While a number of comedians discuss the joke in The Aristocrats, it is the late Bob Saget who draws the most laughs in telling his version.
At first glance, comedians repeating the same joke and its origins is something that will probably get old really quick. Thanks to the direction of both Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, who also edited the film with comedian Emery Emery, this doesn’t happen. A number of comedians appearing in the film have since passed away (George Carlin, Don Rickles, Shelley Berman, Phyllis Diller, Fred Willard, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, David Brenner, Mark Cohen Tim Conway, Carrie Fisher, Joe Franklin, Richard Jeni, Alan Kirschenbaum, Paul Krassner, Jay Marshall, Chuck McCann, Taylor Negron, Otto Petersen, Gary Owens, Rip Taylor, Johnny Thompson). Saget is the latest comedian in the film to pass away (Edit: Gilbert Gottfried passed away in April). The film is dedicated in Johnny Carson’s memory as this was his favorite joke. The former host of The Tonight Show doesn’t appear.
What is there to say about the film? It can hardly get better than this what it comes to a comedy documentary. I’m not specifically referring to a documentary about a comedian but one that features a group of comedians. This was my second viewing and it’s just as funny now as it was back in December 2013.
The joke in question in The Aristocrats is one in which the setup and punchline are almost always the same. How comedians get to the setup and punchline will almost always be different. In any event, it almost always starts the same way: “A man walks into a talent agent’s office…” As for the setup and punchline: “What the heck do you call an act like that?” is followed by “I call it ‘The Aristocrats’.” It was never meant for public consumption during a stand-up set. The joke was always an inside joke until Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza came along.
But anyway, Bob Saget starts to lose it while he’s on camera. As he’s starting to lose it, I found myself losing it. Let the laughter win because there’s no fighting it! Anyway, here’s what Bob Saget had to say:
Here we go. This family, mother, father, four kids. It doesn’t matter if they’re boys or girls they’re gonna be used anyway…[laughs] as nothing more than a hole. This is what this joke is about anyway, it’s about using your kids. They’ve got a paper route, they go to school and then you fuck ’em. And the agent’s like, “What do you do?” and the father goes, “Watch us.” He rips off his wife’s bra. Then he rips off her underwear and he takes some of her pubes with it. It’s awful and some blood starts dripping down her leg. He takes the tampon and throws it at the window and it sticks. They start going down on each other all different kinds of combinations, there’s 69, there’s 29, cause the kids are young, there’s 9. The father bends the kid over the guy’s desk and starts taking him from behind, which isn’t right.
I just want to say now if any of you people who are watching this: if you’re having sex with your family I don’t condone it. I think it’s wrong I’ve done a lot of PSA’s… do NOT fuck your family. So they’re all fucking each other right. All of a sudden the kid can’t take it, diarrhea starts shooting out of his ass. It’s like a hemorrhaging shit-ass. The kid starts spinning around in a circle cause he can’t control it. It’s like Curly in the Stooges. “Moe, Larry, the cheese!” The projectile shit is just flying out of him it’s going all over the room it’s like spin art. You don’t know whether to shit or puke in this room. That’s how…[starts laughing uncontrollably] What the fuck am I doing?
Saget later requested a copy for the Full House kids.
You can’t discuss this joke without discussing the Friar’s Club Roast of Hugh Hefner. If you haven’t seen Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11, it’s discussed in that film, too. Gilbert Gottfried joked about his flight having a connection at the Empire State Building. It was poorly received so he quickly segued into the beginning of a joke about “The Aristocrats.”
The late Robin Williams gets one last zinger in before the credits finish:
A rabbi walks into a bar with a frog on his shoulder. The bartender says, “Hey! Where’d you get that?” The frog says, “Brooklyn. There’s hundreds of them!”
While filmmakers will try their best over the years to get a group of comedians together to discuss jokes, nothing will ever be better than The Aristocrats.
DIRECTORS: Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza
THINKFilm released The Aristocrats in theaters on August 12, 2005.
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