US 89m, Colour
Directors: Penn Jillette, Paul Provenza; Cast: Penn & Teller, George Carlin, Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Gilbert Godfried, Sarah Silverman, Martin Mull, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Bob Saget, Robin Williams
The Aristocrats is a hilarious documentary about a single joke which is deconstructed through the interview of almost one hundred comedians. Largely improvised, a favorite amongst comics, and rarely performed in public, the joke consists of a simple set-up and punch line: A man walks into a talent agency and describes his family’s act which involves any number of crude, shocking, pornographic and scatological references, followed by a punch line which announces that the unlikely name of the act is: “The Aristocrats”. Although it is the incongruity of the punch line which is intended as the basis for the joke, the documentary reveals that much of the humor is found in the context of where the joke is told, and most importantly, the extent to which the person telling the joke will go in describing the family’s absurd performance (Klaus Ming July 2012).