Okay. If you found Connie:The Musical funny, or the Wee!Spike series funny, that touches the tip of the ice-berg with limit pushing. In fact, let's just go right on and say there are NO BOUNDARIES. None. NOTHING IS SACRED when it comes to telling a good joke, and if you have ANY WORDS that are unacceptable for you, just look at the pretty flowers and don't click the link. Remember how I say I'm broken inside? Yeah.
Fisting a 3 year old, till their blood acts as lube.
No? Not funny out of context? Okay, let me just say that IN context, I was ROLLING. I jumped ahead... Okay, I found it HILARIOUS that when I handed my card over to buy the ticket, the ticket girl sighs and said, "Disclaimer." Some very bored and spotty teen (obviously the Senior Manager) stepped forward and looked at a fixed point over my head and rattled off, YoudounderstandthatTheAristocratsismeant
I laughed a bit and replied, "Man, isn't that the POINT?" Took my ticket, found a seat, and tried to scope out the 1/3 filled theater. Elderly couple behind me: the type where the husband would wear Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland while his black socks kept sliding down to meet his brown hurraches, but not seeing this because of his enormous gut. That guy. And his wife. Late 60s. Sitting behind me. I figure that's the audience's first casualty. Mid-40s couple in front of me. Hmmm. Movie starts. George Carlin goes into the joke, describing in hilarious and disgusting detail, the shit a man takes over his wife's face, trying to find the "sweet spot." Because it's the family act.
Oh, yeah. Some of you may not know the joke: A family walks into a Talent Agent's off, have we got a gig for you! We do the most amazing family act! "What do you do?" *fill in details here* Talent Agent, jaw opened, "what... what do you call yourselves?"
Now, if I have to explain WHY that is funny, then you really are on the wrong flist, and it won't hurt my feelings if you bump me off. Three minutes into the joke, the wife of the mid-40s couple stormed out. Huh. Didn't see THAT coming.
On the surface, the movie is about listening to different comedians tell (relatively) the same joke. Except, you can tell people's style by the way they TELL the joke. You have George Carlin, getting older, a bit of a crotchety guy (no, really?) and his joke is about shit. And poking a finger in it. Paul Reiser has people peeing on the floor and sliding around in it. Mom, dad, kids, the family dog... And then (for me) one of the absolute highlights: Kevin Pollack. Nice guy, Kevin Pollack. HE tells it like CHRISTOPHER WALKEN. Okay, that alone is hilarious, because he has NAILED Walken's cadence, etc. But the joke becomes different.
And as the movie goes on, they introduce women comics, and it changes because women comics are different. And one, Wendy ... Meisner? She tells a completely clean version. I won't ruin the punchline, because it's hilarious. And I'm rolling. Dads are fucking their sons, Daughters are eating out Grandma, Mom is fingering the dog, people puke, a leg gets broken, circle jerk on dead Grandpa, TA DA! And it's hilarious. Because, dear GOD. It sure ain't right. Sarah Silverman comes on and tells the joke in a matter of fact way, because, you see, she IS an Aristocrat. She was the little girl in the joke. And it could be uncomfortable if you aren't prepared for her deadpan delivery of what her dad and brother and dog did to her, because now the joke is in a completely different context. Again, HILARIOUS.
And as the movie continues, it's about more than just grossing people out. Because honestly: do you think you can gross out Robin Williams? The man did coke and horse in the 70s - he's seen everything. It's about a private club of comics, seeing if anyone HAS boundaries. It's about taking things you think YOU or your FRIENDS wouldn't find funny, and then dressing it up in a clown suit. The staff of The Onion shows up with a white board. Jesus, I was rolling. Can you imagine the staff meeting where you write down:
- race bating
- fag bashing
- incest: daughter?/son?
- Can we work in the Pope and anal rape?
And a big circle around this, with an arrow pointing to large letters: MAKE FUNNY.
Remember the older couple behind me? The guy. Is. DYING! Not literally. He is belly laughing so hard, the aisle is shaking. I'm cracking up, wiping away tears, and sometimes it's only this old guy and me laughing in the theater, because people don't think they should laugh at the idea of a dad gouging out his son's eye so he has a better place to fuck, see, now the kid's cock-eyed. (Thanks, Bob Saget!) Did I mention how funny this was?
And see, my best friend in the world, chrissykiedis is broken, too. You gotta love someone that JUST HOURS BEFORE lost her beloved pet in a horrific manner (rattlesnake bite, GAH, poor, poor Freckles) and we're crying and commiserating on the phone, and she breaks into the Maine voice and does a schpiel about how we're going to bury her in the Pet Semetary, but the ground's all sour, so she'll be a zombie dog and it'll scare my kids. Ha ha ha!! *cries* Ha ha ha!!! crazydiamondsue? You're broken inside, a bit, too. Which is why I ♥ you. One day I'll kill that last bit of sweetness inside you, and you'll be ruined just like me. Did I say that out loud?
If I was more coherent, or smarter, I'd write an essay about horror and laughing, or sorrow and laughing, and how closely they are related. But it would be trite, and you should know that stuff already. I stand firmly behind the belief that nothing is sacred (for me), and the more taboo something, the more I'm going to try and poke fun at it. Dying children in Calcutta, forced into prostitution? Let's make it a musical about vampire orphans. And incest! Because lord knows THAT'S funny. And it is! *whistles Make 'Em Laugh* And here's the thing: I learned years ago from the pros that working blue is cheap. And it IS. (That means dirty.) ANYONE can stand up and yell out, "pee pee poo poo cock!" and get a nervous laugh from the audience. But can you keep them laughing? No way.
And based on that, how does The Aristocrats work? Well, it isn't about the CONTENT of the joke, it's trying to figure out what is off-limits and shoving someone's face in it. Some. And it's about the glee at saying something so horrible, that in real life, you'd be executed for it actually DOING IT. And mostly? It's about the person telling the joke. They compare it in the movie to taking a standard tune, say, "Misty," and giving it to Thelonius Monk. Or Coltrane. It'll be the same song, but sound very different. One of the best moments in the movie is a split screen with Robin Williams and Drew Carrey telling a completely different version of the joke. But they come up with the same punchline, same hand gestures and everything. And it's AWESOME.
I suspect DVD sales to be very high. People will be more comfortable laughing in their homes, I think. Me? I just may go back this coming weekend.
Final joke: I went to a restaurant, saw two priests sitting at the table next to me. I didn't know whether to send over a bottle of wine, or two Boy Scouts.
THANK YOU! GOOD NIGHT! I'll be here all week, try the fish, and don't forget to tip your waiter. And I am REALLY looking forward to one month, when I meet dovil and we bring the world to an end. Or just get really drunk and laugh a lot.