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The Aristocrats (2005)
A Documentary Like No Other
Before beginning, I'm not entirely sure the spoiler I signaled for is truly a spoiler, but I'm covering my bases as a brand new member.
For those who get into the theory and practice and history of comedy on a geekery level, this is a terrific film. The examination of the history of the joke, the traditions of comic writing that make it a classic, that peek into the real heart of what it is to be an American comic was gold to me. This WAS documentation that had a true and justifiable reason to be done, regardless of what one feels about the actual content/language.
It is a great pleasure to see almost every one of my favorite comics participating in this film. The frank discussion of the use of "blue" humor by many is educative, even conspiratorial in some spots.
While I have never thought of myself as a prude, I must admit that the repeated tellings of "the middle" and the depths to which several participants sank began to "get to me" just a bit. I'm writing that off to age - if I had watched this movie twenty years ago, that likely would not be an issue. But twenty years ago, I might not have grasped the point of this being a documentary about a single joke.
If the language becomes a little distressing to you, I advise you to just grit your teeth and ride out the retellings - in the end, each is just an experiment in verbal depravity and won't scar you for life. (That said, if you view the film on DVD, it may be desirable to mute Bob Saget for a while. The boy does prattle a bit.)
This film is best recommended to my fellow comedy addicts. It may be less satisfying to those who prefer to believe comedy just flows out of comics without a real art and science behind it. If you've considered getting into standup (whether or not you actually have), or you just love comedy as an art form, you'd be well advised to rent this bad boy and give it a fair shot. Do NOT have Grandma over for dinner that night, though. Unless she did Vaudeville in her day.