Drew Carey said he always likes to deliver the punchline with a fancy flourish of the arms. For some reason, that was funny to me, but all the various gross-out things weren't funny to me. Probably because even the gross stuff didn't seem that particularly extreme to me, which is kind of a sad commentary when you think about it. Nothing is shocking anymore. Not even the idea of a family going onstage, pissing and shitting themselves while blowing mountain goats. What a shame. What a damn, sad shame.

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