ARISTOCRATS, THE: DVD
Dozens of leading comedians tell the same very dirty, filthy joke - one shared privately by comics since the early days of Vaudeville - and/or discuss how to make it ever more dirty, depraved and offensive.
Review by Louise Keller:
Vile, vulgar and occasionally funny, The Aristocrats is literally a one joke movie. The simple and daring premise takes one single joke and dares comedians from all over to interpret it, talk about it, and laugh about it. This is the joke that comedians tell each other after the audience has gone home. 'A comedian's friend,' says Billy Connolly. Like the expression 'It's the singer, not the song,' it is clear that the humour lies in the telling, not the punchline. And like jazz, the emphasis is on the improvisation that fleshes out the concept with colourful descriptions. But take heed, this one joke is embellished with smut, four letter words and foul imagery. There are themes of incest, infusion of bodily fluids, animal husbandry and sodomy; plenty enough to offend.
Apart from a few spontaneous laughs, I was bored by The Aristocrats. And surprisingly, the cumulative effect of comedians at large laughing hysterically at the gag does not translate, nor is it catchy. Taking the concept and playing with it is an interesting notion and there are moments of levity. The mime artist playing out the joke on the streets is genuinely inventive, and there are a few smiles with the likes of Robin Williams, Phyllis Diller, Don Rickles, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric Idle and Gilbert Godfrey. But to stretch the concept over 87 minutes is far too much of a stretch, with the experience one of curiosity rather than something to enjoy.
Published October 4, 2006
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ARISTOCRATS, THE: DVD (R18+)
CAST: Comedy routine with Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander, South Park, Hank Azaria, Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Phyllis Diller, Eric Idle, Paul Reiser, Steven Wright, etc
PRODUCER: Peter Adam Golden
DIRECTOR: Paul Provenza
EDITOR: Emery Emery, Paul Provenza
MUSIC: Gary Stockdale
PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 26, 2005
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Magna Pacific
DVD RELEASE: October 4, 2006
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.