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neumu
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Aristocrats cinematronic
  director

Paul Provenza

cast

Penn Jillette, George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Whoopi Goldberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Richard Lewis, Kevin Pollak, Paul Reiser, Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Bob Saget, The Smothers Brothers, Robin Williams

year

2005

rating rating cinematronic
  Who else but merry prankster Penn Jillette of magic act/professional debunkers Penn & Teller would have come up with "The Aristocrats," a documentary about what many call the funniest — and dirtiest — joke in the world? Well, stand-up comedian/actor Paul Provenza directed the film, so he can also take credit for this fascinating, insightful, scabrously funny look at the comedy community and the way humor evolves, as seen through the device of one shaggy-dog story. Together, Jillette and Provenza convinced scores of big names in the comedy business — Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin, Don Rickles, and many more — to weigh in on the hoary joke with the simple two-word punch line, "The Aristocrats." It's a bit as old as Vaudeville, but the beauty is in the telling, because the set-up can be customized and, in general, made as offensive and elaborate as the teller desires. The participants discuss the joke's history and development, and throw in personalized snatches of it. In fact, there are only a couple of times when the joke is told in full, one being a brutally hilarious version told in cartoon form by Cartman of the "South Park" kids. "The Aristocrats" is filled with gleefully X-rated content and runs a little long, but its singular focus is deceptive. Beyond the joke itself, it's a crash course in the mechanics, flexibility and durability of comedy at its most basic and base.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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