The Film of the Joke

The Aristocrats – This 2005 documentary is about an old joke, which originated in the vaudeville era. If you haven’t heard the joke before, you’re not alone. It’s apparently one that comedians tell each other, rather than one they’ll do on stage. I first heard about it from Matt. I found a page devoted to different tellings of the joke, which I haven’t really looked over, but you can if you’re so inclined. Basically, it’s different every time, aside from the beginning and the punchline. The body varies considerably depending on the person telling it and the circumstances, but it’s always disgusting, and the whole point is to be as disturbing as possible. The punchline is…well, not necessarily an anti-joke, because it makes a certain amount of sense as a mockery of the aristocracy and as an inappropriate name for what was presented, but definitely a letdown and hardly the payoff. Honestly, I don’t think it’s particularly funny, but I do think analyzing humor can be interesting. And I do often like rambling shaggy dog stories, although I guess I prefer the absurd to the depraved. Not that the absurd can’t also be depraved, but with the Aristocrats joke, it seems like the point is more to out-gross other people than to actually be funny. I liked the idea of talking to a whole lot of different comedians, but I wasn’t always that keen on the editing, especially when the cameras would keep switching for no apparent reason.

This entry was posted in Humor, VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Film of the Joke

  1. halinabq says:

    I don’t get it either. Maybe I just don’t know enough aristocrats!

  2. Pingback: When Humor and Anti-Humor Collide | VoVatia

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