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The Aristocrats (2005)

Unrated | | Documentary, Comedy | 2 September 2005 (USA)
1:25 | Trailer

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One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke--one shared privately by comics since Vaudeville.


6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Albrecht ...
Himself - HBO Chairman / CEO
Steven Banks ...
Billy the Mime (as Billy the Mime)
Himself (as Carrot Top)
Wayne Cotter ...


Comedy veterans and co-creators Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza capitalize on their insider status and invite over 100 of their closest friends--who happen to be some of the biggest names in entertainment, from George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Carey to Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Saget, Paul Reiser and Sarah Silverman--to reminisce, analyze, deconstruct and deliver their own versions of the world's dirtiest joke, an old burlesque too extreme to be performed in public, called "The Aristocrats." Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


100 Comedians. One Very Dirty Joke. See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The @r!$t* (r@t$  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$243,796 (USA) (29 July 2005)


$6,377,277 (USA) (20 January 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to T. Sean Shannon, he got into trouble behind the scenes at Saturday Night Live (1975) for his use of the N-word in the film. Shannon also said that he had been berated by African-Americans when recognized in public. See more »


[first lines]
George Carlin: The joke leads me down one path and then it switches the path on me suddenly and hits me with a hammer. It's just, "Here we go folks."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Everyone listed in the credits under "Very Special Thanks" was interviewed for the film but did not make the final cut. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Natalie Portman/Fall Out Boy (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Almost an incredible film...
20 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After seeing "The Aristocrats" I found myself wondering if I truly enjoyed a film about the craziest joke in the world. The answer: Almost.

The film itself centers around a single premise: A joke with the punch line "The Aristocrats!" has existed for a long time, and many different comedians tell their versions and try to explain why the joke is funny, allowing reflection on what makes this particular joke so memorable and humorous.

Don't get me wrong. There are parts of this movie where I was having difficulty breathing due to the humor and the telling of "the joke." Some of the deliveries were flawless, executed with the aggressiveness and impartial judgment that have made some comedians famous.

But some comedians I didn't find funny. And their telling of "the joke" created another feeling inside me: How much longer is he going to try to make me laugh? And the problem here is that these parts of the movie are just very difficult to sit through. Using foul language and references to numerous taboos is one thing, but it hurts to listen to a comedian do it badly.

Ultimately, the comedians do a good job of explaining some of the finer nuances of "the joke", comedy in general, and its place in our lives. But the film spends more time on each comedians' angle with "the joke" than the development of why the joke is great. And I think the movie suffered from it. Listening to the philosophy of "the joke" was great; listening to bad comics preach the scripture was unbearable.

So the dilemma was created: I thought I enjoyed the film afterward, but I didn't know. After careful deliberation, I gave it a 7, losing 3 stars through the lack of developing more comedic philosophy and for the sometimes painfully unfunny moments a movie like this has in it.

46 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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NOT FUNNY! jeremygeorgedesign
Who won making the sickest version? oso780
Rotten Tomatoes rating gabe4bs
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