Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If Your Idea of a Good Time is Watching Desperate, Aggressive Comedians Telling One Long, Sick Joke Over and Over, This Post's For You

I rented and watched The Aristocrats today. The Aristocrats, for those who haven't heard of this thing, is a documentary that Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza (both men pictured left) made and released in art-house theaters last year in which they filmed dozens of well-known stand-up comedians telling their version of a joke called 'The Aristocrats'. The Aristocrats is the name of a joke comedians supposedly tell other comedians to impress them with their crudity and creativity and to demonstrate one's "chops". The joke is simple and allows comedians plenty o' room to improvise the most lurid, disgusting acts they can think of. The set up is essentially this: A family walks into a Vaudeville agent's office and says, "I've got a family act for you." The agent says, "Ok, let me see what you got." The family then performs their "act" which is, by necessity, the most disgusting, most depraved "performance" ever perpetrated by human beings in the long and storied history of Homo Sapiens. Scatology, incest, bestiality, and senseless, horrific violence (among other things) are all thrown in to make for an epic poem of filth, raunch, and illegal acts. Essentially the abridged works of the Marquis de Sade. When the abomination is completed, the agent asks, inexplicably, "What do you call that?" The patriarch proudly answers, with a little flourish (which Penn and Provenza are demonstrating in the photo), "The Aristocrats!" It's one of those jokes that isn't really about the punchline, but the set-up.

It's about an hour and ten minutes long, and that's a long time to spend hearing one joke over and over, but what's great about The Aristocrats is that as soon as you're getting bored with the one joke of this one-joke movie (and it is sort of an amazing process, getting numb to the sick sick stuff these guys come up with), one comedian will show up and tell it in such a fresh way that it's funny all over again. Bob Saget does a brilliant version that goes on forever, but you don't mind because you just want to see where his mind's going to take the depravity next, Sarah Silverman does a very high-concept, meta-version of the joke that was pretty funny (and which ends with a line that, I think, has gotten her sued by a guy named Joe Franklin), and Kevin Pollack does a version as Christopher Walken that, and I'm not even kidding, almost killed me. What's interesting is how much this joke reveals about the teller of the joke. You can really gauge how perverted and whacked-out a person is by how over-the-top they get telling this thing. If the guy starts to wax poetic about interfamilial gun violence and the amorous pleasure to be derived from the results of that gun violence, (which is brought up a couple of times in the movie), than you know this is not a person you want anywhere near you or your loved ones.

Anywho, if you are in any way related to either me or Peggy, do NOT rent this movie, (and if you do, don't tell me about it because I warned you, and if you DO see it and LIKE it, I also do not want to hear about it). But if you're anyone else, and you're male, I definitely reccomend checking it out. It came out on Tuesday and is available to rent at all not-long-for-the-world Blockbuster stores. That's all for today. More Inanity goodness tomorrow. I know you all can't wait.

16 comments:

Seeking Completion said...

hey bro, read the beginning and saw you were telling the joke so i skipped to the end.... anyways, you need to get me my movies ass hat!!! I got a new post too, no pic but funny story... laters

P-

nathan said...

Dude...We (meaning myself) want to hear about Peggy's trip, in detail.

Anonymous said...

I saw it in the theater. I was rolling in isle.

-Speck

peter said...

on my netflix yo

Peggy said...

Umm . . . "if your male", you know better than to say that kind of sexist bullhonk. I sat right by you and watched the whole thing. AND THERE ARE FEMALE COMEDIANS WHO TELL THEIR VERSION OF THE JOKE AS WELL, you said yourself that you liked Sarah Silverman's version. I personally liked the card trick version and the mime version. I cannot not be entertained by joke telling alone.

blankfist said...

nathan said...
Dude...We (meaning myself) want to hear about Peggy's trip, in detail.

11:23 PM


Anonymous said...
I saw it in the theater. I was rolling in isle.

-Speck

11:41 PM




Didn't those two posts roll together somehow? Like they had a cosmic purpose for being stacked atop each other? Aside from the recent heat between the two of them since Speck insinuated Nathan's girth by the use of the word 'waddle'... no, I'm speaking of something else, entirely. Something like... Waterworld Hat.

Seriously, Crane... You loved that movie. Admit defeat. Your condescending little rant yesterday didn't succeed. Admit defeat. Be a man.

Anonymous said...

HE did concede already Heath...

He conceded to finally shut you up, and allow your e-penis to grow another 2 inches.

Check the other comments to see said concession.

-Speck

Moran said...

Speck, you need to learn how to use the "Choose an Identity" option so that you don't have to start your post as Anonymous, only to sign your name at the bottom. And how was New York? Sorry Couldn't make it.

moran said...

Oh yeah. And Crane, you are a sexist neanderthal.

Speck said...

"Speck, you need to learn how to use the "Choose an Identity" option so that you don't have to start your post as Anonymous, only to sign your name at the bottom. And how was New York? Sorry Couldn't make it."

It was cool. Saw Jeff and Cody....ragged on Jeff. Saw Cody and Cathy's apt, very nice. Wish I had had more time to hand with them. Family stuff was fun, too.
Yeah, it would have been cool if you could have made it up.

moran said...

Down, Speck. New York is DOWN from Boston. Buy a map.

And where's my software?

blankfist said...

Is this blog called "Moran and Speck Chitter Chatter"? Yes? Then I will shut up.

Check the other comments to see said concession.

Hey, Speckie, apparently YOU didn't read all of the "other comments", because I make mention of "said concession" and demonstrated to Crane that "said concession" wasn't fitting.

Waterworld hat, Speckie. Waterworld hat.

Moran said...

Speck, I think everyone misses our little quarrels. Remember how I used to use all the laundry detergent and you never once took out the garbage?


You sir, are a delight!

Fried Pepperoni said...

Is it irony that this blog is called Crane's Inanities, and yet the vast majority of the inanities on this blog come not from Crane himself, but from we, the assorted knuckleheads, who post here in response?

Don't get me wrong, I love it - but this just dawned on me today and I felt like I had glimpsed Nirvana (the feeling, not the band). It's almost as if Crane planned this all along, as if he's claiming possession of us, as if we're all his little carnies (and you can't spell carnies without C-R-A-N-E), which he freakishly displays to the entire world for better or worse.

Dudes...WE'RE Crane's inanities. WE'RE the Soylent Green of the blogosphere! CRANE is the puppet master, pulling the strings and getting us to e-fight one another and e-rip each other new e-holes just because we once liked a crappy movie, and maybe still like it, but don't want to admit it and then cry at night.

When you think about it, isn't it all freaking mind-blowing? Isn't it all just like Nirvana (the band, not the feeling)??

Dig that, my friends. Dig that.

JudgeHolden said...

I dig it, dude. And what's with telling everyone my secret plan? What part of secret aren't you getting? As for showing you "Carnies" to the entire world, well, I wish. If that were true, I'd be rich off this thing, and I am the opposite of rich. In truth, I'm really only showing you guys to you guys.

Truth is, I actually kind of live for the comments. It's why I post up anything in the first place, just so I can see what you guys are going to say. And, I can assure you, I supply the Inanities. It's what I do. So, by all means, keep e-ripping and e-fighting because it amuses me.

Speck said...

I do miss those times mike...i do indeed.

cause paying full rent licks my ass.

I was thinking about the programs the other day actually. You'll get them. I just need to go through and figure out which ones..you got on your own yet?