Watch The Aristocrats
- 1 hr 29 min
The Aristocrats is a controversial documentary film released in 2005. Directed by comedian and magician Penn Jillette and his partner Teller, the film revolves around a single joke, also known as "the dirtiest joke ever told." The joke is simply titled "The Aristocrats." The premise of the joke is that a family, typically referred to as "the Aristocrats," walks into a talent agency and offers to perform an act. The act that follows is described in excessive and vulgar detail, with each family member contributing their own unique and obscene twist. The punchline of the joke is always the same: the talent agent, after hearing the act, asks the family what they call it, to which they collectively respond, "The Aristocrats!" The documentary revolves around interviews with various comedians, who each offer their own take on the joke and how they've incorporated it into their own performances. The film also includes clips of comedians performing their versions of the joke, ranging from graphic and obscene to absurd and surreal. Some of the comedians featured in the film include George Carlin, Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, and Gilbert Gottfried, among others. The Aristocrats is not a typical documentary in that it doesn't follow a strict narrative structure. Instead, it's more of a series of vignettes that explore different aspects of the joke and its impact on the world of comedy. Some comedians use the joke as a way to push the boundaries of what's socially acceptable, while others use it as a way to showcase their own unique comedic style. Aside from its exploration of the joke itself, The Aristocrats serves as a commentary on the nature of comedy and free speech. The film specifically addresses the controversy surrounding Gilbert Gottfried's telling of the joke at the Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many deemed the joke as insensitive and crass, and Gottfried was met with backlash from both critics and audiences alike. Despite its controversial subject matter and lack of narrative structure, The Aristocrats is a fascinating and entertaining look at the history and evolution of comedy. It's an insightful exploration of how comedians push the limits of societal norms and expectations, and how comedy can serve as a form of social commentary and resistance. Fans of stand-up comedy and those interested in the intersection of comedy and free speech will find plenty to enjoy in this unique and thought-provoking film.